The Vatican has found itself in dire straits thanks to a combination of rife corruption and collapsing donations. These are the claims in Universal Judgement, a new book by Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian journalist famous for curating documents revealing financial improprieties in the Vatican.
In 2006, the Catholic Church took in $112.7 million dollars. Today, donations have plummeted to about half, at $56.9 million. At this rate, the Vatican will be forced to default by 2023, according to Nuzzi.
New documents also expose hare-brained mismanagement using money earmarked for charity. 77% of money in the Peter’s Pence charity fund is in the hands of international investment bank Credit Suisse, which is using some of it to gamble in high-risk ventures and get-rich-quick schemes.
Pope Francis is a high-profile defender of the European Union, which he has warned must be defended from “fear” and “ideologies.” The Pope’s political statements have been dismissed as globalist sentimentalism or naivete, but there may be shrewd economic logic to it as well.
The Vatican Secretariat’s $200 million dollar luxury development in one of London’s historic gay districts with speculator Raffaele Mincione became a massive disappointment when Brexit passed and property values dropped. Mincione pocketed approximately £128 million related to the project, while the Vatican ate another 100 million pounds in debt inherited from the property.
While some of the men associated with this scam were suspended, crusaders against corruption in the Catholic Church are blackmailed or punished into silence. Last August, the Vatican Treasurer George Pell, an advocate for auditing the Vatican bank, was convicted of a homosexual assault on choirboys decades ago based largely on what was criticized by judicial dissenters as concocted evidence.
Most in the Holy See believe Pell is innocent, but Francis persuaded him to return to Australia to face trial anyway. The Pope has refused to stick by his prefect and chief reformer after the verdict.