Pope orders probe into finances of top Honduran advisor

The Vatican is confirming Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into alleged financial and other irregularities in the diocese of one of his top advisers, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga.

Italian newsweekly L'Espresso says the investigation was initiated in May following allegations of failed investments, questionable expenses by one of Maradiaga's deputies, and the ultimate destination of 35,000 euro a month paid to the cardinal by the Catholic University of Honduras.

Rodriguez Maradiaga's supporters have told Catholic media the university funds are used to pay salaries and other diocesan expenses, and that such arrangements are used by other Honduran bishops.

The Vatican press office confirmed Friday that Francis ordered up an investigation, but provided no details. Significantly, it didn't deny L'Espresso's report.

Rodriguez Maradiaga is one of Francis' nine cardinal advisers.