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Vatican hit by fresh scandals

Vatican hit by fresh scandals

Indonesian Bishop Hubertus Leteng, above, has resigned following allegations by dozens of priests in the Diocese of Ruteng of having a mistress and misusing tens of thousands of dollars of church funds.

According to this report, Pope Francis accepted his resignation this week, though the bishop did not provide a reason for his departure.

The Vatican has been investigating claims that he borrowed $94,000 (almost £71,000) from the Indonesian bishops’ conference, along with reports that he took another $30,000 (£22,500) from his diocese without accounting for either sum of money.

At least 69 of 167 diocesan priests quit their posts in June in the midst of the scandal, though clergy who remained loyal to Leteng urged members to continue supporting him.

Father Robert Pelita, episcopal vicar of Labuan Bajo, was one of the many to accuse the bishop of financial irregularities. He claimed that Leteng admitted at a meeting that he took the diocese’s money.

The priests who resigned accused the bishop of lavishing part of the money on a woman, with whom they suspect he is having an affair. The allegations stem back from 2014, when one departing priest shared such observations.

Leteng has in the past denied the accusations and told priests that he was using the borrowed money to finance the education of youth from a poor family in the United States.

He has not provided further details, however, and reportedly told priests who asked for more information that it was:

None of their business.

The Vatican has been involved in several investigations of controversial priests this past year, including one case from January concerning Father Andrea Contin of the northern city of Padua in Veneto, Italy.

Contin is reportedly facing defrocking after he was accused of organising orgies on the San Lazzaro church premises, some of which he recorded in pornographic home videos. The revelations were made when police seized such material from his possession after three female parishioners came forward with complaints.

He was also accused of pimping out 15 women at naturist and swingers’ resorts in France.

Meanwhile, it’s reported here that a Vatican court has convicted the former President of the Pope’s children’s hospital, Giuseppe Profiti,  above, of diverting some $500,000 (£376,000) in donations to renovate a cardinal’s penthouse. He was given a one-year suspended sentence.

The original charges against Profiti had been embezzlement. But the court convicted him of a lesser offense of abuse of office after the defence argued the money was intended as an investment to benefit the hospital.

The three-judge tribunal absolved Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital’s former treasurer, Massimo Spina. Notably, neither the cardinal who benefited from the renovation nor the contractor who was apparently paid twice for doing the work was charged.

More than anything, the trial exposed how Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s former Secretary of State, bent Vatican rules to get his luxurious retirement apartment ready after Pope Francis was elected in 2013 and named a new Secretary of State.

Cardinal Bertone had VERY expensive tastes

It also revealed the “opacity, silence and poor management” in the handling of Vatican assets, prosecutor Roberto Zanotti said in his closing arguments. A lack of financial transparency and accountability has bedeviled the Holy See for centuries and been a top concern for Francis’ reform-minded papacy.

And it shined further light on the finances of the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) hospital, which was the subject of an Associated Press investigation earlier this year. The AP uncovered a secret 2014 Vatican-authorised probe that found that the hospital’s mission under the Profiti administration had become “more aimed at profit” than patient care.

After retiring in 2013, Bertone was assigned a 400 square meter (4,305 sq. feet), top-floor bachelor pad in the Vatican-owned Palazzo San Carlo. The building sits on the edge of the Vatican gardens, offers fabulous views of St. Peter’s Basilica and overlooks the Vatican hotel where Francis lives.

Hat tip: Stephen Mynett (Profiti report)

11 responses to “Vatican hit by fresh scandals”

  1. RussellW says:

    The Vatican needs a thorough audit, by atheists.

  2. Barry Duke says:

    Speaking of Catholics, I have just been berated by Seff, aka BarrieJohn1 or 2, aka … oh I forget … for not reporting on the Catholics in Poland who gathered to pray away the Muslims earlier this month.

    Those involved – each of whom had far more teeth than brain cells – garnered such international coverage that I decided that stupidity on this scale was best ignored as it would do a disservice to those Poles who who refused to associate themselves with this monumental idiocy.

    In case you missed the story, here it is.

  3. fester60613 says:

    Save the art, save the archives.
    BURN IT DOWN.

  4. 1859 says:

    @Barry D: I saw a picture on the BBC of some pious female Pole prostrate on the beach, holding a rosary and praying with her face half buried in the sand. The thoughts of ostriches were not far from my mind.

  5. Broga says:

    All this will soon be ignored and the sheep will continue to submit to the fleecing. That’s what usually happens after a few prayers with perhaps the Devil carrying the can for some of it.

  6. Welt says:

    Great name for a catholic priest … Profiti

  7. Welt says:

    The whole catholic edifice is nothing more than a global crime syndicate working away in plain view. It’s no surprise that such an organisation is riddled with criminals and deviants helping themselves to whatever they want and as much as they dare before some jealous rival decides they are being too greedy. And then to conceal the crimes and to protect the institution the guilty are punished with a feather bed soft landing in the hope no body will notice.

    Name the crime and the Catholic Church is guilty of it.

    Trash the Concordats and take them down.

  8. Brian Jordan says:

    These boys certainly put Bishop Brennan in the shade! But the money – surely that’s just resting in his account?

  9. Broga says:

    They are not super enthusiastic about “blessed are the poor” or about the problems with the rich getting into heaven. Nor do they seem too hot on being humble in view of all the fancy dress.

    It’s about time that the RCC Top Dog in the UK had a few words to say on the BBC about reconciling this with the usual religious stuff the BBC deposits on its listeners.

  10. Barry Duke says:

    I think this is the pic you referred to, 1859.

  11. Vanity Unfair says:

    The RC instruction book has some things to say about poverty and relations with the poor. Strangely, most of the positive ones seem to be in the OT.

    Mark 14:7 AV
    “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.”

    Proverbs 28:27 AV
    He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

    Job 31:16-22 AV
    16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;…
    19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;…
    22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.

    Psalms 41:1 AV
    (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

    Proverbs 22:7 AV
    The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.