09 November 2015

There Are Historical Precidents

This hearkens back to the Borgia Papacy.

We now have allegations that Vatican official took bribes to move "facilitate" cannonization:
There is nothing like a good old Vatican scandal to bring Rome to its knees.

Never mind that the city government is already in complete shambles on the eve of the Vatican’s Holy Jubilee, which could double the many millions of visitors to the Eternal City over the next year. No, instead of finalizing preparations for what should be a feather in the pope’s mitre, the Vatican is bracing itself for the release on Thursday of two books that seek to expose the sinister side of everything from saint-making to the very sanctity of the Holy See.


The most damning of the two is Merchants in the Temple—to be released as Via Crucis in Italian on Thursday and in English a week later—by Gianluigi Nuzzi, the journalist who was the recipient of the butler’s stolen files, which Nuzzi published in his best-selling 2012 book, His Holiness. In his new book, he focuses on Francis and finance, all the while weaving an intricate story between the popular pontiff’s promises and what Nuzzi tries to prove are his failings. Along the way, he also reveals through stolen documents, hidden taped conversations, and meeting minutes just who he believes Francis really is.

“The Pope, so sweet and affable in public appearances, but steadfast and firm before his closest collaborators,” Nuzzi writes. “Francis of the big smiles and kind words shows himself to be absolute in his goals and intolerant of the Curia’s ‘human ambition to power.’”


But among the biggest scams the Vatican elite apparently make money from is the high price of sinister saint-making, which runs those trying to push their saintly cause even to be considered around €50,000 to cover the costs of the expert theologians, physicians, and bishops who examine the cause. The process of saint-making also involves postulators, or those in charge of pushing the causes forward.

When the special commission in charge of cleaning up the Vatican’s finances found out that there were essentially no records at all of where donations for the causes of saints went, they froze the accounts of almost everyone involved in the holy work of choosing saints, including a postulator, who had more than €1 million spread out among three Vatican bank accounts. No wrongdoing was determined, and the postulator was left to enjoy his tax-free haven, but apparently no accounting has yet been produced.


Any profits from donations meant to lift up would-be saints are supposed to go to the Fund for the Causes of the Poor, but that fund remained stagnant despite several banner years in saint-making revenue, writes Nuzzi, who recalls that Pope John Paul II alone beatified 1,338 blesseds in 147 rites and 482 saints in 51 celebrations. “This raised the Commission’s suspicions,” he writes. “No documents. No justification and bookkeeping for an activity involving tens of millions of euros. Yet these are huge sums of money for which Vatican regulations demand proper bookkeeping.”
It's clear that the current Pontiff is trying to unravel this ball of yarn, but he is fighting 1000 years of how business has been done, though my guess is that the whole sainthood thing is largely an artifact of John Paul II, who made more saints during his reign than every other Pope combined.

I think that it is going to be very difficult for Francis to deal with this. 

The Vatican is bigger than any pope.


Post a Comment