ITALY’S MYSTERIOUS, DEEPENING BANK SCANDAL

By Paul Lewis, Special To the New York Times

  • July 28, 1982

The apparent suicide last month of an Italian financier known as ”God’s banker,” who was found hanged beneath London’s Blackfriars Bridge, has added to the mystery of a major Italian financial scandal in which the Vatican appears heavily involved.

The cost to the Roman Catholic Church could amount to several hundred million dollars. The scandal centers on some $1.4 billion in unsecured loans made in Latin America by Banco Ambrosiano, Italy’s largest privately owned banking group, and endorsed by the Vatican bank. It is sending shock waves through the world of international finance and raising questions about current efforts to regulate the foreign operations of multinational banks. Unusual Outside Inquiry

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The Vatican Bank is rocked by scandal again

By David Willey
BBC News, RomePublished18 July 2013

Pope Francis
image captionDespite his cheery exterior, the Pope is angry at the goings on at the Vatican Bank

When I first settled in Rome in the early 1970s, it was common knowledge among resident foreign journalists that you could get a much better exchange rate for the Italian lira from your dollars or pounds by visiting the Vatican’s own bank, situated inside a medieval tower next to the Apostolic Palace inside Vatican City.

So, showing my press pass, I climbed the stairs into this strange Holy of Holies, where the only other clients in the marble-lined banking hall were priests and nuns.

I wrote out a cheque, which the bank clerk cashed after checking my identity. He handed me about 10% more lira than if I had made the transaction in one of the commercial banks just down the street in Italian territory. I had just discovered my very own offshore fiscal paradise.

Thus began my short-lived but instructive introductory course into Vatican banking. A few months later, someone leaked what was happening and I could no longer gain access to the Vatican’s financial inner sanctum.

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How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini’s millions

Pope Benedict XVI

Behind Pope Benedict XVI is a porfolio of property that includes commercial premises on London’s New Bond Street. Photograph: Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis

Support the Guardian

David Leigh, Jean Fracois Tanda and Jessica Benhamou, Mon 21 Jan 2013


Papacy used offshore tax havens to create £500m international portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland

Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James’s Square and Pall Mall.

But these office blocks in one of London’s most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church’s international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.

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How Rich Is the Catholic Church? It’s Impossible to Tell

How much real estate does the Catholic Church own? What are its equity holdings? These questions, and more, not answered.

TheStreet

Emily Stewart SEP 22, 2015

How Rich Is the Catholic Church? It's Impossible to Tell

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Feeling guilty about investing in “sin” stocks, like makers of guns, cigarettes and alcohol products? Don’t. Over the course of its history of investing, the Catholic Church has done much worse. 

In the 1960s, Italian media uncovered evidence that the Vatican had invested in entities that conflict directly with the church’s holy mission, including Istituto Farmacologico Serono, a pharmaceutical company that made birth control pills, and Udine, a military weapons manufacturer. There have also been unconfirmed rumor of church money in firearms manufacturer Beretta and companies with activities in gambling and pornography. It has been linked to dealings with Nazi gold during World War II as well.

Continue reading “How Rich Is the Catholic Church? It’s Impossible to Tell”

Top 5 financial transgressions committed by the Vatican

EUROPENANCEO

Author: Sophie Perryer

The Vatican’s ultra-secretive culture and dubious financial dealings have frequently mired it in scandal. We chart the most memorable

Feature image
The Vatican’s finances have long been shrouded in mystery, but its involvement in a number of scandals over the last 100 years have shed some light on the city-state’s secretive dealings

The Vatican is exceptional in every sense of the word. The tiny city-state, surrounded by Rome, is the smallest state in the world by area and population, yet it wields a unique power over the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, by dint of the fact that it holds the seat of the religion’s church.

It is independent of, yet fully owned by, the Holy See, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Pope. It is, quite literally, a law unto itself.

The Vatican’s relationship with the EU is complex. Despite being located within a central EU member country, the state is unable to join the union as it does not adhere to the Copenhagen Criteria.

These regulations, laid out by the European Council, dictate that candidate states must be free market democracies. The Vatican is an elective and ecclesiastical monarchy, with the only economic actor being the state itself.

Continue reading “Top 5 financial transgressions committed by the Vatican”

Fraud Thriving In U.S. Churches, But You Wouldn’t Know It

Forbes

Nov 18, 2013

Walter Pavlo

uncaptioned Washington Post’s investigation on fraud into nonprofit organizations revealed that incidents are either not reported at all or reported but not directed to authorities … bad news, like “theft,” does not sit well with contributors. When I looked at the list of nonprofit organizations in the Post’s story, I did not see any churches on it so I called my good friend Alton Sizemore of Forensic Strategic Solutions, Inc. in Birmingham, AL to see why he thought that was the case. Sizemore told me, “The reason you did not see any churches on the list is because churches are not required to do an annual report.”  What?!”

Sizemore pointed me to a line in the tax code:

“Every organization exempt from federal income tax under IRS 501(a) must file an annual information return except: 1) A church …. “

 

Continue reading “Fraud Thriving In U.S. Churches, But You Wouldn’t Know It”

Top 5 financial transgressions committed by the Vatican

EUROPEANCEO

Author: Sophie Perryer

The Vatican’s ultra-secretive culture and dubious financial dealings have frequently mired it in scandal. We chart the most memorable

Feature image

The Vatican is exceptional in every sense of the word. The tiny city-state, surrounded by Rome, is the smallest state in the world by area and population, yet it wields a unique power over the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, by dint of the fact that it holds the seat of the religion’s church.

It is independent of, yet fully owned by, the Holy See, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Pope. It is, quite literally, a law unto itself.

Continue reading “Top 5 financial transgressions committed by the Vatican”

The craziest financial schemes that the Vatican Bank tried to cover up

BUSINESS INSIDER

Stephanie Yang Feb. 27, 2015

The new elected Pope Benedict XVI greets thousands of pilgrims from the balcony of the St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

From running on donations to becoming an international holding company, the Catholic Church’s financial past is littered with secrets.
So much that author Gerald Posner wrote hundreds of pages chronicling the institution’s financial scandals in his new book, God’s Bankers.

A little history:

Years ago, the Vatican financed its operations with donations and indulgences, free passes for sins in exchange for money. In the early days, the Vatican made little effort to keep track of finances, which meant the institution was rife with extravagant spending and embezzlement.

After teetering on the edge of bankruptcy several times, the Vatican appointed Bernardino Nogara as its new financial advisor in 1929, who straightened out the church’s finances and grew a $92 million investment from Benito Mussolini into almost $1 billion.

Continue reading “The craziest financial schemes that the Vatican Bank tried to cover up”

Vatican City: True Financial Crime and Murder

THE HUFFINGSTON POST

THE BLOG 11/09/2012

By Janet Tavakoll

Those who believe we don’t need smart and effective crime-stopping financial regulation have only to look at the smallest independent city-state in the world, Vatican City. The tiny oligarchy is surrounded by Italy and ruled by the Pope. It also has its own bank. If you can’t trust the Vatican Bank, whom can you trust? The answer is no one. At least not without proper controls and consequences for wrongdoing in this lifetime.

A Murder, a “Suicide” and Bank Collapses

Roberto Calvi, chairman of Milan-based Banco Ambrosiano, was found hanging by the neck under Blackfriars Bridge in London in June of 1982. Banco Ambrosiano had just collapsed, and London authorities deemed his suspicious death a suicide.

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TUTTI GLI SCANDALI DEL VATICANO Una Chiesa segreta,occulta,nascosta,inimmaginabile:culti pagani,genocidi,morti bianche,relazioni pericolose,pedofilia.Alla scoperta dello Ior,la banca vaticana e delle ricchezze di una Chiesa,sempre più lontana dagli insegnamenti di Gesù

La Chiesa Cattolica Romana ha la riserva di oro più grande al mondo…

di MaxP
Il maggiore e singolo detentore di lingotti (ingot/bullion) rispetto a qualsiasi altra organizzazione nel corso dei trascorsi 1.000 anni è, ed è sempre stato, il Culto Romano che controlla la Chiesa Cattolica.
La Chiesa Cattolica Romana controlla approssimativamente 60.350 tonnellate d’oro, due volte la dimensione delle riserve ufficiali totali di oro di tutto il mondo, o approssimativamente il 30,2% di tutto l’oro mai estratto/prodotto. A prezzi correnti, è possibile stimare il valore di tali beni che costituiscono il più grande tesoro della storia dell’umanità in oltre 1.245 miliardi di dollari statunitensi ($).

Continue reading “TUTTI GLI SCANDALI DEL VATICANO Una Chiesa segreta,occulta,nascosta,inimmaginabile:culti pagani,genocidi,morti bianche,relazioni pericolose,pedofilia.Alla scoperta dello Ior,la banca vaticana e delle ricchezze di una Chiesa,sempre più lontana dagli insegnamenti di Gesù”