Category Archives: Religion & Spirituality

900th anniversary exhibition on the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Exhibition_Order_of_St_John

gozonews.com | Jun 6, 2013

The Minister for Education, Evarist Bartolo, will on Friday morning, be officially inaugurating the exhibition ‘TUITIO FIDEI ET OBSEQUIUM PAUPERUM – the Sovereign Military Order of Malta 1113-2013,’ that has been mounted by the National Library of Malta, under the auspices of Malta Libraries, to commemorate the 900th anniversary from the foundation of the Order of St John.

The exhibition, which will be opened at 10.00am, will showcase a number of manuscripts taken from the Order’s Archives, some of which date back to just under a thousand years. The exhibition will shed light on the three phases of the Order – the epoch prior to the Knights’ arrival on the Maltese Islands, their time here, and the period after their departure, coming up to the present day. Some items of clothing directly relating to the Order will also form part of the exhibition.

To commemorate this anniversary, the National Library of Malta will also be launching two new publications.

The first of these will be a booklet relating to the Archives of the Order, in both Maltese and English, which will provide information on the Archives from its origin to the present day. It should be noted that the greater part of this Archive is in fact preserved at the National Library.

The other publication, also in Maltese and English, will offer photographs and informational snippets about each of the 28 Grand Masters who ruled Malta between 1530 and 1798. This publication should prove useful to students of Maltese history, providing an introductory guide to these historical figures which will surely serve to whet the appetite for more detailed knowledge about the lives and achievements of our islands’ rulers.

These publications will also be available from the National Library.

The exhibition will be open to the public, free of charge, from Monday to Friday during the National Library’s opening hours, until the 2nd of August.

Popes and demons: Mysterious Vatican bank poses problem for new pontiff

The massive round tower, left, is the headquarters of the Institute for Works of Religion, the Vatican’s secretive bank.

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images FilesThe massive round tower, left, is the headquarters of the Institute for Works of Religion, the Vatican’s secretive bank.
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National Post | Mar 8, 2013by Adrian Humphreys
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As the world waits for the Vatican’s conclave to select a new pope to lead 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, and the church’s sex abuse scandals dominate discourse on the incoming pontiff’s priorities, another decidedly worldly issue is also poised to take an immediate toll on the new Holy Father: money.

The public and private woes of the Vatican bank, long shrouded in secrets and whispers, might well prove to be just as challenging, if not as draining, as the lurid, faith-shaking damage of the clergy abuse scandal.

With a two-year probe by Italian authorities into money laundering, poor transparency, inadequate adherence to standards for guarding against criminal and terrorist financing, and questions over sudden changes in its leadership, the bank represents another crisis of morals, legalities and perception.

The importance of the Vatican bank in Pope Benedict XVI’s grand vision can be assumed from the urgency it held with the outgoing pontiff: among the last official acts before his shock retirement was overhauling financial leadership and church oversight.

On Feb. 15, Benedict XVI approved the appointment of Ernst von Freyberg as the new president of the supervisory board of the Institute for Works of Religion, the church agency widely known as the Vatican bank.

The appointment of the German lawyer and businessman came after assessing “a number of candidates of professional and moral excellence,” the Vatican said in a statement.

“The Holy Father has closely followed the entire selection process … and he has expressed his full consent to the choice made by the Commission of Cardinals.”

While the appointment drew immediate criticism over the involvement of Mr. von Freyberg’s Blohm+Voss, an industrial group, in manufacturing German warships, including during the Nazi era, it also raised eyebrows for its timing. Putting money under the baton of a German is not out of step with European policy these days, but for an institution already rife with conspiracy theories the sudden shuffle could not go unnoticed.

“[Benedict’s] decision to retire was so unprecedented, you would think that he would have other things on his mind than replacing the head of the Vatican bank,” said Carlo Calvi, son of Roberto Calvi, who was known as “God’s Banker” because of his close ties to the Vatican before his outlandish death more than 30 years ago.

Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg Files

Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg FilesThe city of Rome, in Italy, is seen beyond St. Peter’s Square from the roof of the Basilica in Vatican City.
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Ernst von Freyberg. The Canadian Press Files.

Ernst von Freyberg. The Canadian Press Files.

“However, I am more surprised by the sackings — the people who were let go — rather than the appointments,” he said.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was chairman of the Vatican bank until he was pushed out in May with a withering assessment of not being up for the job. He had been trying to get the Vatican onto the international banking “white list” of virtuous countries.

Then, on Feb. 22, Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, a key church official pushing for better regulation and controls on the Vatican bank, was suddenly transferred from Rome to Colombia.

That transfer followed the moving of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was credited with turning a deficit for the Vatican into a large surplus through greater accountability and controls, from the Vatican to the United States.

One of the leaked documents in the “Vatileaks” scandal was a letter from Archbishop Vigano to Pope Benedict begging he remain in Rome to continue his financial crusade. The Pope was unmoved.

The transfers suggest change is not always welcome.

“Change under the new pope will be easier said than done because they make money on this, it is a source of income that has been used for a lot of purposes,” said Mr. Calvi. To address the problems, “They need, essentially, to do a very drastic reform that would almost certainly mean foregoing a considerable source of revenue.”

The Vatican bank has not always shown such virtuous strength, as Mr. Calvi knows better than most. Few outside the Vatican’s inner circle eye church finance as closely as Mr. Calvi, who now lives in Montreal.

Watching the Vatican bank has consumed Mr. Calvi’s adult life and the Calvi name almost consumed the Vatican bank.

His father was chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, an Italian Catholic bank closely linked to the Vatican.

Graham Hughes for National Post

Few outside the Vatican’s inner circle eye church finance as closely as Carlo Calvi, who now lives in Montreal. Graham Hughes for National Post
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The shadowy operations of Vatican finance forced its way into the public’s consciousness when Roberto Calvi was found dead, just as the scandalous operation of church finance was being revealed amid the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, Italy’s largest private bank, with $1-billion missing.

Since then, his unsolved death, first declared a suicide, then reclassified as a murder, and the cast of powerful figures and secretive organizations linked to it — from the Mafia and the Masonic lodge P2 to the powerful conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei and the Vatican itself — make it one of modern history’s enduring mysteries, Europe’s equal to the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance.

The case was also said to be linked to landmark Cold War politics, with claims Banco Ambrosiano was used by those close to John Paul II, the Polish pope, to fund the anti-Communist Solidarity movement in Poland and by those close to U.S. president Ronald Reagan to fund the Contra rebels of Central America.

The raw puzzle and quirks of Mr. Calvi’s death compel conspiracy theories and befuddlement, with small details that seem to mean much, but with no answer to exactly what.

The banker’s body was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge, his feet dangling in the River Thames in the heart of London, on June 18, 1982; he wore two pairs of underwear, had five bricks in his pockets, about $14,00-worth of three different currencies and the business card of a Mafia figure.

It was a death shouting in the symbolic language of Italy’s underworld.

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg Files

Blackfriars Bridge in London, U.K. Simon Dawson/Bloomberg Files
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“I am more of the idea that there are theatrical elements and not necessarily symbolic aspects to it,” said his son. “Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars were involved — if that is not a motive for murder, I don’t know what is.”

After all, any Catholic cleric would know: Radix malorum est cupiditas, the Latin Biblical quotation meaning greed is the root of evil.

The very notion of a church bank speaks to the awkward interface between the spiritual and temporal, represented by the pope being both leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City state.

Unlike many Vatican institutions, the Vatican bank is not of antique origin, having been formed in 1942 by Pius XII, although it had older antecedents. Its purpose is to protect and administer the property and funds intended for the church’s works.

Unlike true national central banks, it does not set monetary policy or involve itself in currency maintenance, as the Vatican uses the euro. Also unlike most banks, its surplus or profit is supposed to go toward religion or charity.

As it is not a true central bank, and with the Vatican not a full member of the European Union, its relationship with strict regulation has been more nebulous and its ends of religion or charity have, likewise, not always been clear.

“One would be surprised at the acceptance of risky relationships and risky behaviour for an organization like the Vatican. But, objectively, I’ve seen it. It is hard to understand, but it is true,” said Mr. Calvi.

Courtesy Carlo Calvi

“God’s Banker” Roberto Calvi, whose body was found hanging from a London bridge in 1982, meets Paul VI in an undated photo. Courtesy Carlo Calvi
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“In many cases, they seem to have little judgment in terms of the arrangements they get themselves into.”

In the fallout of the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, though it claimed no wrongdoing, the Vatican bank paid $250-million to Ambrosiano’s creditors.

Since then, its regulatory framework has still not caught up to modern standards, especially in the post-9/11 world.

Tiziana Fabi/AFP/GettyImages Files

The former head of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was forced to resign from his post on May 24, 2012 “for failing to carry out duties of primary importance,” the Holy See said in a statement. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/GettyImages Files
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In 2010, Rome magistrates froze ¤23-million ($31-million) the Vatican bank held in an Italian bank. The Vatican said its bank was merely transferring its own funds between its own accounts in Italy and Germany. The money was released in June 2011, but an investigation continues.

In July, a European anti-money laundering committee said the Vatican bank failed to meet all its standards on fighting money laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes.

The report by Moneyval, a monitoring committee of the 47-nation Council of Europe, found the Vatican passed nine of 16 “key and core” aspects of its financial dealings. The head of the Vatican delegation to the Moneyval committee was Msgr. Balestrero.

Msgr. Balestrero said the report was a call for the Vatican to push forward with “efforts to marry moral commitments to technical excellence” to prove “the Holy See’s and Vatican City state’s desire to be a reliable partner in the international community.”

Seven months later, he was reassigned to South America.

“The Moneyval report was one of the rare bits of good news for the Vatican last year. Balestrero was the one who dealt with Moneyval and they send him to Colombia. That doesn’t sound like the way to reward someone,” said Mr. Calvi.

This week, the widely read Italian Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana, which is distributed free in Italian parishes on Sundays, carried an article calling for the bank to be closed on the grounds the pontificate should not have direct links to the world of finance.

It argued there are plenty of ethically minded commercial banks in Italy and elsewhere that could be trusted to manage the Holy See’s assets.

In January, René Bruelhart, the new director of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, said the church was on the right track.

“Considering the particular nature of the Vatican City state, adequate measures have been adopted for vigilance, prevention, and fighting money laundering and financing terrorism,” he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

How much further the Vatican bank will go and how quickly it can get there, under both the new chairman and a new pope, is being anxiously watched by the world’s financial community. And by Mr. Calvi.

Pier Paolo Cito / The Associated Press Files

Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, left, now former Pope Benedict XVI, looks on as late Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in 2002. Pier Paolo Cito / The Associated Press Files
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National Post, with files from news services

Knights of Malta treasures displayed in the Kremlin


Photo: RIA Novosti

Moscow Times| Jul 6, 2012

by Tatyana Zavyalova

Museums of Italy, France, Malta and Russia have combined efforts to make an impressive exhibition dedicated to the history of the oldest Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, better known as the Order of Malta.

This exhibition has opened in the Moscow Kremlin Museums to last between the 6th of July and the 9th of September.

Announcer: The exhibition called Nine Centuries of Serving Faith and Charity contains about 200 works of art and documents. The Moscow Kremlin Museums have provided a lot of unique items for the exhibition. Director of the Kremlin Museums Yelena Gagarina says:

“Rare items from collections and archives in Italy, Malta, France and the Island of Rhodes, as well as those of the Kremlin, bring to the memory the main periods of the life and activities of the Order of Malta that are full of heroic struggle and the noble cause of protecting poor people. Here one can see Grand Masters’ crowns, Daggers of Faith, crosses and insignia that belonged to famous Grand Masters, weapons and armour of the Knights and wonderful portraits. The highlight of the exhibition is a portrait of a Maltese knight painted by great Italian artist Caravaggio which was kindly lent by Palazzo Pitti in Florence.”

The exhibition in the Moscow Kremlin marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Order of Malta. In this connection, Grand Master Matthew Festing has arrived Moscow. Officials of this high rank had not visited Russia for over 200 years. The opening ceremony of the exhibition in the Kremlin was attended by Fra John Critien, the keeper of the Order of Malta’s art collections. He remembered close historical links between Russia and the Order of Malta.

“The exhibition grants a wonderful opportunity for Russian people to better understand the Sovereign Military Order which had relations with the Russian Empire for several very important years. They were the years when Emperor Paul I, initially a patron of the Order, became its Grand master and thus saved the order during the critical years of its existence. Visitors will understand why the Russian Emperor protected the Catholic Order.”

Those events date back to the very end of the 18th century when Napoleon conquered Malta in 1798 and the Order was mercilessly robbed and evicted. Paul I came to the rescue and invited the knights, who were well-known in the world for their humanistic activities, to Russia. In gratitude, they gave him the title of Grand Master. After the death of Paul I, the next Russian Emperor Alexander I refused to be the head of the Order, so practically all regalia of the Order were returned from Russia to Rome.

Contacts between Russia and the Order of Malta began long before Paul I. The Knights often helped Russian sailors. Curator of the Kremlin exhibition Yelena Gavrilova speaks about one of the exhibits, a manuscript with a long list of names.

“During the Battle of the Dardanelles in 1656, the united Navy of Russia and Venice defeated the Turkish Navy. Seven thousand of Christian slaves who served on Turkish galleys were set free as a result. Two and a half thousand of them were taken to Malta where they were provided with food and medical treatment, clothes and money. This document reads that each of the former slaves was given a sort of a passport to be able to go home. This list contains 1,200 names of our fellow-countrymen, Orthodox Christians described as Muscovites or Rusites.”

The Order of Malta has the reputation of some kind of an international rescue team. It grants aid to people in many countries spending up to a billion euros a year. Some volunteers of the Order are Russians, though there are only about 100 of them.

‘Pope’s Banker’ feared being killed by Mafia


Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. Photograph by: Getty Images

Daily Telegraph | Jun 8, 2012

The former head of the Vatican bank compiled a secret dossier of compromising information about the Holy See because he feared for his life, it was claimed Thursday.

In the latest twist in a scandal that has convulsed the papacy, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi reportedly gave copies of the documents to his closest confidantes and told them: “If I am killed, the reason for my death is in here. I’ve seen things in the Vatican that would frighten anyone.”

One of the documents was reportedly titled “internal enemies” and contained the names of senior clergy and powerful Italian politicians.

Other emails and letters related to “money of dubious provenance” being allegedly funnelled through the Vatican bank, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Gotti Tedeschi, 67, was appointed in 2009 but fired May 24, the day after the Pope’s butler was arrested on suspicion of stealing confidential letters and leaking them to journalists.

He was allegedly ousted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, in a dispute over efforts to improve the transparency of the scandal-idden bank.

Gotti Tedeschi appeared to have compiled the dossier to defend himself against charges of incompetence, mismanagement and possible money-laundering

Gotti Tedeschi was so fearful for his safety that he hired body-guards and sought advice from a private investigation agency, the Italian media reported.

The claims evoked memories of one of the Vatican’s darkest chapters – the mysterious death in 1982 of Roberto Calvi, nick-named “God’s Banker,” who was president of Italy’s largest private bank, the Banco Ambrosiano.

After the failure of the bank, which had close links to the Vatican, Calvi was found hanged from scaffolding beneath Black-friars Bridge in London, amid suspicions that he had been murdered by mafia godfathers as punishment for losing money they had invested.

“Gotti Tedeschi was nick-named ‘The Pope’s Banker’ and he feared meeting the same end as ‘God’s Banker,’ ” said news-paper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

Saudi woman makes a stand against feared religious police


As of Monday, the video was viewed more than 1,142,000 times Photo: YOUTUBE

A YouTube video of a Saudi woman defying orders by the notorious religious police to leave a shopping centre because she is wearing nail polish has gone viral, attracting more than a million hits in just five days but thousands of negative comments.

Telegraph | May 28, 2012

The three and a half minute video posted on May 23 shows members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice telling the women to “get out of here”

But she refuses to comply, saying: “I’m staying and I want to know what you’re going to do about.”

“It’s none of your business if I wear nail polish,” the unidentified woman, who is not seen on tape, is heard shouting at bearded men from the feared religious force.

“You are not in charge of me,” she defiantly shouts back, referring to new constraints imposed earlier this year on the religious police banning them from harassing Saudi women over their behaviour and attire.

“The government has banned you from coming after us,” she told the men, adding “you are only supposed to provide advice, and nothing more”.

Saudi Woman Defies Religious Police: It Is None of Your Business If I Wear Nail Polish

As of Monday, the video was viewed more than 1,142,000 times, with over 12,000 people posting comments online, most of them denouncing the woman’s behaviour.

One posting said she had “no shame” and accused her of “prostituting” herself. Another called her a “slut” and a “whore.”

The clip earned only about 1800 “likes”. The number of “dislikes” reached almost 7000.

In January, Saudi King Abdullah appointed a more moderate head of the religious police raising hopes that a more lenient force will ease draconian social constraints in the Islamic country.

Two weeks into his post, Sheikh Abdullatif Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh banned volunteers from serving in the commission which enforces the kingdom’s strict Islamic rules.

And in April he went further prohibiting the religious police from “harassing people” and threatening “decisive measures against violators”.

The woman filmed the incident herself and posted it on YouTube. At one point during the video, she cautions the religious police that she has already posted the exchange online.

It is also not clear if the woman was eventually forced to leave the centre. The religious police prevent women from driving, require them to be covered from head to foot in black, ban public entertainment, and force all commerce, from supermarkets to petrol stations, to come to a halt at prayer times, five times a day.

Vatican says trust in Church hurt by corruption scandal

Vatican tries to play down extent of scandal

Reuters | May 28, 2012

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, May 28, (Reuters) – The Vatican, engulfed in the worst crisis in Pope Benedict’s papacy, on Monday denied Italian media reports that cardinals were suspects in an investigation into leaks of sensitive documents that led to the arrest of the pope’s butler.

But while denying the reports, which said the butler was merely a courier in a behind-the-scenes struggle for power in the Holy See, the Vatican acknowledged that the often sordid affair would test the faith of Catholics in their Church.

The scandal exploded last week when – within a few days – the head of the Vatican’s own bank was abruptly dismissed, the butler was arrested over leaks and a book was published alleging conspiracies among cardinals, the “princes of the Church”.

Documents leaked to journalists allege corruption in the Church’s vast financial dealings with Italian business.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told a news conference: “This is naturally something that can hurt the Church, and put trust in it and the Holy See to the test.”

Italian newspapers, quoting other whistle blowers in the Vatican, said the arrested butler was merely a scapegoat doing the bidding of more powerful figures, punished because the Church did not dare implicate cardinals behind the leaks.

“There are leakers among the cardinals but the Secretariat of State could not say that, so they arrested the servant, Paolo, who was only delivering letters on behalf of others,” La Repubblica quoted one leaker as saying.

The Secretariat of State is run by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the pope’s powerful right-hand man, and the scandal appears to involve a struggle between his allies and enemies, reminiscent of Renaissance conspiracies inside the Vatican.

It has been brewing for months, but since it burst into the open it has shaken the very heart of the Roman Catholic Church.

La Stampa daily quoted one of the alleged leakers as saying their goal was to help the pope root out corruption.

After an investigation inside the Holy See, the butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46, was charged on Saturday with stealing confidential papal documents. Leakers quoted by La Stampa, La Repubblica and other media said the leaking plot went much wider and higher.

Lombardi denied that any cardinal was being investigated for leaks. “I categorically deny that any cardinal, Italian or otherwise, is a suspect,” Lombardi said.

The pope was being kept fully informed of the case, Lombardi said: “He continues on his path of serenity, his position of faith and morals that is above the fray.”

BUTLER TO COOPERATE

One of Gabriele’s two lawyers, Carlo Fusco, said his client, who is being held inside a Vatican police station, would cooperate fully with investigators who are trying to track down other suspects.

He said Gabriele, who attended mass on Monday morning and was visited by his wife, was “very serene and tranquil.”

Critics of the pope say a lack of strong leadership has opened the door to infighting among his powerful aides – and potentially to the corruption alleged in the leaked documents.

Many Vatican insiders believe the butler, who had access to the pope’s private apartment, could not have acted alone. He is being held in a “safe room” in the Vatican police station and has been charged with aggravated theft.

Now known in Vatican statements as “the defendant” – he was until Wednesday night the quiet man who served the pope’s meals, helped him dress and held his umbrella on rainy days.

“I think this is a very serious moment it is a grave crisis because it has to do with the breach of trust in the inner circle of the Vatican,” said Robert Moynihan,” editor of the magazine Inside the Vatican.

“The pope cannot be sure that a document at his own desk isn’t going to be taken and photocopied. It seems that the person taking those documents has been discovered but there is a general feeling that this represents more than that, that there is someone else behind it,” Moynihan told Reuters television.

But Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian journalist who has received many of the documents over recent months and last week published his book “His Holiness”, criticised the focus on rounding up leakers, rather than rooting out the corruption they expose.

“Surely, arresting someone and rounding up people and treating them like delinquents to stop them from passing on true information to newspapers would cause an uproar in other countries,” he said. “There would be a petition to free them.”

WEED OUT CORRUPTION

While news of the butler’s arrest has filled newspapers in Italy and beyond, the Vatican’s own newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has ignored the story. Some say this may be because the paper itself has been an instrument in the power struggle between Bertone’s allies and foes.

The Vatican’s announcement of the arrest of the butler came a day after the president of the Vatican bank, Italian Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was fired after a no confidence vote by its board of external financial experts, who come from Germany, Spain, the United States and Italy.

Gotti Tedeschi’s ousting was a blow to Bertone, who as secretary of state was instrumental in bringing him in from Spain’s Banco Santander to run the Vatican bank in 2009.

The Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), was set up during World War II to manage the accounts of Vatican agencies, church organisations, bishops and religious orders.

It has been involved in financial scandals – most notably in 1982 when its then-president, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was indicted over the collapse of what was then Italy’s largest private bank, Banco Ambrosiano, with more than a billion dollars in debts. Banco Ambrosiano’s chairman Roberto Calvi was found hanged under London’s Blackfriar’s Bridge in 1984.

In September 2010, Italian investigators froze millions of euros in funds in Italian banks after opening a probe into money laundering involving IOR accounts, which the bank denies.

The Vatican is trying to make the IOR more transparent and join an international “white list” of countries that comply with international safeguards against money laundering and fraud. A decision is expected within months.

Documents leaked over the last few months included letters by an archbishop who was transferred to Washington by Bertone after blowing the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption in a memo that put a number of cardinals in a bad light. Other documents alleged internal conflicts over the Vatican bank.

“I feel very sad for the pope. This whole thing is such a disservice to the Church,” said Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus charity group and a member of the board of the Vatican bank who voted to fire Gotti Tedeschi.

Anderson told Reuters Gotti Tedeschi was sacked because of “a fundamental failure to perform his basic responsibilities”. Gotti Tedeschi has said he was ousted because he wanted the bank to be more transparent, but Anderson rejected that assertion.

“Categorically, this action by the board had nothing to do with his promotion of transparency,” Anderson said. “In fact, he was becoming an obstacle to greater transparency by his inability to work with senior management.” (Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Barry Moody and Peter Graff)

Vatican scandal could expose more corruption

CBS | May 28, 2012

By Charlie D’Agata


Few believe the pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, is the sole source of leaks about the inner workings of the Catholic Church. (CBS News)

(CBS News) LONDON – A scandal that has rocked Vatican City threatened to expand Monday. So far, the only person under arrest is Pope Benedict XVI’s butler. But few believe that he is the sole source of the leaks that have exposed corruption and double-dealing inside the leadership of the Catholic Church.

At the center of the holy whodunit is Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s personal butler. Since he was arrested last week on suspicion of stealing confidential documents, rumors have swirled that he must have had some high-ranking help — perhaps as high as the so-called ‘princes of the Church,’ the cardinals.

Marco Tosatti covers the Vatican for one of Italy’s biggest newspapers. “If Paolo Gabriele acted as he did,” he said, “well, probably there was somebody very important who convinced him to do it.”

On Monday, the Vatican denied that any cardinal was under investigation.

But the scandal shows no sign of slowing. The butler pledged that he’d cooperate fully with investigators, raising the specter that he would name others.

Gabriele — a father of three — has worked for the Pope since 2006, and is one of the few layman to have access to the Pope’s private apartment.

He’s accused of leaking letters and memos to Italian journalists that allegedly show corruption in the Church’s financial dealings with Italian businesses, including money laundering and kickbacks.

The revelations are part of a number of embarrassing leaks that show the Church and its inner workings in disarray.

For the moment Paolo Gabriele is the lone arrest. If found guilty, he could face up to 30 years in prison.