Mr. G.P. shared this article, and it really prompts some high octane speculation, particularly in the context of yesterday's blogs and speculations about the survivability of the EU, the euro, and the refugee crisis. As you'll recall, yesterday I speculated that what we might be witnessing in Europe, with the backlash against refugees, and the unworkability of the Euro, is a return to some form of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, with various such mechanisms in Europe centered or clustered not just around Germany, but also possibly France, until such time that a "European identity" and awareness can be created, for which the refugee crisis seems to be tailor-made.
It's in that context that I propose to consider the following article and profer some high octane speculation:
Two years ago I blogged about the fact that Pope Francis seemed determined to overhaul and "clean out" the notoriously corrupt Vatican bank, the "Institute for Religious Works'. As a part of this overhaul and cleanup, the pope had hired Price Waterhouse and other firms to do internal audits and bring the bank into international regulatory conformity. As I noted then, some of these were also the auditors of record for Lloyds of London and the Bank of International Settlements (another bastion of financial propriety!) But why the sudden push to "clean out" the Vatican bank to begin with?
I suggest that, since this move came after the establishment of the EU and the eurozone, that the two events are deeply related. In that context, consider the following statements from the article:
The case of the PwC suspension is revealing. According to CNA's source, PwC was hired by the Council for the Economy, which made the decision by an unanimous vote.
However, the Secretariat of State claimed the need for further control, and raised issues for discussion, such as: given that Vatican City is a sovereign state, and not a company, is it even proper that its financial books undergo external auditing?
The issue of sovereignty is crucial for the Holy See, which has fought recently to be independent of any secular power: sovereignty has helped the Church to act independently throughout the world, without depending on any secular power, and to be able to have an independent voice in the international scene, thus being able to advocate for human rights and the common good without being accused of any partiality.
Sovereignty is not just a notion: the Holy See’s sovereignty insists on the independent, albeit small, territory of the Vatican City State, which like any other independent nation has its internal jurisdiction and legislation, and is involved in international relations.
This sovereignty implies that the Vatican dicasteries are considered on par with the ministries of any other country – which includes a level of confidentiality in handling their budgets.
For Cardinal Pell, the real challenge is to introduce international accountability standards within a state system: to find a balance between the needs of a manager and those of a governor.
This is, indeed, the rub: the Vatican's soveriegnty and recognition as such in international law and diplomacy, and its parallel status as a (gigantic) corporation with its own central bank. But given all these claims and privileges in law, why would the Vatican have undertaken such an audit in the first place?
My high octane speculation may be perceived as the wildest and most bizarre fantasy, but nonetheless, it's worth putting out there for consideration, for consider, what is the one thing that all of western Europe has in common culturally, and historically(and, incidentally, that Eastern Europe and Russia, do not)? Answer: the papacy. So my suspicion is that the oligarchical powers that be have decided that the only way to make a common currency for Europe(by which they mean, always, and only, western Europe), is to give that currency the sanction of the Vatican, i.e., to involve the Vatican in its issuance and sanction. It's the old alliance of the bank, and the temple, all over again. Of course, just how such a crazy scheme would work out in detail remains to be seen.
How will we know if such a scheme might even be being considered? Very easily: if the Vatican starts sending, or increasing the numbers and involvement of its observers and nuncios to the Eureopean Union, to the European Central bank, or is granted representation in the IMF or World Bank. Hence the audits: to achieve representation, the Vatican bank has to conform to the same standards of corruption as everyone else.
See you on the flip side...