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New book out on corruption in the Vatican. Believe or disbelieve?

staarduster 2012/02/26 02:55:02
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Rick Jackson says:
Sent to me by my friend Melody Hartwell on FB. It's very sad, since although I hadn't really practiced the religion since I was 18. I always considered myself a cultural Catholic. I can't do that anymore.


The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia, by Paul WilliamsAbout.com Rating3.5 Star Rating
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  • The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia

    The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia
    Image Courtesy PriceGrabber.com


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    • There is no disputing the fact that the Vatican, the clerical bureaucracy which controls and leads the Roman Catholic Church, is a very powerful and secretive organization. There is also little disputing the fact that great power and great secrecy typically help an organization to become corrupt. Has the same occurred with the Vatican? Many believe so and there is quite a bit of evidence through the centuries of corruption at the Vatican which would rival that in any government or corporation.

      Summary

      Title: The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia
      Author: Paul Williams
      Publisher: Prometheus Books
      ISBN: 9781591020653

      Pro:
      • Very well written - much historical complexity is presented easily and clearly
      • Detailed information on events and activities most people are unaware of

      Con:
      • Some might not believe the book is true - it is all very incredible

      Description:
      • Revelations about the Vatican's corruption and connections to organized crime
      • Explores the things the Vatican has done in order to maintain power and money
      • Shows how many sources of Vatican finances have had immoral and illegal origins


      Book Review

      It seems unreasonable to think that somehow the Vatican could have managed to escape the sorts of corruption that have afflicted every other human enterprise through history, especially considering just how long the Vatican has had in order to succumb to the temptations of greed and power. People who work at the Vatican are human, just like the rest of us, and there is nothing about working for a church which would cause a person to immune from the forces which cause corruption elsewhere. On the other hand, it's not enough to simply suggest that the Vatican is susceptible to corruption. Can a case be made that it hassuccumbed to corruption?

      That's what Paul L. Williams tries to do in his book The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia. Williams, who holds a doctorate in philosophy and a masters of divinity in church history from Drew University and who has taught religion and philosophy at the University of Scranton and Wilkes University, argues that the seeds of corruption were planted very early on when Constantine made Christianity the state religion, thus linking the Catholic Church with political power. This was a difficult time for Pope Miltiades, but he managed to cope well enough:



      Miltiades was befuddled. What was transpiring before him was too bizarre to be true! Two worlds had collided. The world of Caesar with its riches and power, its pomp and splendor, was a world to be shunned. The world of Christ was a world of poverty and service, of persecution and self-denial. ... Militades died in a regal bed, surrounded by attendants. The old bishop was succeeded by Sylvester, who reigned for nearly twenty-two years. During this time the pope came to wield secular power.
      And so began a long, gradual slide away from principles of self-denial and towards the greed for power and money that accompany any sort of corruption. Today the extent of the Vatican's holdings are unknown, but a major shift occurred in 1929 when Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini — an act which did a lot to help Mussolini solidify his own power in Italy. At the time the Vatican was destitute, lacking sufficient funding to maintain its buildings or even get the rats out of the walls. Currently, conservative estimates put the gold reserves of the Vatican above those of some industrialized countries, and its real-estate holdings larger than the land area of some nations.

      A deal with Mussolini was a deal with terror and fascism, but it wasn't all that different than the deal with Constantine. This is a pattern that the Vatican has not shied away from even today. The quest for financial power led to heavy investments in fascist Italy (effectively ending ancient bans on usury), a concordat with Nazi Germany that ended Catholic political organizations in exchange for the Nazis collecting massive amounts of taxes which flowed to the Vatican, not to mention deals with fascist Croats and Mafia hoodlums.
      The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia

      The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia
      Image Courtesy PriceGrabber.com

      Today, the bulk of the financial power of the Vatican (not to mention its corruption) seems to lie in the Instituto per le Opere di Religione, commonly known as the Vatican Bank:


      Despite its claims otherwise, the Vatican Bank is not a branch of the State of Vatican City. (Stato della Citta del Vaticano). It exists as an entity unto itself without corporate or ecclesiastical ties to any other agency within the Holy See. It is under the direct supervision of the pope. He is the one and only stockholder. He owns it; he controls it.

      Unlike any other financial institution, the Vatican Bank is audited by neither internal nor outside agencies. Its worth remains a matter of conjecture, even for members of the College of Cardinals. There is not a scrap of its papers among all of the other bureaucracies of the Roman Church - not even ecclesiastical financial agencies - that attests to its assets or accounts. In 1996 Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the internal auditor of the Holy See, told investigators that he has no authority over the Vatican Bank and has no knowledge of its operations.
      Much of Williams' book involves an investigation of the activities of the Vatican Bank and those who have represented it in the name of the pope. Murder, mobsters, fraud... the title of the book may be rather lurid, but if only a portion of what Williams writes is true, then the title is also quite accurate and fair.
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Top Opinion

  • TheTruth1313 2012/02/26 05:55:59
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    TheTruth1313
    +3
    Sorry to say this, but, as each scandal seems to be swept under the rug, that proverbial rug is starting to look as if it is atop a mountain of dirt.

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  • Boo 2012/02/27 20:28:25
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    Boo
    +1
    Little has changed in the Vatican since the dark ages. The Catholic Church knowingly protected child mollesters for decades, kept them in the preisthood, and helped them evade prosecution. God only knows what else they have concealed. They may escape judgment in this world, but they will not in the next life!
  • staardu... Boo 2012/02/28 00:14:29
    staarduster
    +1
    Thank goodness! Thanks Boo.
  • Ira 2012/02/27 13:18:45 (edited)
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    Ira
  • staardu... Ira 2012/02/28 00:15:19
    staarduster
    +1
    Thanks Ira, but your pic did not display. :(
  • Jackie G - Poker Playing Pa... 2012/02/26 19:46:43
    None of the above
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    +1
    I don't care - they are no more corrupt than another big group - Hell, our government is 100 times more corrupt and they forcibly take our money; Catholic church takes donations. Damn side less worried about them.
  • staardu... Jackie ... 2012/02/27 03:40:43
    staarduster
    +1
    I believe, and you can believe whatever u want, that the Catholic Church effectively robs all those who donate, has way more money than any current government at their disposal, and has been doing wrong for 2 thousand years, give or take a couple hundred, way longer than any government.
    Thanks for your comment, which prompted me to say that. :)
  • gaylehelen 2012/02/26 14:58:17
    None of the above
    gaylehelen
    +1
    I don't believe they're corrupt, but they certainly will omit a lot of material. What I do not understand about the Catholic Church is not letting priests marry. They are NOT Jesus!! I am a Methodist and our ministers can marry and don't have the abuse problems the Catholic Church has had. Yes, there have been a few, but not nearly as large as a problem that the Catholics had.
    I was briefly a member of the Greek Orthodox Church (I married young and converted - I will NEVER abandon my church again) and even they can marry as long as it is before they are ordained. It takes several years before Ordination and the Greek Orthodox are very similar to the Catholic Church in my mind.
  • staardu... gaylehelen 2012/02/27 03:42:53
    staarduster
    Thank you for commenting, gaylehelen.
  • BoomLover 2012/02/26 07:28:52
    Undecided
    BoomLover
    +2
    Now if such a book could be written about the corruption within the boundaries of Islam, the second largest population of a "Religious" nature....oh, but wait, there has been such a book, the Quran! Unfortunate but true, high positions of power within religious organizations do tend to use, shall we say, underhanded methods, to hold on to that power.........leading to corruption such as outlined in this book.....
  • staardu... BoomLover 2012/02/27 03:43:41
    staarduster
    Thanks BoomLover.
  • ✞Knight of Honor 2012/02/26 06:40:40
    I think people who don't believe in God are sick. (Please leave a comment.)
    ✞Knight of Honor
    +1
    The Catholic Church is well known for it's fallacies, but unfortunately that is the result of being the largest Church Denomination in the entire world. Any organization with 1,181,368,942 people is unfortunately going to have corruption. I am not a Catholic, but any Christian organization that seeks to do God's will, is good by me.
  • staardu... ✞Knight... 2012/02/27 03:44:26
    staarduster
    +1
    Thanks Dark Vengeance 9.
  • HipJipC 2012/02/26 06:30:46
    None of the above
    HipJipC
    +1
    Corruption exists in every facet of life due mostly to human greed. I believe it's more prevalent where power and riches exist so that means religion, politics and large corporations are at the top of the corruption list and oddly all three usually keep in close contact. What's that saying? Birds of a feather flock together.
  • staardu... HipJipC 2012/02/27 03:45:05 (edited)
    staarduster
    +1
    Thanks HipJipC. So it looks like many have agreed that the Church is corrupt, but they're just not picking the first answer. Wonder why?
  • TheTruth1313 2012/02/26 05:55:59
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    TheTruth1313
    +3
    Sorry to say this, but, as each scandal seems to be swept under the rug, that proverbial rug is starting to look as if it is atop a mountain of dirt.
  • staardu... TheTrut... 2012/02/27 03:45:39
    staarduster
    +1
    Great thought, TheTruth1313. Thanks.
  • TheTrut... staardu... 2012/02/27 07:04:48
    TheTruth1313
    +1
    Anytime:-)
  • Cinna 2012/02/26 04:19:41
    Undecided
    Cinna
    +1
    I believe that yes, the Vatican is corrupt but feel that I can't exactly allow myself to have an opinion on the subject at the time being because I haven't really paid much attention to the allegations against them. I've heard enough to get the gist of it but am still not really sure on the subject. ... Does that make sense?
  • staardu... Cinna 2012/02/26 04:23:20
    staarduster
    +1
    If you say it does. Only you know how you feel. Thanks for commenting.
  • JJ 2012/02/26 04:01:40
    None of the above
    JJ
    +1
    Many religions have seen their days of corruption. And I'm sure there are many others that have not went that far.
  • staardu... JJ 2012/02/26 04:23:58
    staarduster
    Thanks JJ.
  • Fannie 2012/02/26 03:32:14
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    Fannie
    +2
    Just today read in Penn. where a case of 35 sexual abuses cases have been covered up.... it goes on and on, and everybody, especially men look the other way.
  • staardu... Fannie 2012/02/26 03:33:42
    staarduster
    Thank you Fannie, for pointing that out.
  • Linnster 2012/02/26 03:20:30
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    Linnster
    +2
    There have been rumblings for decades about what goes on behind the closed doors of the Vatican. Some things that came to light about the current Pope during WWII and the previous one as well. Having the lid blown off the scandal regarding pedophile priests and how the Church handled them just reinforces how insulated is the Vatican and how, in the darkness, so many unsavory things can happen when you don't have to be accountable to anyone.
  • staardu... Linnster 2012/02/26 03:31:32
    staarduster
    +2
    You are so right, Linnster. Thanks for your comments.
  • Nightmusic 2012/02/26 03:14:28
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    Nightmusic
    +2
    Father Malachi Martin talked about this years ago, about Satanism going on in the Vatican. Satanic rituals and stuff. I completely believe it. Just look at how they handled the sexual abuse scandal. These are not good men.
  • staardu... Nightmusic 2012/02/26 03:32:28
    staarduster
    +1
    I sure agree with you. They are the furthest thing from piety. Thanks for commenting.
  • staarduster 2012/02/26 02:59:13
    I believe the Vatican is corrupt, and has been for a long time. (Please leav...
    staarduster
    +1
    Finally, the Vatican exposed for what it really is: Corruption at its finest.

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