PopeWatch: Mammon

Christ constantly warned about the evils of Mammon, doubtless because He foresaw incidents like this:

This latest scandal also leads to the U.K., but so far at least, no one has been killed. The Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso uncovered a trail that leads to a former warehouse for Harrods on Sloane Ave. in London, which the Vatican controls through British Grolux Investments Ltd.— which records show is run by the Vatican’s Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA). Apparently, around $400 million that was earmarked for the pope’s charity fundraiser Peter’s Pence—named for Peter, the Catholic Church’s original pope tapped by Jesus—went to pay off the mortgage of private apartments in the warehouse. 

Investigative documents unearthed by L’Espresso say the property now houses about 100 apartments, some of which are frequented by priests and other clergy as a sort of lurid London getaway. There have been reports in the Italian press of gay brothels where priests meet up with young men, and on rarer occasions, young women, as well as other unseemly activities taking place on the premises, but apart from going door-to-door, it is impossible to verify. Rome is filled with gay saunas frequented by priests that operate in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica, so it would surprise few if the clergy got up to the same thing when they traveled abroad.

Just days after his gendarmes raided the AIF offices, Francis assigned anti-Mafia prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone to head the Vatican court assigned to get to the bottom of the Vatican Bank’s alleged charity theft. Previous wrongdoings have been investigated internally. Tapping an outsider like Pignatone marks a change in strategy and sends a clear message that the pontiff doesn’t exactly trust the usual gatekeepers. Among Pignatone’s many accomplishments in his storied career fighting organized crime is helping pull back the curtain on Rome’s own mafia that involved a one-eyed gangster and 40 thieves. Whether the pope believes there is a link between the Roman mafia and the Vatican Bank has not been made clear. The first case Pignatone will preside over is the trial of Angelo Caloia, the former Vatican Bank president who is accused of embezzling millions off Vatican property deals. 

Go here to read the rest.  Vatican finances were a corrupt mess long before Pope Francis and the situation certainly has not improved during his tenure.


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