Pope Francis hired Milone in 2015 to be the Vatican's first auditor-general as part of the pope's plan to reform the Vatican's troubled financial image and raise accounting procedures to be on par with international standards of transparency and accountability. (Related: Collapse incoming: Pope Francis orders Holy See to transfer all assets to Vatican Bank to protect Church's finances.)
But just two years after Milone was hired, the Vatican announced that Milone had resigned in the face of accusations of embezzlement and of spying on other Church officials. Then-Cardinal Secretary of State Giovanni Angelo Becciu told reporters at the time that Milone "went against all rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff, myself included." Milone has denied these accusations.
"We did the right thing. We never spied. We have been honest. We did what we had to do, but unfortunately what we had to do was very embarrassing," said Milone, claiming that he never spied on other people but was just seeking the information as was his right as auditor-general.
Milone is demanding that the Vatican pays him 9.3 million euros ($9.65 million) in damages. He filed his suit with fellow auditor Ferruccio Panicco, who blames the Vatican for allegedly contributing to the advancement of his prostate cancer, thus cutting his life span shorter, by confiscating and withholding his medical records.
Since filing the lawsuit, the Vatican's prosecutor's office has reopened an investigation into the events preceding Milone's resignation in 2017, and the office has called him to testify.
Since Milone's ouster in 2017, the number of scandals rocking the Vatican has not decreased. Becciu was ousted from his position and is currently standing trial in the Vatican for embezzlement and abuse of his powers of office in connection with a shady $135 million real estate deal in London.
Milone was accused of spying on Becciu, and he believes the former secretary of state was behind his forced resignation.
"All these matters were reported to the pope. I wasn't spying. I was doing my job," he said. "I didn't know that I would find cardinals putting money in their pocket, but I found it, and I told him."
According to his lawsuit, Milone described the Vatican as a "viper's nest" of financial wrongdoing and hypocrisy that "you can't cross." He further alleged that his investigations into financial wrongdoing were hampered by the "reign of terror" orchestrated by spies within the Vatican's Gendarmerie Corps, the city state's internal security force.
By the end of his short tenure as auditor-general, Milone claimed Becciu planted evidence in his home which was then discovered in a raid. The head of the Gendarme allegedly "knew precisely where to look" for the evidence.
Following the raid, Milone said he was given a choice of resigning or facing time in a Vatican jail.
"It is all done deliberately to get me out when they decided in March 2016 that I was a danger because I was asking too many questions," said Milone.
Read more stories like this at Corruption.news.
Watch this short clip from the "Thrive Time Show" questioning why the pope is instructing all Vatican entities to move all of their funds into the Vatican Bank.