Leaked documents detail $200 million Vatican deal for swanky London property

Crux | 10/20/2019 | Staff
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ROME - Against the backdrop of a Synod of Bishops on the Amazon dedicated to the defense of some of the world’s most impoverished people, the Vatican finds itself rocked by yet another financial scandal after publication Sunday of seamy details about a $200 million purchase of a swanky 183,000-square-foot apartment building in the Chelsea district of London.

“Hundreds of millions of Euro destined for the least and the poor are still administered opaquely and with no transparency, as if the Vatican were a merchant bank in an offshore country,” the report claims.

Pope - Francis - Office - Reform - Mandate

For Pope Francis, who came to office in 2013 on a reform mandate and who launched a sweeping reorganization of Vatican finances early in his papacy, the revelations are the latest index of how much remains to be done in terms of injecting accountability in terms of money management.

The report in L’Espresso, a widely read Italian news magazine, was authored by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, who was charged by the Vatican in 2015 with illicit divulgation of confidential information amid what came to be known as the “Vatileaks II” scandal. Fittipaldi and fellow journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi were eventually absolved for lack of jurisdiction.

L'Espresso - Account - Reports - Investigators - Fittipaldi

The L’Espresso account is based on confidential reports from Vatican investigators obtained by Fittipaldi, suggesting the possibility of yet another “Vatileaks” scandal involving the leaking of supposedly secret documentation.

According to the report published Sunday, the Secretariat of State, the Vatican’s ultra-powerful coordinating department, controls roughly $725 million in funds off the books related to the annual “Peter’s Pence” collection, which is designed to allow individual Catholics to contribute to the pope’s charitable activities.

Fact - Fittipalidi - Report - Funds - Operations

In fact, according to Fittipalidi’s report, most of those funds are instead diverted into “reckless speculative operations,” with 77 percent of the Peter’s Pence collections entrusted to Credit Suisse, the multinational financial services and investment company...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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