Vatican Bank Scandals - Pope Francis makes progress

07 Feb 2017

Pope Francis addressing the Curia….Scandal, corruption anme at the highest levels in the Vatican bank have rocked the Catholic church. The bank’s president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, a well-regarded figure in European banking, was effectively sacked when the board passed a unanimous “no-confidence” vote in 2012. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi Ettori Gotti Tedeschi But in January 2017 a Rome prosecutor asked for sentences of one year in jail for former Vatican bank Director- General Paolo Cipriani and 10 months for his former deputy Massimo Tulli. The trial concerns suspected breaches of Italy’s anti-money-laundering norms linked to two suspicious operations that led to the seizure of 23 million euros in 2010, later returned to the bank of the Holy See. The IOR operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors said in court. From January 1 to February 12, 2013, the Bank of Italy froze all credit card and ATM transactions inside the Vatican City over its failure to fully implement international anti-money laundering standards. Pope Benedict took swift action to comply. From the prosecutors’ statements it looks as if Tedeschi was forced out by former Secretary of State Bertone in order to stop…

St George and the Dragon Victory Leading

17 Dec 2016

St George and the Dragon Victory Leading, Sir Alfred Gilbert (1904) The St George and the Dragon Victory Leading bronze statuette is a favourite image in my book St George and the Dragons. Searches for this beautiful and unusual representation of St George have come up on the first page of searches for ‘St George’, so I must be doing something right. The statuette is 17.5 inches high and comprises two remarkable sections. The first is composed of three figures: St George carrying a banneret and joyously urging his horse on over the body of the beaten dragon; the squire Victory to the right leading the horse by its bridle in his left hand and waving a palm of victory in his right; and the horse prancing excitedly over his foe. The base of the statuette is even more remarkable. There lies the dragon not simply sprawling on the ground but spreadeagled over the clearly delineated pinnacles and turrets of a town. The sculptor, Sir Alfred Gilbert R.A. (1854-1934) is most famous for the Shaftesbury Memorial at Piccadilly Circus, London, usually known as Eros. He conceived his astonishing sculpture of St George and the Dragon after a dream on 15 May…

Welcome Pope Francis! A New-Style of Leader

14 Mar 2013

A humble, principled and compassionate leader has been elected Pope.The cause of peace and justice and, indirectly, the campaign to overcome gun violence, took a stride forward on March 13, 2013, with the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as Pope. Although I am not a Catholic but an Episcopalian (Anglican), I welcome the election of this man of surpassing holiness, towering intellect, great strength of character and deep compassion as leader of the largest Christian denomination. Jorge Bergoglio is a humble, down-home sort of guy who cooks his own dinner and rides the bus. Some of that will have to change now he is Pope, but the principled inner core of the man shines out and his integrity will never let him forget where he came from. Most likely, we shall never meet this wonderful man and come to know him personally. Yet if we study the tradition he is from, that of St Francis of Assissi and St Francis Xavier, founder of the Jesuits, of which Cardinal Bergoglio was a Provincial, we shall come to understand something of him. And if we follow the example he will set as best we can in our own circumstances,…