* -- NEW*, and in later entries summarising the facts just an asterisk (*), signify clergy who were not known to the public, and probably/possibly not included in previous overall statistics and enumerations of the numbers of seducing etc. clergy.
≤ means "less than or equal to," and on this website might signify before or during that year or month, or, before or on that date.
≥ means "greater than or equal to," and on this website is given cognate meanings.
< means "less than," and on this website might signify before a date.
> means "greater than," and on this website might signify after a date.
< and >, or ( and ). At times, Internet addresses (URLs) or e-mail addresses in some situations might be marked off with "<" and ">" or with ( and ).
~ is being used on this website to signify approximately, or about that period.
INTENTION: A challenge to RELIGIONS to PROTECT CHILDREN. Click for more explanation.
• Op-Ed: Italy's Man From God- RCC. Fraudsters still operating.
NEW YORK TIMES, www.nytimes. com/2007/12/24/ opinion/ .html?_r=1& oref=slogin , By Roger Cohen, December 24, 2007
NEW YORK (NY) -- Charming Italians who parlay supposed Vatican ties into financial gain are nothing new. When I was a correspondent in Italy in the 1980s, Roberto Calvi played that game. He ended up hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London.
Raffaello Follieri, from San Giovanni Rotondo on the spur of Italy's boot, is alive and kicking in his $40,000-a-month duplex on Fifth Avenue. Age 29, he used empty claims of church ties to befriend Douglas Band, a top aide to Bill Clinton. Band then smoothed the way to Clinton's moneyed entourage, including the California billionaire Ronald Burkle.
That relationship birthed the unhappy union of Burkle's Yucaipa investment operation, of which Clinton is a senior adviser, and the Follieri Group in a venture to acquire Catholic Church property Follieri said he'd get on the cheap. [Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:15 AM
POCONO RECORD [With video and links to related articles], ASSOCIATED PRESS, By Peter Jackson, ~ January 03, 2008
HARRISBURG – A Roman Catholic priest was arrested on perjury charges Wednesday, accused of lying about his relationship with a mobster in testimony to a grand jury investigating a casino owner's possible ties to organized crime.
The Rev. Joseph F. Sica, 52, was arrested outside his home in Scranton on Wednesday morning and taken to Harrisburg, where he was released on $20,000 unsecured bail after a brief court hearing.
Sica is a friend of Louis DeNaples, who owns the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Swiftwater. He has accompanied DeNaples during public appearances, most recently at the grand opening of Mount Airy in October. [Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:05 AM]
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, by Brad Bumsted, ~ January 03, 2008
HARRISBURG – A Catholic priest, wearing a Roman collar and handcuffs, was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of lying to a grand jury about his alleged relationship with a deceased mob boss.
The Rev. Joseph Sica, an adviser to Poconos casino owner Louis DeNaples, was arrested outside his Scranton home and charged with perjury. Dauphin County Judge Todd A. Hoover said Sica wasn't a flight risk and released him on $20,000 bail, secured by his signature.
A grand jury presentment alleges Sica lied about the extent of his relationship with Russell Bufalino, the late organized crime boss in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
THE NEW YORK TIMES, By Serge F. Kovaleski and Colin Moynihan, January 04, 2008
NEW YORK (NY) -- [...] But these two doyennes of Park Avenue did have someone in common during their frail final years: Francis X. Morrissey Jr., a lawyer who has been accused of wrongfully meddling in their estate matters to enrich himself. [...]
The three lawyers have collected sizable fees for serving as executors or trustees and for performing legal work on estate and trust matters, and Mr. Morrissey has been the beneficiary of a number of bequests. Some of those wills have been challenged in court and have resulted in settlements. [...]
The third lawyer is Peter J. Kelley, 67, who was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1967, according to his firm's Web site, and was a chaplain and teacher until 1973. Mr. Kelley, who has a master's degree in social work, graduated from the Rutgers School of Law in 1979 and met Mr. Morrissey about 1983. [...]
Neither Mr. Kelley nor Mr. Forsythe were named in the Astor criminal case. [Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:43 PM]
THE CITIZENS VOICE, By David Falchek, ~ January 04, 2008
WILKES BARRE (PA) -- With lifelong friend and confidant the Rev. Joseph F. Sica facing a felony charge of perjury, the stakes have never been higher for junk man turned billionaire Louis DeNaples. [...]
With DeNaples' success came widespread philanthropy, once very quiet and behind-the-scenes but now more public. In recent years, more edifices bear the DeNaples name at the campuses of two of his favorite beneficiaries, Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton, both Jesuit institutions.
While shunning the limelight, DeNaples assumed prominent posts in the community as chairman and largest shareholder of First National Community Bank in Dunmore and chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Scranton. He also has held seats on the boards of directors of Allied Services, Community Medical Center Healthcare System and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE, By Charlene Scott, January 05, 2008
DODGE CITY (KS) -- Archivist Tim Wenzl has compiled a most unusual book that tells the stories of 317 deceased priests and bishops who served the 28-county area that now is the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City.
The book is “Priests on the Prairie, Southwest Kansas Territory.” Each page is devoted to a different priest who is listed according to the day of the year he died, Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. The pages are in a binder, so the stories of other priests can be added to the book after their deaths.
“There are some amazing men among these priests,” said Wenzl. “The book includes not only diocesan priests, but religious order priests. Many priests from foreign countries have served the diocese: German, Irish and French. In the future, biographies will be added for priests from Burma, Africa, India, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.”
[COMMENT: A religion that cannot produce its clergy from among the local people has a serious problem. A religion that allows thousands of its clergy, no matter where from, to sexually seduce its local people is no religion of Jesus Christ. COMMENT ENDS.]
PATRIOT-NEWS (HARRISBURG. PA), ASSOCIATED PRESS, By Michael Rubinkam, ~ January 04, 2008
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The grand jury that recommended a perjury charge against a Roman Catholic priest linked to casino owner Louis DeNaples is not finished with its work – and prosecutors say the panel may consider charges against other people. [...]
"Sometimes it requires pressure to get people to cooperate, and sometimes that pressure is an indictment," said Edwin H. Stier, a former federal and New Jersey state prosecutor who specialized in corruption and organized crime cases.
"Prosecutors do that all the time," added Temple University law professor Maureen McCartney, a former assistant district attorney in Philadelphia who worked on a grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests.
• Ex-priest's theft case all or nothing as plea talks break down: Accused of embezzling $1 million in donations[≤ 2006 Ascolese] - Money, < US$1m "mislaid".
THE MORNING CALL, By Jay Richards, ~ January 07, 2008
ALLENTOWN (PA) -- Warren County prosecutors said Friday that there will be no plea negotiations in the case of former priest Robert Ascolese, who is accused of embezzling nearly $1 million in church charity funds.
Defense attorneys said they will seek to dismiss indictment charges against Ascolese and alleged accomplices in March.
Ascolese, 46, now living in Perth Amboy, N.J., was indicted in September 2006 on charges of theft, forgery, issuing forged checks, falsifying public records, tampering with public records, theft by deception and conspiracy. He allegedly embezzled nearly almost $1 million in funds from St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Washington, N.J.
RIVER FALLS JOURNAL, By Judy Wiff, ~ January 08, 2008
RIVER FALLS (WI) -- She was five or six the first time she remembers her brother sexually assaulting her. [...]
Investigators at first believed they could prosecute Brostowitz on two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and four counts of incest because Wilson reported the abuse before she turned 45. But because the events occurred before 1989, a new state law does not apply. [...]
Oneida County Sheriff Jeffrey Hoffman wrote letters to Gov. Jim Doyle and state and federal lawmakers, urging them to plug this hole in the law.
“I know that over the years, the statutes involving child sexual assault have been changed to give the victims time to acknowledge their abuse and report it,” wrote Hoffman. “It appears that these changes have left out several generations of victims. [Posted by Terry McKiernan on January 8, 2008 6:52 AM]
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, By Tim Townsend, ~ January 23, 2008
BELLEVILLE -- Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton apologized Tuesday for spending about $18,000 from restricted diocesan and Vatican funds, and said he'd "secured a gift that will replenish" both funds.
But his priests, while hopeful, said Braxton will need to do more than apologize to restore their trust. They said they plan to hold the bishop to a pledge he made Tuesday to work more closely with his finance council "to ensure that such a problem does not occur again."
Last week, the Post-Dispatch reported that Braxton had bought vestments for an ordination of two priests at St. Peter's Cathedral in Belleville, using about $8,000 in donations to a Vatican fund called the Propagation of the Faith. The fund is strictly dedicated to international mission work. [Posted by Terry McKiernan on January 23, 2008 7:36 AM]
KWMU, http://public broadcasting. net/kwmu/news. newsmain? action= article& ARTICLE_ ID=1215269& sectionID=1 ; ASSOCIATED PRESS, ~ January 23, 2008
BELLEVILLE, Ill. - The head of the priest senate in the Belleville Diocese says Bishop Edward Braxton should speak publicly about his alleged misuse of local donations to a Vatican fund for the poor.
Last month, the diocesan finance council sent a letter to the U.S. papal nuncio concerning the use of money from a restricted account.
Father Jerry Wirth heads the Belleville priest senate. He said fundraising for a wide variety of causes could be hurt if parishioners suspect donations are not being used properly. [Posted by Terry McKiernan on January 23, 2008 7:54 AM]
BRAZZIL MAGAZINE, ~ January 26, 2008
LOS ANGELES (CA) -- Brazilian journalist Elvira Lobato and the newspaper for which she works, Folha de S. Paulo, the largest daily in Brazil, are the target of at least 28 lawsuits filed by 28 members of the Brazilian-founded and based Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God).
The authors of the lawsuits say they were insulted by her investigative report, entitled "Universal turns 30 with a business empire", published on December 15, 2007. It's possible that more lawsuits will still be filed of which the journalist and the newspaper have not yet been informed by the justice system.
Lobato's report investigated the assets amassed by the church over the previous 30 years and revealed the way these properties are managed between the bishops.
LA REPUBBLICA, di CURZIO MALTESE, January 26, 2008
LA CHIESA cattolica è l'unica religione a disporre di una dottrina sociale, fondata sulla lotta alla povertà e la demonizzazione del danaro, "sterco del diavolo". Vangelo secondo Matteo: "E' più facile che un cammello passi nella cruna dell'ago, che un ricco entri nel regno dei cieli". Ma è anche l'unica religione ad avere una propria banca per maneggiare affari e investimenti, l'Istituto Opere Religiose.
The Istituto Opere Religiose (IOR) is the Vatican bank. In its coffers 5 billion euros.
Record interest rates for those who hold a current account, impermeability to controls and total secrecy
Scandals, business and mysteries All the secrets of IOR
By CURZIO MALTESE, January 26, 2008
ITALY -- The Catholic Church is the only religion endowed with a social doctrine, [sic] based on the fight to poverty and the attack to the devilish nature of money, dubbed the “sterco del diavolo” (devil’s faeces). The Gospel according to Matthew: “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”. But it’s the only Religion to run its own bank to make business and investments, the Istituto Opere Religiose.
The IOR’s head office is a marble case set within the Vatican walls. A four hundred century [sic] suggestive tower built during the papacy of Niccolo’ V, with nine-meter-thick walls at its base. The entrance is a discreet door, with no writings, initials or symbols.
Only the 24/7 presence of the Swiss guards give a sign of its importance. Inside there is a big computer room, with only a window and a teller machine. Through this “eye of a needle” pass immense and often obscure fortunes. The most prudent estimate is that the total deposits amount to five billion euros. The Vatican bank offers to its current account holders, among whom, as once stated by its President Angelo Aloia, “some people who had problems with justice”, interest rates superior to the best hedge funds and one valueless advantage: total secrecy.
More impermeable to controls than the Cayman Islands, more discrete than the Swiss banks, this Vatican Institution is a real heaven (fiscal) in earth. A check book with the IOR name doesn’t exist. All deposits and money transfers are made only using cash or gold bars. There is no previous paper trace.
For the last twenty years, since the trial for the scandal of the Banco Abrosiano ended, the IOR is a black hole nobody has the courage to look into. To get over that bank crack, which had ruined tens of thousands families, the Vatican bank only gave $406 million to the loss adjusters: less than one quarter of the due $1,159 million according to then Italian Minister of the Treasury, Beniamino Andreatta. That scandal was accompanied by infinite legends and by a trail of very important people’s cadavers. Michele Sindona was poisoned when in jail at Voghera, Roberto Calvi was hanged under the Black Friars’ bridge in London, Prosecutor Emilio Alessandrini was killed by a group of terrorists denominated “Prima Linea” , lawyer Giorgio Ambrosoli was killed at the entrance of his home by a mafia man who had just arrived from USA.
That without keeping into account the most disturbing mystery, the death of Pope Luciani only thirty-three days after he was elected, on the eve of his decision meant to remove Paul Marcinkus and the IOR’s top echelons. About the end of Giovanni Paolo I some macabre gossips were spread about, helped by the Vatican’s reticence.
No autopsy was made to ascertain the alleged and sudden heart attack and the notebook about the IOR the Pope held in his hands before going to bed in his last night was never found. Paul Marcinkus, born in Cicero (Chicago) at a short distance from Al Capone’s headquarters, was the protagonist of one of the most clamorous and unexplainable careers of the Church’s recent history. Tall and athletic, a good baseball and golf player, he was the man who saved Paolo VI from the assassination attempt in the Philippines. But perhaps that wasn’t enough to explain the support of an intellectual like Montini, the author of the most advanced encyclical in the history, the Populorum Progressio, for this American priest with the perennial behavior of a Wall Street adventurer, with his golf sticks in his custom-built cars, the Avana cigar glued to his lips, the stupendous blond secretaries and his P2’s poker friends. (Note: P2 was a secret association accused of having organized a coup d’etat in Italy). With the successor of pope Luciani, Marcinkus found an immediate accord. Karol Wojtyla liked that Eastern European immigrants’ son who spoke Polish very well, hated the communists and seemed so sensitive to the Solidarnosc’s battles. When the magistrates in Milan issued an order for the arrest of Marcinkus, the Vatican closed itself into a stronghold to protect him and refused any collaboration with the Italian justice, waving his foreign passports and its extraterritoriality.
It took Woytjla ten years to decide to remove one of the main responsible of the Banco Ambrosiano crack from the IOR’s Presidency. But he never spent a word of condemnation nor a veiled criticism: Marcinkus was and remains for the Catholic hierarchy “a victim”, or better “a naïve victim”.
Since 1989, with the arrival to the IOR’s Presidency of Angelo Aloia, a gentleman of the “white finance”, friend and collaborator of Gianni Bazoli, many things within the IOR are going to change. Some of them don’t change either. The role of the IOR’s reformer entrusted to the lay Caiola is much vaunted by the Vatican hierarchy in the outside world as much it was impeded inside the Vatican, especially in the first years.
As the same Caloia privately said to his friend and catholic journalist Giancarlo Galli, the author of a fundamental but impossible to find book titled “Finanza Bianca (Mondadori, 2003). “The real IOR’s dominus – wrote Galli – remained monsignor Donato De Bonis, who had a relationship with all the powerful people in Rome, be they politicians or business men. Francesco Cossiga (a former President of the Italian Republic) called him affectionately “Donatino”, Giulio Andreotti (many times Prime Minister in the past) gave him his utmost esteem. And then aristocrats, financiers, artists like Sofia Loren. The monsignore had the power to give the authorization to open a secret current account at the IOR and that explained why among all those privileged ones there were also those who had to respond to justice.
Sometimes monsignor De Bonis personally accompanied the current account holders with their cash and gold to the caveau, through a staircase, to the top of the tower, “nearer to the sky”. The contrast between Caloia and De Bonis, the latter theoretically an underling, were frequent and very harsh. Giancarlo Galli commented: “A golden managerial law says that in case of conflict between a superior and a subordinate, the latter would give up. But being the IOR a very particular institution, when a lay person collides with a tunic bearer, then the latter would prevail”.
Caloia’s financial glasnot [? glasnost] proceeded very quickly, but that didn’t impede that the IOR’s shade was evocated during all the scandals of the last twenty years. From those connected with the politicians to the massacres of the two best and honest Sicilian prosecutors in 1993 and from the recent illegal attempts to buy banks illegally to the recent Soccer League scandal. But as it appeared, that shade disappeared. Nobody knew or wanted to look beyond the impenetrable walls of the Vatican bank.
The autumn of 1993 was the most cruel season for many of the most important political leaders. Soon afterward the real or fake suicides of businessmen like Gabriele Cagliari and Raul Gardini, in the morning of October 4, a telephone call is made to the President of the IOR by chief prosecutor Francesco Saverio Borrelli: “Dear Professor, there are problems regarding IOR, its contacts with Enimonts.....”. The fact is that the biggest share of the “mother of all kickbacks”, precisely 108 billion lire in Treasury Bonds, transited through the IOR. The money had been in the current account of an old client, Luigi Bisignani, a member of P2 and journalist, collaborator of the Ferruzzi group and free lance business man, later sentenced to 3 years and 4 months of jail for the Enimont scandal and recently investigated by prosecutor Luigi De Magistris for another scandal, which was dubbed “Why Not”.
After Borrelli’s telephone call, President Caloia hurried for consultation with monsignor Renato Dardozzi, a fiduciary of Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, "Monsignor Dardozzi – he told Galli - with his “elegant” language said I was in the shit and, to make me understand that, he ordered a camp bed for me so that I could live in the Vatican. I opposed that, answering I would continue to live in the Hassler hotel. However I accepted the advise to consult some law scholars. An answer to Borrelli had in any case to be given !” The answer consisted of a few but final lines: "Any answer could be given only through an international rogatory request”.
The magistrates evaluated the rogatory hypothesis. The IOR doesn’t own any bank in the Italian territory, it doesn’t issue any checks and as “a main institution of the Vatican City” it’s protected by the Concordato (the accord made with dictator Mussolini in 1929): any request must be made through the Italian Foreign Ministry. The probability to get a rogatory in these conditions are zero.
In addition to that the effect of an investigation by the judges in Milan would have a devastating effect in the public opinion. The magistrates gave up and pretended to be satisfied from the official explanation: "The IOR couldn’t know about the destination of the money”.
The second episode, even darker, dates back to the mid-nineties, during the mafia trial to Marcello Dell’Utri. In a video conference from USA, former mafia man Francesco Marino Mannoia revealed that “Licio Gelli had invested Toto Riina’s money, the mafia boss of Corleone, in the Vatican bank”. "The IOR guaranteed the Corleone mafia investments and discretion”. Mannoia’s confessions are first rate. He had been the chief of all the heroin refineries activities of Western Sicily, which was the main source of profit for the mafia gangs. He couldn’t but know where that money went. In addition to that he advanced an hypothesis. “When the Pope (John Paul II) came to Sicily and excommunicated the mafia men, the bosses were very angry at him because they brought their money to the Vatican. That’s the reason why two bombs were made to explode in front of two churches in Rome”.
Mannoia wasn’t one of secondary importance. According to Giovanni Falcone, the prosecutor subsequently slain by the mafia in Sicily, he was “the most trustworthy of the collaborators of justice”, even more precious than former mafia boss Buscetta. Any of his statements found objective proofs. Only in one instance there were no proceedings to ascertain the facts, which is the one about the IOR.
The magistrates of the Dell’Utri’s case didn’t investigate the IOR because it wasn’t strictly related to the accused or former Prime Minister Berlusconi and sent their papers to their colleagues, who were investigating former Prime Minister Andreotti. Prosecutor Scarpinato and the other investigators knew about the experience made by Borrelli and they didn’t sign the request for the international rogatory. Someone in the Palace of Justice in Palermo observed: "Didn’t we already make enough enemies to go now even against the Vatican?”.
On the the IOR dealings a curtain fell for about ten years, until the failed takeover of an important bank by the so called “furbetti del quartierino” ( an expression used to describe the authors of that attempt: “the sly upstarts of an humble neighbourhood”). On July 10 last year the chief of the “furbetti”, Giampiero Fiorani, confessed to the investigators when he was in jail: “At the Swiss Bsi there are three current accounts of the Holy See, which amount, I am not exaggerating, to two three billion Euros”. Fiorani reported to the Milan prosecutor, Francesco Greco, the list of his “black” money deposited in the Vatican coffers: “The first “black” money I deposited was given to cardinal Castillo Lara (the President of Apsa, the administration of real estate belonging to the church) when I bought the Cassa Lombarda. He asked me thirty billion lires, possibly coming from a foreign current account.
Other deposits followed, many of them, to judge from the lamentation of the same Fiorani when he met cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the powerful prefect of the congregation of the Italian Bishops and right hand of Cardinal Ruini: "I’m one who always gave you money, always in cash, and everything was OK, but when I fell into disgrace you don’t even make a phone call to my wife to know if I’m well or not”.
The Vatican soon abandoned Fiorani, but on the other hand defended Antonio Fazio (the former Governor of the Bank of Italy) until he was forced to resign, when he was abandoned by everyone. The two Vatican newspapers Avvenire and Osservatore Romano repeated until the last day the theory of a “political plot” against the Governor. On the other hand, the career of that strange banker who at the meetings of the European Central Bank’s Governors never cited Keynes but for at least one hundred times only the Papal encyclicals, can be partly explained by the Vatican support.
He was under the protection of cardinal Camillo Ruini and cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, an intimate friend of Fazio, who had celebrated the Mass for the 25th anniversary of the Governor’s wedding with Cristina Maria Rosati.
Obviously the reports by Fiorani weren’t used to discover the secrets of the IOR and the Apsa and their singular relationship with the Swiss banks and the fiscal paradises all over the world. It’s difficult to explain for example that “pastoral exigencies” dictated the necessity to separate the Cayman Islands from the natural Jamaican diocese of Kingston, putting them “missio sui iuris” under the direct power of the Holy See and under the supervision of Cardinal Adam Joseph Maida, a member of the IOR college.
The fourth and last involvement of IOR in the Italian scandals is almost comic in comparison to the previous ones and is relative to Calciopoli (as it was dubbed the recent match fixing scandal regarding many Italian soccer teams). According to the investigators in Rome, Mr. Palamara and Mr. Palaia, the black funds of Gea, the society of mediation run by Mr. Moggi, one of the principal authors of the scandal, were deposited in the Vatican bank, through the good offices of another trusted Vatican banker with a not very clean past record, Mr. Cesare Geronzi, father of the main stockholder in Gea. It’s alleged that in the IOR’s caveau there is deposited the personal “little treasure” belonging to Luciano Moggi, esteemed to be in the order of 150 million Euros. As usual, rogatories and controls are impossible. But it’s sure Mr. Moggi enjoys a great consideration in the Vatican. The catholic press always defended him and he was always well received in the Cardinal Ruini’s court during the pilgrimages to Lourdes. He now even runs a column of “sports and ethics” in the daily on-line newspaper close to Pope Benedict XVI, where the former manager of the Juventus soccer team, arraigned for corruption, is now throwing the first stones against other people’s corruption.
With the image of Luciano Moggi, master of catholic moral, we close the last episode of our investigation about the money of the church. The IOR’s secrets will remain perhaps for ever buried in the case-tower.
The age of Marcinkus is now in the archives but the opacity encircling the bank of the Holy See is very far from dissolving in transparent waters.
We only know that the coffers and the caveau of the IOR have never been so full and that deposits continue to flow, encouraged from 12% yearly interest rates or even higher. To give precise numbers is, as it was said, impossible. The few ascertained ones are the following. With a per capita income above $407,000 the Vatican city is by large the “richest State in the world”, can be read in the recent Marina Marinetti’s inquest published on Panorama Economy. According to some Fed’s estimate in 2002, the outcome of the only inquest by an International authority on the Vatican’s finance and limited only to the USA territory, the catholic church owned in USA $298 million in bonds, $195 million in stocks, $102 million in long term securities, in addition to $273 million in joint ventures with USA partners.
No Italian authority has ever started an investigation to ascertain the economic weight of the Vatican in its host country. An enormous power, direct and indirect. In the last decades the catholic world conquered the traditional stronghold of the lay and liberalist Italian minorities, the financial world. Since the death of financier Enrico Cuccia, the worst enemy of Sindona, Calvi and the IOR, the “white finance” conquered more and more space. The definition is surely generic and it includes people with different background. But all of them maintain a close relationship with the Vatican hierarchies, with the catholic associations and with the prelature of the Opus Dei. In an Italy where politics counts less than finance, the catholic church wields more power in the bank business than in the period in which the country was mainly run by the Christian Democratic party.
(With the collaboration of Carlo Pontesilli and Maurizio Turco) [Posted by Kathy Shaw on January 27, 2008 4:21 PM]
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