PopeWatch: Follow the Money

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Papal finances have been a calamity since a few seconds after Saint Peter denounced Simon Magus since Magus offered to buy the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

1] And at that time there was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all dispersed through the countries of Judea, and Samaria, except the apostles. [2] And devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral, and made great mourning over him. [3] But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house, and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison. [4] They therefore that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God. [5] And Philip going down to the city of Samaria, preached Christ unto them.

[6] And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing, and seeing the miracles which he did. [7] For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. [8] And many, taken with the palsy, and that were lame, were healed. [9] There was therefore great joy in that city. Now there was a certain man named Simon, who before had been a magician in that city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one: [10] To whom they all gave ear, from the least to the greatest, saying: This man is the power of God, which is called great.

[11] And they were attentive to him, because, for a long time, he had bewitched them with his magical practices. [12] But when they had believed Philip preaching of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [13] Then Simon himself believed also; and being baptized, he adhered to Philip. And being astonished, wondered to see the signs and exceeding great miracles which were done. [14] Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. [15] Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.

[16] For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [17] Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost. [18] And when Simon saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, [19] Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said to him: [20] Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

[17] “They laid their hands upon them”: The apostles administered the sacrament of confirmation, by imposition of hands, and prayer; and the faithful thereby received the Holy Ghost. Not but they had received the grace of the Holy Ghost at their baptism: yet not that plenitude of grace and those spiritual gifts which they afterwards received from bishops in the sacrament of confirmation, which strengthened them to profess their faith publicly.

[21] Thou hast no part nor lot in this matter. For thy heart is not right in the sight of God. [22] Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. [23] For I see thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. [24] Then Simon answering, said: Pray you for me to the Lord, that none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me.

Acts of the Apostles 8: 1-24

Now back to the present day acts of clerical criminals:

The Vatican’s former chief auditor believes he was ousted after investigating secret bank accounts, some of which have now been linked to a London property deal that has prompted an internal Holy See inquiry into possible financial irregularities. Libero Milone told the Financial Times that he thinks he was forced to resign two years ago because of information he requested about hundreds of millions of dollars held “off the books” by Vatican entities in Switzerland.

Go here to read the rest. Sexual crimes get a lot of press, but the financial thievery goes hand in hand with it.  As Boccacio noted seven centuries ago:

 

The Jew mounted his horse, and as quickly as possible went to the court of Rome, where arriving, he was by his fellow Jews honorably received; and living there without saying to anybody why he came, began cautiously to study the manners of the Pope and the cardinals and the prelates and all the other courtesans; and he learned, being the honest man that he was, and being informed by other people, that from the greatest to the lowest they sinned most dishonestly, not only in natural but in unnatural ways, without any restraint or remorse to shame them; so much so that for the poor and the dissolute of both sexes to take part in any affair was no small thing. Besides this he saw that they were universally gluttons, wine-drinkers, and drunkards, and much devoted to their stomachs after the manner of brute animals; given up to luxury more than to anything else. And looking further, he saw that they were in the same manner all avaricious and desirous of money, so that human blood, even that of Christians, and sacred interests, whatever they might be, even pertaining to the ceremonies or to the benefices, were sold and bought with money; making a greater merchandise out of these things and having more shops for them than at Paris of stuffs or any other things, and to the most open simony giving the name and support of procuration, and to gluttony that of sustentation: as if God, apart from the signification of epithets, could not know the intentions of these wretched souls, but after the manner of men must permit himself to be deceived by the names of things. Which, together with many other things of which we will say nothing, so greatly displeased the Jew, that as he was a sober and modest man it appeared to him that he had seen enough, and proposed to return to Paris.

Accordingly he did so; upon which Gianotto, seeing that he had returned, and hoping nothing less than that he should have become a Christian, came and rejoiced greatly at his return, and after some days of rest asked him what he thought of the Holy Father, the cardinals, and the other courtesans; to which the Jew promptly replied:—“It seems to me evil that God should have given anything to all those people, and I say to you that if I know how to draw conclusions, there was no holiness, no devotion, no good work or good example of life in any other way, in anybody who was a priest; but luxury, avarice, and gluttony,—such things and worse, if there could be worse things in anybody; and I saw rather liberty in devilish operations than in divine: on which account I conclude that with all possible study, with all their talent and with all their art, your Shepherd, and consequently all the rest, are working to reduce to nothing and to drive out of the world the Christian religion, there where they ought to be its foundation and support. But from what I see, what they are driving at does not happen, but your religion continually increases; and therefore it becomes clearer and more evident that the Holy Spirit must be its foundation and support, as a religion more true and holy than any other. On which account, where I was obstinate and immovable to your reasoning and did not care to become a Christian, now I say to you distinctly that on no account would I fail to become a Christian. Therefore let us go to church, and there according to the custom of your holy religion let me be baptized.

Go here to read the rest.

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3 Comments

  1. Yes, the fact that the Catholic Church keeps going despite all the efforts of its leaders to destroy it is indeed a miracle and a convincing reason to remain in the Catholic Church.

    More than ever in the history of the Church the laity must do their part as members of the Church Militant.

    Blessing on all you do Mr.McClarey.

  2. Judas Iscariot was the first Apostolic treasurer. His first betrayal of Christ was when he stole from the Apostolic purse as related in John 12:4-6. It looks like his spirit is still all too alive in today’s Vatican finances.
    *
    Two other people who ran into problems related to finances were Ananias and Sapphira who lied about the proceeds from the sale of a piece of property, and were struck dead.

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