To contact the publisher send an email to Stephen Kokx, Faithful Insight media relations, at

The author, Martha Alegría Reichmann can be contacted at


Widow of lead Vatican ambassador accuses Pope Francis of cover-up of top cardinal

New book “Sacred Betrayals” reveals web of financial and sexual abuse protected by Vatican

March 24, 2021 – The widow of the former dean of the Vatican diplomatic corps, Alejandro Valladares, is revealing in a new book the involvement of Pope Francis in the cover-up of his top cardinal, Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, who is accused of enabling the sexual misconduct and predatory behavior of his auxiliary bishop, and of diverting millions of dollars of Church money to shadowy investment schemes that have disappeared.

Martha Alegría Reichmann de Valladares, who hosted Cardinal Maradiaga in her home for decades, fell afoul of Maradiaga after protesting against the scandalous behavior of his auxiliary bishop, Juan José Pineda, who was ultimately accused of sexual predation against seminarians and disappeared from Honduras after resigning his office. 

When the Valladares family’s life savings disappeared in a fraudulent investment scheme promoted to them by Maradiaga, Alegría Reichmann took her case to the height of the Vatican hierarchy and even to Pope Francis himself, but found that no one was willing to correct the wayward Maradiaga, even after the financial and sexual scandals were exposed in the international media. 

Sacred Betrayals recounts Alegría Reichmann’s struggle to find justice for her family, and to alert the Catholic Church to the corruption of Pope Francis’ most influential and powerful cardinal.


“Alegría’s testimony regarding Cardinal Maradiaga’s involvement of their family in a fraudulent financial scheme, as well as his defense and cover-ups of his auxiliary bishop is deeply shocking. More disturbing is her revelation that Francis continues to protect Maradiaga despite all the misdeeds for which Maradiaga has made himself personally responsible,” writes the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, in his foreword to the book.


Philip Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, writes: “This book is dynamite! The compelling testimony of Martha Alegria Reichmann— a widow betrayed by a powerful cardinal she had once considered a close friend— has the power to break down the wall of silence that protects Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, and expose the corruption that reaches to the very top of the Vatican.”

Alegría Reichmann’s accusations come in the wake of exploding financial and moral scandals in the Vatican, as cardinals are removed from their positions and the long-awaited McCarrick report has been issued, in an apparent attempt to exonerate Pope Francis of all culpability in the case. 

In addition to Pope Francis and Cardinal Maradiaga, Sacred Betrayals recounts the involvement of other high curial officials, including Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who seemed helpless to proceed against Maradiaga because of Francis’ protection.

Faithful Insight Books is the publishing imprint of LifeSite, the most widely-read Catholic news website in the world, with over 100 million page views annually.  Sacred Betrayals will become available on and numerous other online booksellers on January 10, 2021. 

Stephen Kokx, media relations


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