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    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
    • Email sent to my followers June 27, 2014
      Whew! It's time to catch my breath. Since the release of Queer Clergy in February, I've been on the road ... Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and California. I have been the guest of book clubs, adult forums, LGBT reconciling groups, the Pacific School of Religion, and I've been a guest preacher (always a treat for an old lawyer). I've mad […]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Quote of the Day September 16, 2014
      The tragic story [of sixteen-year-old Sergio Urrego's suicide] is why it matters that discussions of Catholic families include discussions of gay Catholic families. And of Catholic families who have gay members.And of Catholic institutions whose coldness and brutality towards those who are gay can make a life-or-death difference, especially for vulnerab […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • A Visit to the Weisman September 16, 2014
      On Sunday, September 8, my friend Joan and I visited the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota.I share this evening photos of both the unique architecture of the Weisman and some of the artworks in its diverse collection. Enjoy! Above: Joan takes a look at Charles Biederman's "#4, Diaz" (designed 1986, fabricated 1990).Notes Wikipe […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • Catholic Synod on the Family: Theologians Talking about Women, Democracy and Human Rights, Catholic Families — and Jesus September 17, 2014
      As the Catholic synod on the family nears, I'm spotting more and more commentary focusing on the distance (in the view of many Catholics) between the rhetoric of church leaders about pastoral issues, and the realtiy lived by those church leaders as they go about their pastoral work. There is a well-articulated fear in many quarters that the synod will b […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Another Suicide of a Gay Teen: Catholic Context September 15, 2014
      This heart-breaking story of the suicide of yet another gay teen is a reminder of why it matters — why it should matter — that the Catholic church in the U.S. (or anywhere else) is moving backwards  regarding welcoming and including gay members. And this story is a reminder of why it matters that, as Jerry Slevin notes, as the synod on the family nears, Pope […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Back from the "Dead"/Book Reviews September 13, 2014
      Just getting back on my feet after eight weeks of very intense interactions with Czech kids in summer camp in the mountains. The experience was so intense I felt cut off from my own spirit from time to time, but worth every minute.  What great kids.I'm getting ready to review two books, John Boyne's magnificent fictional treatment of the sex abuse […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
    • The travails of young love July 30, 2014
      On a bit of a hiatus from blogging for the summer as I recollect my spirit, but I may have some reflections to share this weekend about the difficulties of young love. Been listening to tales of heartbreak from some of my young students. And young River Viiperi has broken from his partner of two years, Paris Hilton, so these must be difficult days for him as […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • プロミスの返済は残高スライド元利定額返済方式 September 11, 2014
      返済に影響するものは金利だけ、そう考えているのであれば今一度利用している消費者金融のホームページを確認してみましょう。実は返済方式も返済に大きく影響するものなのです。例えばプロミスで見てみましょう。返済方式として残高スライド元利定額返済方式が採用されています。これがどういったものなのか、金融専門書を確認しても出てくるものではありません。そもそも、本来であれば管理均等返済方式や元金均等返済方式というのが返済方式の中でも一般的なものですが、残高スライド元利定額返済方式とは新たにできた造語だからです。今では多くの消費者金融がこの返済方式を採用しています。プロミスではこれによって月々の返済の最低金額が決められています。例えば借り入れが2万7000円までであれば1000円の最低返済額、5万5000円までであれば2000円 […]
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Müller on women September 16, 2014
      An interview with Cardinal Müller, who I find quite disturbing in his past stated beliefs about love and marriage. The interview begins like this ...Naturally extroverted, he [Müller] half-jokingly begged that we not talk about women, but rather about Our Lady. Yet he still managed to steer the conversation back to our original topic, chatting about his rela […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Vatican Financial Transparency – Don’t Believe It

Outrage against the Catholic Church’s global and systemic torture of children peaked in 2010. There were reports that Pope Benedict XVI failed to act against pedophiles while he was archbishop of Munich and Freising and as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa gave a Good Friday sermon with the pope in attendance comparing the anger at sexual abuse scandals to persecution of the Jews. On Easter Sunday, Cardinal Angelo Sodano told Benedict among others that the news reports were “petty gossip.” World opinion of the Catholic Church plummeted even further after damning government reports were issued by a Philadelphia grand jury report and in Ireland. 

The Vatican stated in May 2011 it was taking action. A letter was written to bishops’ conferences around the world which didn’t already have a “coordinated and effective program” in place “to prepare policies and guidelines for dealing with cases of clerical sexual abuse of children” and to have them drafted by May 2012. In November, the Vatican issued guidelines to the bishops encouraging them to develop “effective, quick, articulated, complete and decisive plans for the protection of children, bringing perpetrators to justice and assisting victims.” The Vatican claimed the guidelines represented a “very important new step” towards regaining “full credibility.”  

On July 11, 2012, Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s top investigator of clerical sex abuse, said “most of the bishops’ conferences around the world have missed a Vatican deadline on drawing up anti-abuse guidelines….that all those who did not send in their proposed guidelines would be getting ‘a letter of reminder.’” Furthermore, “evaluating each country’s proposed policies and guidelines for dealing with cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors will take ‘at least a year,’ and that process will not begin until after the summer.”  

As regards Vatican finances, Vaticano S.p.A. (Vatican Inc.), a best-selling book in Italy by Gianluigi Nuzzi published in 2009, revealed internal documents given to Nuzzi by a whistleblower showing the Vatican Bank to be “a unique ‘off shore’ corridor for politicians around the world who want to keep their money away from legal controls….The IOR [the Italian acronym for the bank] is like a credit card that ensures privileges to be granted in exchange for political backing, legal provisions and business support.”  

 His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI, also by Gianluigi Nuzzi and published this past spring, contains a new set of Vatican documents turned over to Nuzzi by Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s valet, and others. “The problem of child molestation in America is described in the documents as a simple financial issue: all the money to be paid to the accusers to avert humiliating public trials public.” In addition to “the array of details about smear campaigns, corruption, intrigue, ungodly ambition, ties with the underworld, and sexual scandal” among the Vatican hierarchs. the documents also expose “money laundering and threats.”  

IOR president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, after being ousted on May 24, 2012, said he was fired “because he got too close to the truth about the bank’s shady dealings.” Gotti Tedeschi, who was personally selected by Pope Benedict for this position, further explained that “he found the bank’s record much worse than he could have imagined, and that he spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful forces whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency.”   

This time in a “very important new step” towards regaining “full credibility,” the Vatican requested that the Council of Europe’ Moneyval committee of financial experts audit its internal controls. A week after Scicluna’s admission of non-compliance with no consequences, the committee issued its report evaluating the measures put in place to prohibit money-laundering and terrorist financing. “Those findings undercut conspiracy theories,” declared National Catholic Reporter senior correspondent John L. Allen Jr. although the Moneyval committee clearly stated that no action had actually yet been taken by the Vatican to discover criminal financial transactions and that these internal regulations would have no independent oversight since the Vatican is a sovereign state.  

Yesterday it was reported that the Vatican hired a Swiss anti-money-laundering expert, Rene Brülhart, as a consultant “to strengthen the Holy See’s framework to fight financial crimes.”  “One of the areas where Brülhart will have to focus his attention is the Vatican’s new Financial Intelligence Authority which received a failing grade [from the Moneyval committee]”  

Brülhart’s credentials are impressive. But like the Moneyval committee, the man cannot evaluate what he cannot see. Even as a “consultant” you can be sure he will not have access to whatever the Vatican doesn’t want him to look at. Just like the Vatican’s pretense of a response to its worldwide aiding and abetting child torture, it’s difficult to believe that this pretense of a response to financial crimes is anything but another PR move.

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