Archbishop Paglia: Financial Reform? by Francis X. Maier

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The pope and Paglia [source: Catholic Herald]

By Francis X. Maier, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 16, 2022

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

On December 14, The Pillar reported the following: Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia diverted hundreds of thousands of euros allocated to support missionary and charitable works while he served as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Paglia used much of the money to finance building projects in Rome, including the renovation of his personal apartment. . . .According to multiple independent sources with knowledge of the events, Archbishop Paglia confirmed in a 2015 memo to Holy See financial officials that hundreds of thousands of euros had been paid to an Italian construction contractor instead of going to missionary and charitable projects to support poor families and orphans. While Paglia claimed to have repaid some of the money diverted from charitable funds, sources say that he did so with other donations to the pontifical council, and not with money specifically provided for restitution.

One might reasonably be surprised by such news; but no.  And here’s why.

I served as senior aide and special assistant to Archbishop Charles Chaput for twenty-three years, first in Denver, then in Philadelphia.  I mention this as context for what follows.

Early in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI approached the archbishop, asking if the Church in Philadelphia might be willing to host the Eighth World Meeting of Families, scheduled for 2015.  Chaput had arrived as archbishop in Philadelphia just a few months earlier.  He was sent there to deal with crippling legal and financial problems, public hostility to the archdiocese, and low priestly morale stemming, in part, from multiple historic sex-abuse cases. …