It’s hard out here for a pope. See, when it comes to religious history, the list of Catholic Church transgressions makes for pretty uncomfortable reading. Despite exalting virtue and kindness in its teaching, church leadership has spearheaded a long history of outright unforgivable Catholic actions.
You might remember some of these improprieties from school – the Inquisition, Joan of Arc, and the trial of Galileo should all ring a bell. But not everything here is medieval. Though Vatican violence goes way back, a number of disturbing episodes are from recent history. Some of this repugnant behavior comes from popes, some was church-endorsed, and some, most unsettlingly, was just straight-up regular church practice.
Dark church history contains scandal after scandal rife with every vice and taboo you can imagine. When the church was at the height of its power (at which point it was the most powerful organization in the Western world), it’s safe to say everything went to its head. Combine that with church leaders seeming to stubbornly resist adapting to changing morality and you’ve got a whole lot of unforgivable moments on your hands.
The plaintiff in the landmark supreme court case revealed she was paid to change her mind about abortion. Have anti-abortion activists no shame?
Thanks to her newly public deathbed confession, we now know that’s what Norma McCorvey, best known for being the plaintiff known as Jane Roe in the 1973 landmark supreme court case abortion rights case Roe v Wade, did.
Four Church Councils in 1119, 1139, 1148 and 1163 declared the Cathars to be heretics. The Council of Toulouse in 1119 and then the Lateran Council of 1139 urged the secular powers to proceed violently against heresy—they did not. Even so, Cathars were burned or imprisoned in many places, but, William IX of Aquitaine and many of the nobles of the Midi continued to protect them. They valued their industry and integrity in a corrupt world. The French bishops at the Council of Tours (1163) discussed the presence of Cathars in Cologne, Bonn and Liege. They called them Manichæans, a taunt, for they knew they were not, and the Cathars called themselves the Good Christians. From 1180 to 1230, the Catholic Church enacted legislation against heresy, and set up a permanent tribunal, staffed by Dominican friars. It was the Inquisition.
The Church had great faith in punishment for the body as a cure for rebellion in the spirit.
Grazie a una legge del 1961, i sacerdoti in divisa sono equiparati agli ufficiali. Per loro lo Stato spende oltre 20 milioni di euro, tra retribuzioni, tredicesime, benefit e pensioni. E la riforma in arrivo che promette tagli in realtà farà risparmiare solo il 3 per cento, appena 350mila euro
Papa Francesco la sua opinione l’ha fatta conoscere da tempo: per assistere spiritualmente i soldati, in caserma e nelle missioni all’estero, non servono sacerdoti coi gradi. Anche il buonsenso del pontefice, però, rischia di infrangersi davanti a una questione che si trascina da anni fra resistenze fortissime: l’equiparazione dei cappellani militari a ufficiali delle Forze armate in virtù di una legge del 1961 .
Holy Money investigates the financial scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church and the efforts of the new Pope Francis to clean up its multi-billion-dollar business dealings amid allegations of money laundering, corruption and embezzlement of funds.
Today, the Pope leads a church with more than one billion Catholics but also a business empire of global dimensions. The Catholic Church is the world’s richest religious institution with vast real estate holdings and its own Vatican Bank.
Pope Francis has made it his mission to get the Vatican’s financial house in order but there are stumbling blocks on the road to his newly announced reforms and the stakes are sky high for everyone involved.
Led by University College London Historian John Dickie, a leading expert in Italian history, the documentary deconstructs the mechanisms by which the Church administers and invests its money. It reveals the inner workings of the Vatican Bank, and tells the story of a priest known as Father 500 Euros, charged in January, 2014 with money laundering millions of Euros through Vatican Bank accounts. Continue reading “Holy Money”→
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.