Tuesday, July 5, 2016

More scandal surrounding the Pope's resignation

After writing previously about the trouble the Vatican bank is having with money-laundering allegations, my plan was to write this column about the pedophile problems that may be linked to the pope’s resignation.
However, the story keeps changing.

I just read that among Pope Benedict's final acts was transferring a Monsignor Ettore Balestrero to Colombia to be the papal nuncio there. He was involved in a money-laundering scandal that was resolved in 2021 with a plea deal. 

The recent scandal known as Vatileaks (you may recall the story of the Pope’s butler stealing and releasing some private papers) involved a secret report about the theft, written by three cardinals, for the Pope's eyes only. 
According to the Italian Panorama magazine and La Repubblica newspaper, sources close to the three cardinals leaked that the Pope had decided to resign in December after receiving the dossier, allegedly detailing a network of sex and corruption inside the Vatican.
But here’s the kicker: According to the same Italian media, Balestrero’s name is in the secret report.
Balestrero’s job in the Vatican? Under-secretary of the Foreign Ministry. While the title doesn’t say much, his actual work was to head the Holy See's delegation to the Council of Europe's Moneyval committee. Moneyval's job was to evaluate the safety of the Vatican bank as an investment. They concluded that the Vatican's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing measures were failing their investors. Balestrero's job was to lobby the Council of Europe to boost the Vatican Bank’s financial rating despite the report from Moneyval.
Since the Vatican’s credit has become so messed up that you can’t even use a credit card to buy your “Pope Benedict Action Figure” in the Vatican gift shop now, it would appear Balestrero has failed.
So why would he be ‘promoted’ to Vatican ambassador to Colombia? Surely the ‘vicar of Christ’ would never transfer a man halfway round the world to keep him from answering uncomfortable questions from the authorities?
I guess we’ll have to leave the pedophiles alone until a future column.
Bill K. Underwood is the author of several books, all available at Amazon.com. You can help support this site by purchasing a book.

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