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Vatican Bank Chief’s Free-Market Ideology and Opus Dei Background

Com­ment: Ettore Gotti Tedeschi–head of the Vat­i­can Bank–espoused the free-market ide­ol­ogy that led to the crash of 2008. Tedeschi has also advised then Car­di­nal Ratzinger and helped him write an eco­nomic the­sis. (Ratzinger became, of course, Pope Bene­dict.) Not sur­pris­ingly, Tedeschi  is a mem­ber of Opus Dei, the fas­cist lay Catholic order that has been ascen­dant in Vat­i­can politics.

Once again, the Vat­i­can Bank has come under inves­ti­ga­tion for money laun­der­ing. As noted in past posts, the lawyer cur­rently assist­ing the Vat­i­can in cases related to child molesta­tion had pre­vi­ously defended the Vat­i­can Bank in a Holocaust-related lawsuit.

A pri­mary investor in Nazi indus­try, the Vat­i­can Bank has long been involved with financ­ing fascism.

“Pope’s Banker Faces Inquiry over ‘Money Laun­der­ing’” by Michael Day; independent.co.uk; 9/22/2010.

Excerpt: The Vat­i­can, still pick­ing up the pieces after the global pae­dophilia scan­dal, was yes­ter­day rocked by news that the heads of its bank are under inves­ti­ga­tion in con­nec­tion with a £20m money laun­der­ing probe.

Vat­i­can Bank pres­i­dent Ettore Gotti Tedeschi and director-general Paolo Cipri­ani are being inves­ti­gated fol­low­ing two trans­ac­tions that were reported as “sus­pi­cious”, police sources said.

The trans­ac­tions on 15 Sep­tem­ber are thought to involve €20m sent to the Ger­man bank JP Mor­gan in Frank­furt, and €3m sent to a central-Italian bank, the Banca del Fucino. The funds have been seized by Ital­ian authorities. . . .

Mr Gotti Tedeschi is a mem­ber of the ultra-conservative reli­gious move­ment Opus Dei, and an out­spo­ken advo­cate of the need for greater moral­ity in finance. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.] . . .

Yesterday’s rev­e­la­tions, which come just days after Pope Bene­dict com­pleted his con­tro­ver­sial tour of Britain, are only the lat­est in a series of inci­dents that have raised doubts about the finan­cial integrity of the bank, however. . . .

The Vat­i­can Bank, after a series of scan­dals stretch­ing back to the fraud­u­lent bank­ruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano in the 1980s, is under pres­sure to adopt new finan­cial stan­dards fol­low­ing a 2009 push by the G20 nations for greater transparency.

The IOR said it been work­ing “for some time” with the Bank of Italy and the Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Coop­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment “for the Holy See’s inclu­sion in the so-called White List” – an OECD des­ig­na­tion for coun­tries that apply inter­na­tional tax reg­u­la­tions. The Bank of Italy has declared that trans­ac­tions with banks such as the IOR, which are not on the White List, will be sub­ject to greater scrutiny. . . .


Discussion

6 comments for “Vatican Bank Chief’s Free-Market Ideology and Opus Dei Background”

  1. Accord­ing to this arti­cle, Ettore Tedeschi was con­verted into a “fer­vent” Catholic under the spir­i­tual guid­ance of Gio­vani Can­toni, leader of the far-right “Alleanza Cat­tolica”:

    The Vat­i­can Bank Has a New Laissez-Faire Pres­i­dent: Ettore Gotti Tedeschi

    The new pres­i­dent of the IOR is a staunch pro­po­nent of a cap­i­tal­ism inspired by Chris­tian­ity. For him, a high birth rate is the main engine of the econ­omy. Mean­while, in Italy, another impor­tant replace­ment is being pre­pared: at the head of the media out­lets owned by the bishops

    by San­dro Magister

    The Vat­i­can Bank Has a New Laissez-Faire Pres­i­dent: Ettore Gotti Tedeschi

    The new pres­i­dent of the IOR is a staunch pro­po­nent of a cap­i­tal­ism inspired by Chris­tian­ity. For him, a high birth rate is the main engine of the econ­omy. Mean­while, in Italy, another impor­tant replace­ment is being pre­pared: at the head of the media out­lets owned by the bishops

    by San­dro Magister

    ROME, Octo­ber 1, 2009 – At the same time when in Italy, between August and Sep­tem­ber, a dra­matic ouster was under­way for Dino Boffo, the sole direc­tor of the media owned by the Catholic Church, on the other shore of the Tiber there were silent, sub­dued prepa­ra­tions for a change at the top of another key orga­ni­za­tion, the IOR, Insti­tute for Works of Reli­gion, the Vat­i­can bank.

    The IOR itself is going through stormy times. A book describ­ing its mis­con­duct, with indis­putable doc­u­men­ta­tion, has for months been at the top of the best-seller lists. But in it, the vil­lain is not so much the IOR as such, but its black sheep of for­mer times, bish­ops Paul Marcinkus and Donato De Bonis. The banker Angelo Caloia, pres­i­dent of the IOR over the past four­teen years, is instead depicted in the book as a knight in shin­ing armor, the hero who kicked out the crooks, cleaned out the stalls, and brought a vir­tu­ous image back to the pope’s bank. His res­ig­na­tion, and his replace­ment by Ettore Gotti Tedeschi (in the photo), were announced in peace and with mutual esteem between the two, on the morn­ing of Sep­tem­ber 23.

    ...

    Before his appoint­ment, Gotti Tedeschi had never set foot in the IOR, or even paid any atten­tion to it. But he had already been at home at the Vat­i­can for some time. Sec­re­tary of state Car­di­nal Tar­ci­sio Bertone had asked for his help last year, to straighten out the finan­cial man­age­ment of the Vatican’s cen­tral admin­is­tra­tion, which had a short­fall of more than 15 mil­lion euro in 2008.

    The cure seems to have worked. A cul­prit of the mis­man­age­ment, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of the admin­is­tra­tion, Bishop Renato Boc­cardo, was sent away to be bishop of Spo­leto and Nor­cia. He had aspired to one of the top nun­cia­ture posi­tions, and because of this had even turned down the see of Vienna. In his place now is Carlo Maria Viganò, from Lom­bardy, who will soon rise to the high­est posi­tion of the cen­tral admin­is­tra­tion, replac­ing Car­di­nal Gio­vanni Lajolo.

    Gotti Tedeschi was formed as a banker in the Amer­i­can McK­in­sey school of inter­na­tional finance. As a Catholic, he con­verted from “super­fi­cial” to fer­vent in the 1960’s, under the spir­i­tual direc­tion of the tra­di­tion­al­ist thinker Gio­vanni Can­toni. The books that revealed his thought to the gen­eral pub­lic are “Denaro e Par­adiso [Money and Par­adise],” pub­lished in 2004, with a pref­ace by Car­di­nal Gio­vanni Bat­tista Re, and “Spir­iti ani­mali. La con­cor­renza giusta [Ani­mal Spir­its: The Right Kind of Com­pe­ti­tion],” pub­lished by Uni­ver­sità Boc­coni and with a pref­ace by Alessan­dro Pro­fumo, pres­i­dent of the largest Ital­ian bank, Unicredit.

    ...

    It turns out that Gio­vanni Can­toni is also closely affil­i­ated with the far-right “Tra­di­tion, Fam­ily, Prop­erty” (TFP). The TFP and Mr. Can­toni appear to have to rather inter­est­ing views regard­ing to the return of nobil­ity as the offi­cial “rul­ing class” of soci­ety. Here’s a 1993 review of a book writ­ten by TFP’s founder, Plinio Cor­rea de Oliveira (with fawn­ing remarks by Mr. Can­toni), that might par­tially explain why the TFP is con­sid­ered con­tro­ver­sial:

    Ital­ian Nobil­ity Rejoices at Launch­ing of TFP Book

    Its Doc­tri­nal Arse­nal Is Enor­mously Strengthened

    Prof. Plinio Cor­rêa de Oliveira’s lat­est book, Nobil­ity and Anal­o­gous Tra­di­tional Elites in the Allo­cu­tions of Pius XII, has been launched in yet another coun­try: Italy.
    Tra­di­tion, Fam­ily and Prop­erty, November-December 1993, York (PA), pages 2–5

    Never has the coun­try stood in more need of such a work. Pub­lished by Mar­zo­rati Edi­tore of Milan—firm famous for high-quality his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural works—the book’s Ital­ian edi­tion appears, coin­ci­den­tally, or bet­ter, prov­i­den­tially, right as the coun­try tra­verses a deep polit­i­cal cri­sis termed “Tan­gen­topoli” (“Kick­back City”) by those striv­ing to remove a rul­ing class widely besmirched by cor­rup­tion scandals.

    Inas­much as cor­rup­tion is the root cause of the Ital­ian cri­sis, one can­not but con­clude that this is more than a polit­i­cal cri­sis; it is a moral cri­sis. But what is more dis­cour­ag­ing and wor­ri­some, many ana­lysts argue, is that no alter­na­tive, cred­i­ble rul­ing class is avail­able to reverse the trend to­ward self-disintegration and lead the Ital­ian peo­ple toward the goals of a sound com­mon good.

    In this con­text one can read­ily appre­ci­ate the immense value of Pro­fes­sor Cor­rêa de Oliveira’s work. It offers a solu­tion for the cri­sis by explain­ing the mer­i­to­ri­ous role of the nobil­ity in lead­ing and shap­ing soci­ety through the cen­turies. Unlike less priv­i­leged coun­tries, Italy can still count on a numer­ous and expe­ri­enced nobil­ity, which needs only to redis­cover its mis­sion and function.

    Mil­lions of wor­ried Ital­ians may have there­fore sighed with relief on Octo­ber 31 when RAI 1 (Italy’s most impor­tant TV net­work) pro­vided prime-time cov­er­age of the launch­ing of Pro­fes­sor Cor­rêa de Oliveira’s book in Rome.

    The launch­ing had been held the day before at an inter­na­tional con­fer­ence where lead­ing mem­bers of the Ital­ian aris­toc­racy offi­cially announced their can­di­dacy for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the national lead­er­ship. Is it pos­si­ble that Ital­ians glimpsed a dim light at the end of their dark tun­nel and rec­og­nized the alter­na­tive class able to over­come “Tangentopoli”?

    “We will be the new Ital­ian rul­ing class,” stated Prince Sforza Rus­poli, one of the speak­ers at the sym­po­sium jointly spon­sored by Rome’s Cen­tro Cul­tur­ale Lep­anto and Tra­di­tion, Fam­ily, Property—Italy Bureau under the patron­age of Car­di­nals Alfons Stick­ler and Sil­vio Oddi.

    About 250 dis­tin­guished guests attended the con­fer­ence in the grand “Sala del Bal­dachino” of the mag­nif­i­cent palace of Princess Elv­ina Pallavicini, per­haps the most rep­re­sen­ta­tive mem­ber of the Roman aris­toc­racy. Among those present were rank­ing cler­gy­men, schol­ars, diplo­mats and jour­nal­ists, but, as one would expect, most of the audi­ence were nobles, includ­ing Arch­duke Mar­tin von Hab­s­burg of Aus­tria, Prince Car­los of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Cal­abria, Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Mar­quis Aldo Pez­zana Capran­ica del Grillo, Duke Gio­van Pietro Caf­farelli (Pres­i­dent of the Associa­tion of Ital­ian Nobil­ity), Princes Carlo and Fab­rizio Mas­simo, Baron Roberto Sel­vaggi, Count­ess Elena Cac­cia Domin­ioni and Mar­quis Luigi Coda Nunziante.

    ...

    Sim­i­lar enthu­si­asm was shown at a Novem­ber presenta­tion in Palermo hon­ored by the par­tic­i­pa­tion of sev­eral of the most promi­nent mem­bers of the Sicil­ian nobility.

    But at the Rome sym­po­sium the Ital­ian nobil­ity unequiv­o­cally claimed its role in national lead­er­ship for the first time since the down­fall of the monar­chy. So much so that a full-page report in Italy’ s largest news­pa­per, La Repub­blica (10/31/93), described the event as a “ver­i­ta­ble cav­alry charge, a coun­ter­at­tack.” (Unprece­dented num­bers of nobles most cer­tainly took part, either as can­di­dates or as sup­port­ers, in Rome’s munic­i­pal elec­tions on Decem­ber 5. Their names are laden with his­tory and tra­di­tion and need no com­ment: Bar­berini, Orsini, Chigi, Borgh­ese and others.)

    Accord­ing to Pius XII’s teach­ings, the nobil­ity has a fun­da­men­tal role to play in contem­porary soci­ety. When the rul­ing elites of so many coun­tries are suf­fer­ing a seri­ous cred­i­bil­ity cri­sis, the nobil­ity must strive more than ever to ful­fill this role by lead­ing an exem­plary life and serv­ing the com­mon good in the most self­less man­ner. In this way they will be a model for the rest of society.

    Clearly echo­ing the Pope’s mes­sage as set out in the book, in his words at the Rome launch­ing Prince Sforza Rus­poli called on all the mem­bers of the aris­toc­racy to over­come their divi­sions and unite under the Papal lead­er­ship in the name of the peo­ple, who “want to see the val­ues of prayer, action, and sac­ri­fice, of which our ancestors—saints, lead­ers and heroes— gave tes­ti­mony at the price of their life.” Fur­ther­more, Prince Rus­poli said, “I wish to express to Pro­fes­sor Plinio how grate­ful and indebted we are as Rome’ s aris­toc­racy, and there­fore as an aris­toc­racy faith­ful to the Church, for his work.”

    In his speech Gio­vanni Can­toni, head of the Alleanza Cat­tolica, stated that since Papal social teach­ings are part of the Church’s moral Mag­is­terium accord­ing to John Paul II, Pro­fes­sor Cor­rêa de Oliveira’s bril­liant com­men­taries on Pius XII’s allo­cu­tions to the Roman Nobil­ity should be regarded as inte­gral to the moral the­ol­ogy of the Church.

    In his turn, the renowned polit­i­cal ana­lyst Prof. Domenico Fisichella stressed the his­tor­i­cal role of the nobil­ity and other tra­di­tional elites as mod­er­at­ing ele­ments for an ideal rela­tion­ship between the monarch and the peo­ple. He also demon­strated how con­tem­po­rary elites, unable to per­pet­u­ate this func­tion, eas­ily become oligarchies.

    ...

    Out with the old, in with the really old. It’s New Progress.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 25, 2012, 9:39 pm
  2. Great find, Pterrafractyl.

    TFP is one of those orga­ni­za­tions that wields great power in both Europe and Latin Amer­ica, Argentina in particular.

    The Euro­pean nobil­ity are lay­ing in wait, antic­i­pat­ing the day when the fas­cist cadres can clear the way for their return as par­tic­i­pants in a global fas­cist system.

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 26, 2012, 12:55 am
  3. So it looks like Mr. Tedeschi’s anti-corruption cam­paign, might be a lit­tle cor­rupt:

    Top arch­bishop ‘denounces Vat­i­can cor­rup­tion’
    By — | AFP – Wed, Jan 25, 2012

    A top Vat­i­can offi­cial who is now the envoy to Wash­ing­ton denounced cor­rup­tion and waste in the man­age­ment of the Holy See in let­ters to Pope Bene­dict XVI, Ital­ian media reported on Wednesday.

    Carlo Maria Vigano was sec­re­tary gen­eral of the gov­er­norate of the Vat­i­can — the per­son in charge of the admin­is­tra­tion — until Octo­ber, when he was named ambas­sador to the United States in what was seen as a demotion.

    In extracts from the let­ters pub­lished in Cor­riere della Sera and Libero, Vigano said he had faced a “dis­as­trous” sit­u­a­tion when he became head of the gov­er­norate in 2009 and said his trans­fer to Wash­ing­ton was “punishment”.

    “My trans­fer is caus­ing dis­ar­ray and dis­cour­age­ment among those who believed it was pos­si­ble to resolve the numer­ous sit­u­a­tions of cor­rup­tion and waste” in the Vat­i­can, he report­edly said in one let­ter to the pope in March 2011.

    Much of his crit­i­cism was focused on a Vat­i­can finan­cial com­mit­tee that includes the head of the Vat­i­can bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. He said the bankers were favour­ing “their inter­ests” more than the Vatican’s.

    In one finan­cial oper­a­tion by the bankers that went wrong, the Vat­i­can made a net loss of 2.5 mil­lion euros ($3.2 mil­lion), the arch­bish­ops said.

    He was also highly crit­i­cal of the cost of basic tech­ni­cal ser­vices and said con­struc­tion con­tracts for Vat­i­can build­ings were always going to the same com­pa­nies for tar­iffs that were more than twice as high as in Italy.

    He said other car­di­nals in the Vat­i­can “knew the sit­u­a­tion well”.

    ...

    How shock­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 26, 2012, 10:55 am
  4. @Dave: Pretty scary stuff, Dave. I should point out to any­one view­ing this who may not be famil­iar with your work that fascist-monarchist col­lab­o­ra­tion isn’t any­thing new; In fact Umberto II was pretty much allowed free reign under Mus­solini last time I checked.

    Posted by Steven L. | January 26, 2012, 1:54 pm
  5. “Vatileaks”, heh. Don’t slip on the manna pud­dle!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 18, 2012, 5:16 pm
  6. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/us-vatican-scandal-idUSTRE81C0ZL20120213

    “Mon­signors’ mutiny” revealed by Vat­i­can leaks

    By Philip Pullella

    VATICAN CITY | Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:10am EST

    (Reuters) — Call it Con­spir­acy City. Call it Scan­dal City. Call it Leak City. These days the holy city has been in the news for any­thing but holy reasons.

    “It is a total mess,” said one high-ranking Vat­i­can offi­cial who spoke, like all oth­ers, on the con­di­tion of anonymity.

    The Machi­avel­lian maneu­ver­ing and machi­na­tions that have come to light in the Vat­i­can recently are wor­thy of a novel about a sin­is­ter power strug­gle at a medieval court.

    Senior church offi­cials inter­viewed this month said almost daily embar­rass­ments that have put the Vat­i­can on the defen­sive could force Pope Bene­dict to act to clean up the image of its admin­is­tra­tion — at a time when the church faces a deeper cri­sis of author­ity and rel­e­vance in the wider world.

    Some of those sources said the out­come of a power strug­gle inside the Holy See may even have a longer-term effect, on the choice of the man to suc­ceed Bene­dict when he dies.

    From leaked let­ters by an arch­bishop who was trans­ferred after he blew the whis­tle on what he saw as a web of cor­rup­tion and crony­ism, to a leaked poi­son pen memo which puts a num­ber of car­di­nals in a bad light, to new sus­pi­cions about its bank, Vat­i­can spokes­men have had their work cut out responding.

    The flurry of leaks has come at an embar­rass­ing time — just before a usu­ally joy­ful cer­e­mony this week known as a con­sis­tory, when Bene­dict will admit more prelates into the Col­lege of Car­di­nals, the exclu­sive men’s club that will one day pick the next Roman Catholic leader from among their own ranks.

    “This con­sis­tory will be tak­ing place in an atmos­phere that is cer­tainly not very glo­ri­ous or exalt­ing,” said one bishop with direct knowl­edge of Vat­i­can affairs.

    The sources agreed that the leaks were part of an inter­nal cam­paign — a sort of “mutiny of the mon­signors” — against the pope’s right-hand man, Sec­re­tary of State Car­di­nal Tar­ci­sio Bertone.

    Bertone, 77, has a rep­u­ta­tion as a heavy-handed admin­is­tra­tor and power-broker whose style has alien­ated many in the Curia, the bureau­cracy that runs the cen­tral admin­is­tra­tion of the 1.3 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church.

    He came to the job, tra­di­tion­ally occu­pied by a career diplo­mat, in 2006 with no expe­ri­ence of work­ing in the church’s diplo­matic corps, which man­ages its inter­na­tional rela­tions. Bene­dict chose him, rather, because he had worked under the future pon­tiff, then Car­di­nal Joseph Ratzinger, in the Vatican’s pow­er­ful doc­tri­nal office.

    “It’s all aimed at Bertone,” said a mon­signor in a key Vat­i­can depart­ment who sym­pa­thizes with the sec­re­tary of state and who sees the leak­ers as deter­mined to oust him. “It’s very clear that they want to get rid of Bertone.”

    Vat­i­can sources say the rebels have the tacit back­ing of a for­mer sec­re­tary of state, Car­di­nal Angelo Sodano, an influ­en­tial power-broker in his own right and a vet­eran diplo­mat who served under the late Pope John Paul II for 15 years.

    “The diplo­matic wing feels that they are the right­ful own­ers of the Vat­i­can,” the mon­signor who favors Bertone said.

    Sodano and Bertone are not mutual admir­ers, to put it mildly. Nei­ther has com­mented pub­licly on the reports.

    WHISTLE-BLOWING ARCHBISHOP

    The Vat­i­can has been no stranger to con­tro­versy in recent years, when uproar over its han­dling of child sex abuse charges has ham­pered the church’s efforts to stem the ero­sion of con­gre­ga­tions and priestly recruit­ment in the devel­oped world.

    But the lat­est image cri­sis could not be closer to home.

    It began last month when an Ital­ian tele­vi­sion inves­tiga­tive show broad­cast pri­vate let­ters to Bertone and the pope from Arch­bishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the for­mer deputy gov­er­nor of the Vat­i­can City and cur­rently the Vat­i­can ambas­sador in Washington.

    The let­ters, which the Vat­i­can has con­firmed are authen­tic, showed that Vigano was trans­ferred after he exposed what he argued was a web of cor­rup­tion, nepo­tism and crony­ism linked to the award­ing of con­tracts to con­trac­tors at inflated prices.

    As deputy gov­er­nor of the Vat­i­can City for two years from 2009 to 2011, Vigano was the num­ber two offi­cial in a depart­ment respon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the tiny city-state’s gar­dens, build­ings, streets, muse­ums and other infra­struc­ture, which are man­aged sep­a­rately from the Ital­ian cap­i­tal which sur­rounds it.

    In one let­ter, Vigano writes of a smear cam­paign against him by other Vat­i­can offi­cials who were upset that he had taken dras­tic steps to clean up the pur­chas­ing pro­ce­dures and begged to stay in the job to fin­ish what he had started.

    Bertone responded by remov­ing Vigano from his posi­tion three years before the end of his tenure and send­ing him to the United States, despite his strong resistance.

    Other leaks cen­ter on the Vat­i­can bank, just as it is try­ing to put behind it past scan­dals — includ­ing the col­lapse 30 years ago of Banco Ambrosiano, which entan­gled it in lurid alle­ga­tions about money-laundering, freema­sons, mafiosi and the mys­te­ri­ous death of Ambrosiano chair­man Roberto Calvi — “God’s banker.”

    Today, the Vat­i­can bank, for­mally known at the Insti­tute for Works of Reli­gion (IOR), is aim­ing to com­ply fully with inter­na­tional norms and has applied for the Vatican’s inclu­sion on the Euro­pean Commission’s approved “white list” of states that meet EU stan­dards for total finan­cial transparency.

    Bertone was instru­men­tal in putting the bank’s cur­rent exec­u­tives in place and any lin­ger­ing sus­pi­cion about it reflects badly on him. The Com­mis­sion will decide in June and fail­ure to make the list would be an embar­rass­ment for Bertone.

    ITALIAN POPE?

    Last week, an Ital­ian news­pa­per that has pub­lished some of the leaks ran a bizarre inter­nal Vat­i­can memo that involved one car­di­nal com­plain­ing about another car­di­nal who spoke about a pos­si­ble assas­si­na­tion attempt against the pope within 12 months and openly spec­u­lated on who the next pope should be.

    Bertone’s detrac­tors say he has packed the Curia with Ital­ian friends. Some see an attempt to influ­ence the elec­tion of the next pope and increase the chances that the papacy returns to Italy after two suc­ces­sive non-Italian popes who have bro­ken what had been an Ital­ian monop­oly for over 450 years.

    Seven of the 18 new “car­di­nal elec­tors” — those aged under 80 eli­gi­ble to elect a pope — at this Saturday’s con­sis­tory are Ital­ian. Six of those work for Bertone in the Curia.

    Bertone, as chief admin­is­tra­tor, had a key role in advis­ing the pope on the appoint­ments, which raised eye­brows because of the high num­ber of Ital­ian bureau­crats among them.

    “There is wide­spread malaise and delu­sion about Bertone inside the Curia. It is full of com­plaints,” said the bishop who has close knowl­edge of Vat­i­can affairs.

    “Bertone has had a very brash method of run­ning the Vat­i­can and putting his friends in high places. Peo­ple could not take it any more and said ‘enough’ and that is why I think these leaks are com­ing out now to make him look bad,” he said.

    POPE “ISOLATED”

    Leaked con­fi­den­tial cables sent to the State Depart­ment by the U.S. embassy to the Vat­i­can depicted him as a “yes man” with no diplo­matic expe­ri­ence or lin­guis­tic skills and the 2009 cable sug­gests that the pope is pro­tected from bad news.

    “There is also the ques­tion of who, if any­one, brings dis­sent­ing views to the pope’s atten­tion,” read the cable, pub­lished by WikiLeaks.

    The Vat­i­can sources said some car­di­nals asked the pope to replace Bertone because of admin­is­tra­tive lapses, includ­ing the fail­ure to warn the pope that a rene­gade bishop re-admitted to the Church in 2009 was a well-known Holo­caust denier.

    But they said the pope, at 84 and increas­ingly show­ing the signs of his age, is not eager to break in a new right-hand man.

    “It’s so com­pli­cated and the pope is so help­less,” said the monsignor.

    The bishop said: “The pope is very iso­lated. He lives in his own world and some say the infor­ma­tion he receives is fil­tered. He is inter­ested in his books and his ser­mons but he is not very inter­ested in government.”

    (Edit­ing by Jon Boyle and Alas­tair Macdonald)

    Posted by Vanfield | February 19, 2012, 10:28 pm

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