THE VATICAN: CLEANING UP ITS FINANCIAL ACT…?March 27, 2012
There's an interesting report from CNBC that says the Vatican is cleaning up it's financial act: Ponder this one for a moment, before I run out to the end of the twig and speculate wildly once more:
Now, you'll note that according to the article, the U.S. State Department put the Vatican on a list of "jurisdictions of concern" for money laundering. All of this brought back to my mind the sordid history of the 1980s, and widespread allegations of financial corruption. It all began when Pope Paul VI died, and when Albino Cardinal Luciani, the Patriarch of Venice, was elected his successor, choosing as his pontifical name, John-Paul I, to emphasize his personal determination to continue the Vatican Two style pontificates of Popes John XXIII (Angelo Cardinal Roncalli) and Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Cardinal Montini). Luciani died suddenly, and unexpectedly, after reigning for only one month. There were those at the time, like author David Yallop (In God's Name) who suspected foul play, and I must confess, I share that opinion to this day.
The Vatican Bank, or Institute of Religious Works, or IOR, had been implicated in the financial wheeling and dealing of a reputed Mafioso-like Italian businessman, whose banks and financial empire (including banks in the USA) suddenly collapsed: Michele Sindona. This was more or less contemporaneous with the exposure by Italian authorities of the notorious Loge Propaganda Due, or P2-G "masonic" lodge, headed by its creator, an Italian Neo-Fascist by the name of Licio Gelli, whose lodge managed to penetrate the Vatican, the Italian police and security service (SISME), and the government itself. This, according to Yallop, was one reason Luciani, in his opinion, was murdered, for he was allegedly attempting to root out the last vestiges of this network within the Vatican (which according to some at the time, included American Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, head of the IOR, and retained by Luciani's successor, Karol Cardinal Woytijla, Pope John-Paul II). As the scandal unfolded, this led to further links and dubious dealings, including the "suicide" of Italian banker Roberto Calvi, found hung beneath London's Blackfriar's bridge, with bricks in his pants. Calvi had ties to the Banco Ambrosiano. As for Licio Gelli, he fled to Argentina, no doubt to be close to people there of similar mindset, if you get my drift. Anyway, you get the picture.
...oh wait, there's one more teensy-weensy detail. A New York City policeman at the time was involved in the investigations of all the financial wheeling and dealing, and he actually published a book, implicating Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, the cardinal responsible for the Vatican archives up until his death in 1972, in a scheme to - hold your hat - launder bearer bonds....
Now comes the wild speculation part...the State Department's placing of the Vatican bank on this watch list comes only a month after the recent seizure of more allegedly counterfeited US Federal Reserve gold backed bearer-bonds, and while there is absolutely no evidence to support it, I am nevertheless wondering if all of this is somehow connected. What better way to launder money, including a covert financial system, then through the Vatican Bank? It was, after all, an obscure Vatican backed news source that first commented on the Japanese bearer bond scandal:
There you have it... that ends my wild speculation for the day. See you on the flip side...