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Encyclopedia > Vatican Bank

The Vatican Bank is a common name given to the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) or Institute for Religious Works, the central bank for the Roman Catholic Church located in Vatican City. It is run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope (or the Cardinal Camerlengo during an interregnum). The current President is Angelo Caloia. The Vatican Bank was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the 1982 $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was its major share-holder. The head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989, Paul Marcinkus, was indicted in 1982 in Italy as an accessory of the bankruptcy. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Catholicism. ... A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official in the Roman Catholic Church, ranking just below the Pope and appointed by him as a member of the College of Cardinals during a consistory. ... The Pope (from Greek: pappas, father; from Latin: papa, Papa, father) is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. ... The title Camerlengo (Italian for Chamberlain) refers to an official of the Papal court, referring either to the Chamberlain of the Roman Catholic Church, to the Chamberlain of the Sacred College of Cardinals, or to various lesser dignitaries. ... An interregnum is a period between monarchs, between popes of the Roman Catholic Church, emperors of Holy Roman Empire, polish kings (elective monarchy) or between consuls of the Roman Republic. ... Banco Ambrosiano (which was closely related to the Vatican Bank) was an Italian bank which collapsed spectacularly in 1982. ... Paul Casimir Marcinkus was born on January 15, 1922, in Cicero, Illinois. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...

Contents


History

The Vatican Bank is a branch of the Roman Curia, the administrative structure of the Roman Catholic Church. It developed into a formal organization in the 19th century out of the informal system of Church finance known as Peter's Pence. The Roman Curia (sometimes, if inaccurately, called the Vatican) is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See, coordinating and providing the necessary organisation for the correct functioning of the Catholic Church and the achievement of its goals. ... Peters Pence is the practice of lay members of the Roman Catholic Church providing material support to the clergy and other preachers of the Gospel. ...


The Vatican Bank went through three periods of major change: post-1870 with the dissolution of the Papal States; in 1929 with the Lateran treaties establishing an independent Vatican City; and following the upheavals of World War II. 1870 (MDCCCLXX) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The Papal States (Gli Stati della Chiesa or Stati Pontificii, States of the Church) was one of the major historical states of Italy before the boot-shaped peninsula was unified under the Piedmontese crown of Savoy (later a republic). ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Lateran Treaties of February 11, 1929 provided for the mutual recognition of the then-Kingdom of Italy and the Vatican City. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...


When the Lateran Treaty was written, one of its clauses redefined the canon sin of usury, to not mean gains from money lending, but rather simply profiting "exorbitantly". This enabled the Vatican Bank to become a true bank, with all the profitability that implies. Mussolini further gave the new Vatican Bank approximately $80 million to begin with. Usury (pronounced //, from the Latin usuria, demanding in return for a loan a greater amount than was borrowed) was defined originally as charging a fee for the use of money. ...


The Vatican Bank was a successful and profitable bank. By the 1990s, the Bank had invested somewhere over US$10 billion in foreign companies. Part of what made the Bank so profitable was that it offered certain illegal services; for 5%, the Bank would launder industrialists' money, or money of those well-connected with the Catholic Church. The money laundering scandal leaked out in 1968 due to a change in Italian financial regulations, which would have mandated more transparency. To prevent the scandal that would occur when the public learned that the Vatican Bank (which was supposed to funnel all profits directly and immediately to charity) had in fact retained most of its profits and expanded its operations, Pope Paul VI enlisted Michele Sindona as papal finance advisor to sell off assets and move money overseas to hide the full extent of Vatican wealth. It was Sindona who was chiefly responsible for the massive influx of money when he began laundering the Gambino crime family's heroin monies (taking a 50% cut) through a shell corporation "Mabusi". This laundering was accomplished with the help of another dirty banker, Roberto Calvi, who managed the Banco Ambrosiano. Interestingly, both Calvi and Sindona were members of the P2 Lodge. Pope Paul VI (Latin: ), born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (September 26, 1897 – August 6, 1978), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and as sovereign of Vatican City from 1963 to 1978. ... Michele Sindona (died 1986) was an Italian banker and convicted felon. ... The Gambino crime family is one of the Five Families that controls organized crime activities based in New York City, USA, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia (or Cosa Nostra). ... Heroin or diacetylmorphine (INN) is a semi-synthetic opioid. ... A shell corporation is defined in Barrons Finance & Investment Handbook as a company that is incorporated but has no significant assets or operations. ... Roberto Calvi (Milan, April 13, 1920 - London, June 17, 1982) (aka Gian Roberto Calvini) was an Italian banker known to the press as Gods Banker, because of his close association with the Vatican. ... P2 is the common name for the Italian Freemasonic lodge Propaganda Due (Italian: Propaganda Two). ...


When Pope John Paul I became Pope, he learned of the Bank's doing, and instructed Cardinal Jean Villot (papal secretary of state and head of the papal Curia) to investigate the matter thoroughly. Curiously, a month later, after informing Villot that he was going public with the scandal (and firing Villot among others), John Paul I died. John Paul II ignored the matter, and allowed Sindona free play for a number of years after. Pope John Paul I (in Latin ), born Albino Luciani (October 17, 1912 – September 28, 1978), reigned as pope and as sovereign of Vatican City from August 26, 1978 to September 28, 1978. ... Jean-Marie Cardinal Villot (11 October 1905 – 9 March 1979) was a French Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop of Lyon, and a prominent member of the Roman Curia in Vatican City. ...


Banco Ambrosiano scandal

Main article: Banco Ambrosiano

The Vatican Bank was Banco Ambrosiano's main share-holder. Paul Marcinkus, head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989, was indicted in Italy in 1982 as an accessory in the $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, one of the major post-war financial scandals. Banco Ambrosiano was accused of money laundering activities for the mafia and Propaganda Due (aka "P2"), an outlawed masonic lodge, led by neofascist Licio Gelli. P2 and its headmaster Licio Gelli worked with Gladio, the secret NATO anticommunist paramilitary organizations. Marcinkus never came to trial in Italy, where courts ruled that as a Vatican employee he was immune from prosecution. He lived in retirement in Sun City, Arizona (US) until his death on February 21, 2006. Banco Ambrosiano (which was closely related to the Vatican Bank) was an Italian bank which collapsed spectacularly in 1982. ... Banco Ambrosiano (which was closely related to the Vatican Bank) was an Italian bank which collapsed spectacularly in 1982. ... Paul Casimir Marcinkus was born on January 15, 1922, in Cicero, Illinois. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1971 calendar). ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions in order to conceal the identity, source and destination of the money in question. ... P2 is the common name for the Italian Freemasonic lodge Propaganda Due (Italian: Propaganda Two). ... Licio Gelli (born in Pistoia, April 21, 1919), masonic Grand Master of the powerful Italian lodge P2, and continued in this role after the expulsion of P2 from organised freemasonry in 1976. ... This article or section needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... Sun City is a census-designated place and unincorporated town located in Maricopa County, Arizona. ...


The Vatican Bank refused to admit legal responsibility for the Ambrosiano's downfall but did acknowledge "moral involvement", and paid $241m (£169m) to creditors. As of 2006, investigations are continuing concerning the murder of Ambrosiano's chairman, Roberto Calvi, which, according to Ernest Backes, former #3 of Clearstream, may have been linked to the death of Gérard Soisson, who used to work for Clearstream, a "bank of banks" which practices financial clearing. Roberto Calvi (Milan, April 13, 1920 - London, June 17, 1982) (aka Gian Roberto Calvini) was an Italian banker known to the press as Gods Banker, because of his close association with the Vatican. ... Ernest Backes (1946, Trier, Germany) was #3 of compensation chamber Clearstream (formerly Cedel), in charge of relations with clients, and was fired in May 1983. ... Clearstream Banking S.A. (CB) is the clearing division of Deutsche Börse, based in Luxembourg. ... In banking and finance, clearing denotes all activities from the time a transaction is made until it is finally settled (see settlement). ...


Allegations

Several books that appeared during the 1990s were highly critical of the Vatican Bank's historical relations with right-wing governments and especially in the collaborationist regime of the Independent State of Croatia. They engendered initial defensive hostility and controversy. The controversy centers on conclusions drawn from the documentation rather than the documents themselves. The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive. ... The Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH) is a was a Nazi puppet state founded during World War II when in April 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded by the forces of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, geographically encompassing most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia...


According to a 1998 report issued by the US State Department, the Nazi Croatian treasury was illicitly transferred to the Vatican Bank and other banks after the end of World War II. For its part, the Vatican has repeatedly denied any Franciscan participation in Ustashi crimes or the disappearance of the Croatian Treasury, yet has refused to open its wartime records to substantiate its denial. 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... The Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH) is a was a Nazi puppet state founded during World War II when in April 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was invaded by the forces of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, geographically encompassing most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia... The term treasury was first used in classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi or the many buildings put up in Olympia, Greece by competing city-states, to impress each other during the Ancient Olympic Games. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... The Order of Friars Minor and other Franciscan movements are disciples of Saint Francis of Assisi. ... The Ustaše (often spelled Ustashe in English; singular Ustaša or Ustasha) was a Croatian organization put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis Powers in 1941, in which they pursued Nazi policies. ...


The declassification in 1997 of a 1946 memo from US Treasury agent Emerson Bigelow, quoting a "reliable source in Italy", who alerted his superior that Croatian officials had sent 350 million confiscated Swiss francs (CHF) to the Vatican Bank "for safekeeping". On the way some CHF150 million were apparently seized by British authorities at the border between Austria and Switzerland, which brought the secret transfer into the open. "There is no basis in reality to the report," said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, as reported in Time magazine [1]. 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... The United States Department of the Treasury is a Cabinet department, a treasury, of the United States government established by an Act of U.S. Congress in 1789 to manage the revenue of the United States government. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... A pocket watch. ...


It widely suggested that the Vatican bank has investments in business that could be regarded as contrary to church teaching including armaments trading and contraceptive manufacturing however such allegations do not appear to have been substantiated.


Vatican Bank has been often accused of funding the Solidarity Polish trade-union as well as the Contras, managing US covert funds [2]. Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność; full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarity — Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność) is a Polish trade union federation founded in September 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyards, and originally led by Lech Wałęsa. ... The Contras (from the Spanish term La Contra, short for movement of the contrarrevolucionarios, meaning counter-revolutionaries) were the armed opponents of Nicaraguas Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the ending of the Somoza familys 43-year rule. ...


Legal action

Main article: Class action suit against the Vatican Bank and others

Vatican Bank was accused of financing the ratlines and ODESSA. A class action suit, Emil Alperin et al. v. Vatican Bank et al., was filed in the United States district court in San Francisco on November 15, 1999. The plaintiffs are concentration camp survivors of Serb, Jewish, and Ukrainian background and their relatives as well as organizations representing over 300,000 Holocaust victims. John Loftus, co-author of Unholy Trinity, serves as an expert witness in this case. The class action suit against the Vatican Bank and others was raised by attorneys Tom Easton and Jonathan H. Levy in San Francisco, California on November 15, 1999. ... Ratlines were systems of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II from the pursuit of Nazi collaborators. ... Odessa (Ukrainian: Одеса, Odesa; Russian: ) is a city in southwestern Ukraine, a major port on the Black Sea, and the administrative centre of the countrys Odessa Oblast. ... The class action suit against the Vatican Bank and others was raised by attorneys Tom Easton and Jonathan H. Levy in San Francisco, California on November 15, 1999. ... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...    Serbia Official language Serbian1 Capital Belgrade Area – Total – % water 88. ... Jews (Hebrew: יהודים, Yehudim) are followers of Judaism or, more generally, members of the Jewish people (also known as the Jewish nation, or the Children of Israel), an ethno-religious group descended from the ancient Israelites and converts who joined their religion. ... Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust The Holocaust was Nazi Germanys systematic genocide (ethnic cleansing) of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups during World War II. Early elements include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program established by Hitler that killed some 200,000 people. ... John Joseph Loftus (born February 12, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American author, former US government prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer. ... The Impossible Trinity is the hypothesis in international economics that it is not possible to have A fixed exchange rate Free capital movement An independent monetary policy. ... An expert witness is a witness, who by virtue of education, or profession, or experience, is believed to have special knowledge of his subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon his opinion. ...


Another suit, Levy v. CIA, filed under the US Freedom of Information Act seeking release of US intelligence agency files regarding the alleged Vatican spymaster, Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic. New records on Draganovic were released as a result of that lawsuit in 2001. Nearly sixty countries around the world have implemented some form of freedom of information legislation, which sets rules on governmental secrecy. ... An intelligence agency is a governmental organization devoted to gathering of information by means of espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public sources. ... Krunoslav Draganovic (?–1983) was a Croatian Catholic priest. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...


The lawsuit was still pending in Federal Court as of 2006.


Role in popular culture

The 1990 film The Godfather, Part III featured machinations in the Vatican Bank as a central element in one of its more conspiracy-oriented plotlines. The Godfather, Part III is a 1990 film, the third in the Godfather trilogy. ...


References

  • John F. Pollard - Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: Financing the Vatican, 1850-1950 ISBN 0521812046
  • Mark Aarons and John Loftus: "Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets". New York: St.Martin's Press, 1992. 372 pages. ISBN 0312071116
  • Charles Raw - The Moneychangers: How the Vatican Bank Enabled Roberto Calvi to Steal 250 Million Dollars for the Heads of the P2 Masonic Lodge (Harvill Press, 1992) ISBN 0002173387
  • Giancarlo Galli - Finanza bianca. La Chiesa, i soldi, il potere (Mondadori, 2004) ISBN 8804512628
  • David A. Yallop - In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I"
  • Mark Lombardi: Global Networks. Mark Lombardi, Robert Carleton Hobbs, Judith Richards; Independent Curators, 2003 (published for the travelling exhibition of his work, "Mark Lombardi Global Networks"). ISBN 0-916-36567-0
  • Jonathan Levy, "The Vatican Bank, Chapter in Everything You Know is Wrong," (Disinformation Press, 2002, ISBN 1567317014
  1.  "Gelli arrest is another chapter in sordid Vatican bank scandal", American Atheists, September 16, 1998.

Mark Aarons is a journalist and author from Australia. ... John Joseph Loftus (born February 12, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American author, former US government prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer. ... Mark Lombardi (born 1951 in Syracuse, New York; † March 22, 2000 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City) was an American abstract painter. ...

External links

  • The Vatican City Homepage

(The following external links are all critical of the Vatican Bank.)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Vatican Bank Information (1275 words)
The Vatican Bank was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the 1982 $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was its major share-holder.
The Vatican Bank is a branch of the Roman Curia, the administrative structure of the Roman Catholic Church.
Paul Marcinkus, head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989, was indicted in Italy in 1982 as an accessory in the $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, one of the major post-war financial scandals.
Vatican Bank - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1387 words)
The Vatican Bank was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the 1982 $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was a major share-holder.
The Vatican Bank is a branch of the Roman Curia, the administrative structure of the Roman Catholic Church.
Vatican Bank was accused of financing the ratlines and ODESSA.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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