Holy See, Holy Do

21 Sep

On top of all the Church’s other woes, it’s now been revealed that the Institute for Religious Works – IOR – commonly known as the Vatican Bank is under investigation over money-laundering:

The head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry, police sources say.

Prosecutors also seized 23m euros ($30m; £19m) from the bank’s accounts with another smaller institution.

The inquiry was launched after two suspicious transactions were reported to tax police in Rome.

The Vatican said it was “perplexed and astonished”, and expressed full confidence in Mr Tedeschi.

Immediately the Vatican went into full self-defence mode:

The Holy See is perplexed and astonished by the initiatives of the Rome prosecutors, considering the data necessary is already available at the Bank of Italy

[. . . . . .]

The Holy See wants to express the maximum confidence in the president and in the chief executive of the IOR

The first part translates to the familiar kneejerk reaction we’ve come to know… attack the attacker. Note the use of language: “We’re perplexed and astonished that we’re being investigated”, which eerily echoes Il Papa Ratzinger in the US last year when he ‘apologised’, not for the instances of child-rape by members of his staff, but for the hurt and distress caused to the church.

It is of course true to say that all of the scandals now emerging can and do happen in many other walks of life. One only has to look at the recent UK MP’s expenses scandal. However, the Catholic Church sells itself on the lie of being literally holier than thou, whiter than white. The Pontiff is held to be infallible – not only incapable of error, but anything he says or does is automatically true simply because he says or does it.

I suggest a refresher course in that magic book that they insist we need to follow. Particularly recommended are the parts about ‘rendering under Caesar’, “doing unto others”, “bearing false witness”, “casting out the beam from your own eye”, and one of my favourites, that old chestnut about camels and eyes of needles.

Even that won’t save them, however. The Vatican, that morally-bankrupt city of corruption and rabid self-interest, has long since forfeited the right to dictate to others what to say, what to think and above all how to live.


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