New allegations in Vatican City are coming about from the recent VatiLeaks scandal of the Catholic Church. Reports indicate that the Vatican has experienced wiretapped priests, missing money and threats against the life of Pope Francis.
On Thursday, two new books concerning scandals in the Vatican will be released to the public. These books will expose the corrupt side of the Vatican City, revealing a side of the Vatican that Catholic officials would have preferred to keep quiet.
Meanwhile, layperson Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Spanish monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda were both arrested for reportedly leaking secret documents to journalists. Both of these people were a part of a special commission to help reform the corrupt financial system of the Vatican. These documents are believed to contain information that will be a major part of the new books.
Author of the new book Merchants in the Temple, journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi believes that while Pope Francis paints a good picture in front of large audiences, he has actually done very little in regards to reforming the corrupt finances of the Vatican. This book is said to be more critical of the Vatican’s practices than the other book.
Nuzzi writes, “Of all the reforms contemplated during the first year of his pontificate, very few managed to get off the ground. This unfortunately meant one thing: Bergoglio’s (Pope Francis’s) plan to drive out the merchants from the temple was still unfulfilled some three years after his election. The only project that did become concrete was the communications hub, through the establishment of the new Secretariat for Communications. All the other projects and changes announced remained in the drawer or were only partially realized. This situation was a source of discontent all around. More and more cardinals were criticizing the Holy Father, some quite openly.”
Additionally, the book also contains information regarding the information on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Reports indicate that the former Pope formed a profit-sharing deal with cigarette companies. Nuzzi’s book mentions a series of secret letters between major tobacco companies and the former Pope.
Meanwhile, the book alleges that the current Pope’s reform of the Governorate still has not taken effect, despite the fact that Pope Francis has served as Pope for nearly three years.
Another scandal involves suspicious real estate holdings of the Vatican. Some of these holdings include luxury apartments in Rome that are rented out for zero rent or extremely low rates.
Indeed, the Vatican is said to be extremely involved in corrupt real estate holdings. Scandals in this area have been common, and little has been done to address these issues, as they have simply been passed on from Pope to Pope.
The Vatican has also turned a blind eye to rent evaders, as Vatican City has had more than $4 million in overdue rent payments, representing about a third of the total rent income for Vatican City. The Vatican has also been known to compensate underpaid workers by giving them reduced or free rent. This reinforces accusations of nepotism.
However, a major scandal concerns saint-making, in which Vatican elites make major money by offering sainthood in exchange for financial compensation. Some people have spent more than $800,000 in becoming a saint. Because of improper bookkeeping, much of this money has gone to scandalous purposes.
Another major scandal in the Vatican concerns the use of hidden microphones in critical Vatican City offices. Bugs have also been planted in the cars and homes of priests. Many of these priests are responsible for very important finances. Making matters worse is that it is largely unknown as to who exactly planted these bugs and why they did it. Perhaps more mysterious is that many of these hidden microphones did not even work properly, and they might have been used as mere bluffs.
In the end, Nuzzi’s book will reveal some very dark secrets about Vatican City and the Catholic Church. He says that the corruption of the Vatican is no surprise, considering the widespread presence of the Mafia in Italy. Pope Francis must watch his back, as with great corruption often comes great danger.