Dirty priests, dirty money: more evidence of Catholic Church criminality

ONCE upon a time in Italy there was man comfortably ensconced in the Vatican who, as Pope, penned an encyclical called Quadragesimo Anno, which slammed the capitalistic greed of international finance.

This fella, Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, better known as Pope Pius XI, was also aware that the Catholic Church was strapped for cash, so he came up with a cunning stunt that would give the Vatican independence as a micro-state, and allow it an array of privileges, including having a hand in Italian education.

Via the Lateran Treaty of 1929, Ratti officially recognised Mussolini’s fascist regime, and at the same time relieved the dictator of a large chunk of cash.


Mussolini and Ratti

Mussolini and Ratti

Mussolini’s money, later to be stashed away secretly in offshore tax havens, has grown into a nice little nest egg which has been used to create a £500m international property portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland.

In 2006, according to the Guardian, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy commercial properties in London and Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.

The Guardian said:

The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions.

The Mussolini money was dramatically important to the Vatican’s finances. John Pollard, a Cambridge historian, wote in Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy:

The papacy was now financially secure. It would never be poor again.

The Guardian added:

While secrecy about the Fascist origins of the papacy’s wealth might have been understandable in wartime, what is less clear is why the Vatican subsequently continued to maintain secrecy about its holdings in Britain, even after its financial structure was reorganised in 1999.

The Guardian asked the Vatican’s representative in London, the papal nuncio, archbishop Antonio Mennini, why the papacy continued with such secrecy over the identity of its property investments in London.

We also asked what the Pope spent the income on. True to its tradition of silence on the subject, the Roman Catholic church’s spokesman said that the nuncio had no comment.

Meanwhile the LA Times reported that Archbishop Roger M Mahony and a top advisor plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement, including keeping them out of California to avoid prosecution

Archbishop Mahony is so, SO sorryand prays every day for victims of priestly paedophilia

Archbishop Mahony is so, SO sorry and prays every day for victims of priestly paedophilia

The archdiocese’s failure to purge paedophile clergy and reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement has previously been known. But memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Msgr Thomas J Curry, then the archdiocese’s chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation’s largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police, the paper reported.

Newly released records, which the archdiocese fought for years to keep secret, reveal in Church leaders’ own words a desire to keep authorities from discovering that children were being molested.

In the confidential letters, filed this month as evidence in a civil court case, Curry proposed strategies to prevent police from investigating three priests who had admitted to church officials that they abused young boys. Curry suggested to Mahony that they prevent them from seeing therapists who might alert authorities and that they give the priests out-of-state assignments to avoid criminal investigators.

Mahony, who retired in 2011, has apologised repeatedly for errors in handling abuse allegations. In a statement Monday, he apologised once again and recounted meetings he’s had with about 90 victims of abuse. He said:

I have a 3 x 5 card for every victim I met with on the altar of my small chapel. I pray for them every single day. As I thumb through those cards I often pause as I am reminded of each personal story and the anguish that accompanies that life story.

It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God’s grace will flood the heart and soul of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing. I am sorry.

Hat tip: John C (Guardian report) and Marky Mark and BarrieJohn

25 responses to “Dirty priests, dirty money: more evidence of Catholic Church criminality”

  1. barriejohn says:

    It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God’s grace will flood the heart and soul of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing.

    What good is that to anyone? Prayer is on a par with alchemy.

    For the benefit of anyone who may not yet have seen it:

  2. JohnMWhite says:

    Not surprised about the Vatican making bundles of cash selling out the people of Italy and then keeping quiet about it. It’s just what they do.

    I am, however, surprised at what sounds like genuine contrition and compassion from Father Mahony for victims of sexual abuse. He conspired to cause further harm to them by keeping them away from the help they need and preventing their attackers being prosecuted. He did what the church always does and what it is written in its rules priests are to do. I do not understand how somebody capable of caring so little for victims at the time could later develop a conscience. He could well be making it up but usually the response from the clergy is to blame the victims or plain lie about their role, not actually say sorry unless it is from the safe distance of a broad abstraction. This guy says he actually has a card for every victim.

    Can’t help but wonder if his parishioners give the slightest shit about the cards sitting on his altar and what they represent. You’d think if they did, they would not be parishioners.

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    The cards, if they exist, are nothing more than a PR stunt, if he as as sad as he claims about all this he should walk away from the church completely. As a civilian I am sure he could still be a great help to the investigators, he probably knows quite a lot more than has come to light so far.

    He will acheive nothing through prayer for the victims but it probably makes him feel better.

  4. Great Satan says:

    How about cash strapped Italy re-annexing the Vatican to make it part of Italy again and using its coffers to re-imburse the Italian taxpayer ?!

  5. Broga says:

    At least Musso got his come uppance. I think he was strung up by the heels, after hanging, by the Italians. Now we come to a theological question that is fascinating. As such a big buddy of the Pope and having done so much for the RC Church is Musso in heaven or in hell? If in the latter he will have lots of popes for company.

  6. Nik says:

    It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God’s grace will flood the heart and soul of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing.

    I was going to write something pithy here, but I’m just speechless. The logical vacuum which the church maintains is beyond any kind of sense.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Do you know nothing?

    “That is for God to say. We cannot judge another person, as we do not know the state of his soul. It is a matter between him and his Creator.”

    Of course, let him dare state his love for another human being of the same gender and it’s a different story!

  8. Daz says:

    Isn’t it nice to see that the self-proclaimed guardians of our morals are so … umm … morally superior!

  9. Robster says:

    Jees, let’s get a best selling author to trot out a new version of the “God-Father”, pope Ratzilla, the current one, can be at the top of the pops and all the other ones and there’s lots to choose from, that bloke in Philadelphia, the bishop thingies in California, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and most European states can all star too. What a beaut. They won’t need Edith Head to be resurrected to do the costumes as they’re already supplied, the script won’t be problem, these clerical crooks are adept at making things up and playing let’s pretend. It may take more than a mini-series to tell the tale as the criminality continues unabated. They could get that Lord bloke in the British prison to write it, he’d feel right at home.

  10. […] See the original post: Dirty priests, dirty money: more evidence of Catholic Church criminality […]

  11. JohnMWhite says:

    I think Jeffrey Archer was released ten years ago. He has written some plays, though, and it would be interesting to see an honest take on corruption, from one on the inside, so to speak.

  12. Marky Mark says:

    Ok, I have a question about the site. When I go to the CONTACT page, in the “recent comments” box on the right, newer comments are not there only old ones from months ago.

    Does everyone have this problem or is something wrong on my end?

  13. Stephen Mynett says:

    Mark, I have seen that as well, it seems to happen on a couple of pages.

  14. RabbitOnAStick says:

    The cafflick church taking money from a dictator to further it’s nefarious practices. So what’s new.
    It has been stealing money from people like that throughout the centuries. And it will continue so to do. I have little doubt that too it takes mafia money in Italy.

    The paedophile cover ups will continue until these people start to engage with the rest of humanity as humans.

  15. Angela_K says:

    The members of the catholic cult and those associated with it know full well of the corruption and cover-ups done by the pope, his henchmen and acolytes but still the stupid, gullible faithful hand over their cash. Are these people so dim and brainwashed they can’t see what is going on, or do they choose to ignore the nasty bits of their religion because to abandoned their mental crutch requires thinking for themselves?

  16. tony e says:

    Angela K

    ‘or do they choose to ignore the nasty bits of their religion because to abandoned their mental crutch requires thinking for themselves?’

    I could not have put it better, cheers.

  17. Stephen Mynett says:

    A mixture of them all I think Angela. Those that ignore it are truly despicable, quick to blame others but never themselves. Slighty OT but on a similar theme. I remember chatting with German friends not long after ratboy got the top job and the holocaust obviously came up. They all said they felt some guilt for the NS times, even though none of them were not born then. I think this feeling may be less among younger Germans but in my age group (50 plus) and below by ten years or so, that guilt is still there with many.
    It is good that they understand the past, as it make it less likely to happen again but it is sad they feel guilt for something outside of their control. It is a pity catholics are not so honest about the world around them and what their leaders have done.

  18. Broga says:

    @Robster: Great idea. This series would run and run. Ratzi could be in the Marlon Brando role, or an actor playing Ratzi. There would have to be some divergence from the Godfather to cut out the bits where the Godfather was behaving with kindness. They could, of course, keep in all the financial rackets and these would have to be expanded. All the shagging would be included but would have to be much increased in intensity and variety to include women, men, girls and boys.

    I don’t think the PBC (Papal Broadcasting Corporation) would touch it but it is a definite runner for some enterprising film makers which an eye on the big bucks.

  19. RabbitOnAStick says:

    Isn’t it interesting that some of the posters on here who voice the never ending xtian fantasy gospels rubbish, never seem to make a comment on a report like this. (the cafflick money report).

    we all can make a comment on the seriousness of people in positions of authority getting into bed with despots, acting as criminals, being deceitful in the names of their religions. Rwanada springs to mind. But as Angela rightly points out they “[they do] choose to ignore the nasty bits of their religion”. And it is religion doing this – it’s not separate from crime, immorality etc. Because all religion is supposed to be above those things. Is it not?

  20. AgentCormac says:

    An archbishop caught up in paedophilia keeps photos of the victims and ‘thumbs through them’. Does anybody else find that more than a little creepy?

  21. barriejohn says:

    People cannot leave the Roman Catholic Church because they have been indoctrinated with garbage like this:

    Of the all the Christian churches, only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Christ. Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054. The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation, which began with Martin Luther in 1517. (Most of today’s Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots, or offshoots of offshoots.)

    Only the Catholic Church existed in the tenth century, in the fifth century, and in the first century, faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles, omitting nothing. The line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. (Search any encyclopedia under Pope and see this unbroken succession back to St Peter Or click here: This is unequaled by any institution in history. (From: Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth by Catholic Answers)

    Protestantism, Protestants, or any Protestant in concept did not exist in the first millennium. Test this. All distinctively Protestant ideas were invented in the middle ages at the earliest and the last few decades/years at the latest. Please test this as the Holy Bible commands (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). History demonstrates that not one distinctly Protestant belief was embraced by any Christian in the first millennium. And since the Apostles lived in the first millennium, simply logic precludes their knowledge of any distinctly Protestant idea for it didn’t exist yet.

    Unless an idea was taught by the Apostles and subsequently written into the Holy Bible, it is by definition, not Biblical. If the Apostles did not teach it, and it was totally unknown in the first 1000 years of Christianity, it is not biblical. How can it be? On a linear and sequential timeline it’s impossible. There was but One Christian Faith in the first millennium, not 2 and not 20,000, One. And that faith was the Catholic Faith. And since the Apostles lived in the first millennium, this was the Faith of the Apostles for there was no other Christian Faith…

    Where did the modern ideas in your pastor’s Statement of Faith originate? Search the origins of your denomination. Research the author’s and origins of your theology. History will reveal that they all are of recent origin and impossible for the Apostles to have taught 2000 years ago.

    It’s not the site for which I was looking, but it’ll do!

  22. Broga says:

    RAOS: Religious outfits have managed to place a shield of fantasy sanctity on their malodorus and criminal activities which obscures to the faithful and beyond the real nature of these churches. The shield is burnished daily by the priests, politicians, royalty, the media (particularly the BBC). The masses of ordure that sticks to the shield, and the stench it produces metaphorically is ignored.

    The protection is further encouraged by rituals, ornate clothing, symbols and churches and cathedrals. The churches have, as we know, every intention of lying, bribing, threatening, pleading, blackmailing and pleading to maintain their power. Remove the protective devices, see the religions for what they are, and they would be out of business.

  23. Brummie says:

    Well said Broga!

  24. barriejohn says:

    Broga: You seem to have forgotten about Hell and Purgatory. PR and blackmail may well play their part, but when people seriously believe that outside of Mother Church there can be no escape from these places, then it matters not for what evils the church itself can be proved to be responsible!