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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Oct 30, 2019
Ed Condon has done yeoman service, reporting on the latest financial scandal at the Vatican for CNA. It’s a complicated story, involving a series of imprudent and/or illicit transactions, and Condon chases down the details to provide the full picture.
But if you read that full story, I suspect you’ll find yourself wondering whether this is fact or fantasy, CNA or The Onion, an accurate account or a reporter’s nightmare. Is it possible that the Vatican’s financial affairs could be so chaotic, so imprudent, so palpably corrupt? Is it possible that two different archbishops could invest tens of millions of dollars without appropriate authorization, diverting funds from charitable agencies into speculative ventures? Could there really be a priest “who had a reputation for leaving [his] offices near the Vatican with shoeboxes full of cash,” and set up his own office “to attract investments for oil and mineral prospecting along the border region between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola”? And if such a clerical wheeler-dealer did exist, would even the soft-headed prelates at the Vatican be foolish enough to back his schemes?
It can’t possibly be true, can it? But it is. And this is not the scandal that prompted Vatican police to raid the offices of the Secretariat of State. That was an entirely different scandal. ….