Skip to comments.Vatican official arrested in alleged $26M corruption plot
Posted on 06/28/2013 6:44:16 AM PDT by markomalley
A Vatican official already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank was arrested Friday in a separate operation: Prosecutors allege he tried to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane, his lawyer said.
Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a recently suspended accountant in one of the Vatican's main financial departments, is accused of fraud, corruption and slander stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground, attorney Silverio Sica told The Associated Press.
He said Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked him to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euros they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Giovanni Maria Zito, went to Switzerland to bring the cash back aboard an Italian government aircraft. Such a move would presumably prevent any reporting of the money coming into Italy.
The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said.
Zito, nevertheless, demanded his 400,000 euro commission. Scarano paid him an initial 200,000 euros by check, which Zito deposited, Sica said. But in a bid to not have the second check deposited at the bank, Scarano filed a report for a missing 200,000 check, even though he knew Zito had it, Sica said.
Carenzio and Zito also were arrested Wednesday along with Scarano, Sica said.
It's not the only troubles facing Scarano.
Prosecutors in the southern city of Salerno have placed him under investigation for alleged money-laundering stemming from his account at the Vatican's bank, the Institute for Religious Works. Just this week, Pope Francis named a commission of inquiry into the bank to get to the bottom of the problems that have plagued it for decades and contributed to damaging the Vatican's reputation in global financial circles.
That investigation concerns transactions Scarano made in 2009 in which he took 560,000 euros ($729,000) in cash out of his personal IOR bank account and carried it out of the Vatican and into Italy to help pay off a mortgage on his Salerno home.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi tells CBS News that Scarano was an accountant in the APSA, the Vatican department that manages the Holy See's real estate.
To deposit the money into an Italian bank account -- and to prevent family members from finding out he had such a large chunk of cash -- he asked 56 close friends to accept 10,000 euros apiece in cash in exchange for a check or money transfer in the same amount, Sica said earlier this week. Scarano was then able to deposit the amounts in his Italian account.
The original money came into Scarano's IOR account from donors who gave it to the prelate thinking they were funding a home for the terminally ill in Salerno, Sica said. He said the donors had "enormous" wealth and could offer such donations for his charitable efforts.
He said Scarano had given the names of the donors to prosecutors and insisted the origin of the money was clean, that the transactions didn't constitute money-laundering, and that he only took the money "temporarily" for his personal use.
The home for terminally ill hasn't been built, though the property has been identified, Sica said.
"He declares himself absolutely innocent," Sica said of the Salerno investigation.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told the AP earlier this week that the Vatican is taking the appropriate measures to deal with Scarano's case.
I wonder.....At what level or how pervasive must corruption be for the Christian who wants to remain holy to be forced to “flee to the mountains”?
A long time ago I figured out that I was Catholic for reasons of doctrine, not reasons of the personalities involved.
I can't speak for anybody else, but if I was to "flee to the mountains" (to borrow your euphamism), I would be, in essence, calling Christ a liar (as his statement to Peter in Matt 16:18 would no longer be true). I cannot do that.
The other thing is that I am comforted by Church history. Even during the most corrupt papacy in history (as far as I can tell), that of Rodrigo Borgia (Alexander VI), a pope so horrifically corrupt that his body immediately rotted upon death...so fast that it could not have been natural, but had to be spiritual powers at work, the Holy Spirit managed to ensure that the Teachings of the Church remained intact.
It is nowhere near as bad now as it was then. Even though it is pretty bad now.
So, as a Catholic, I have to practice patience. And hunker down.
Micheal Corleone will not be pleased.
I completely agree with this response, as what Christ calls us to do. It reminds me of this timeless homily by Father Roger Landry in 2002, as to the proper response to scandal ... Answering Scandal With Personal Holiness ...
I don’t understand why a priest needs a personal bank account of over a half million dollars.
IMO he was stealing from God.
Makes you wonder what else he was in to.
Stealing, Homosexuality, Francis has his hands full with this mess he inherited.
Time to start tossing some bad priests to the wolves.
The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said. Zito, nevertheless, demanded his 400,000 euro commission. Scarano paid him an initial 200,000 euros by check, which Zito deposited, Sica said. But in a bid to not have the second check deposited at the bank, Scarano filed a report for a missing 200,000 check, even though he knew Zito had it, Sica said. Carenzio and Zito also were arrested Wednesday along with Scarano, Sica said.
Nothing to see here - move along.
Vatican bank head in money laundering probe-sources
Vatican bank chief investigated over money laundering claims [23m acct frozen]
Prosecutors: Vatican Bank Defying Laundering Laws
Vatican Bank mired in laundering scandal
The Catholic Church's Vatileaks scandal: A guide
Vatican accountant under arrest after 20M cash smuggling attempt
They apparently can't even control where it goes or what it does.
Scarano just Tweeted that he had intended to ship the $26 million to the US, where it was going to be used to pay for ads explaining the benefits of Obamacare..
Yet another scandal is waiting in the wings ready to take the spot light.
Vatican II does not appear to have kept Church Teaching intact. The post-Vatican II Church seems to be a different Church.
And I italicize the words appear and seems in the hopes that I am wrong.
I note that. I personally agree with the Ratzinger interpretation given last February:
I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers the real Council but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council apart, and the world perceived the Council through the latter, through the media. Thus, the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers was conducted within the faith it was a Council of faith seeking intellectus, seeking to understand itself and seeking to understand the signs of God at that time, seeking to respond to the challenge of God at that time and to find in the word of God a word for today and tomorrow while all the Council, as I said, moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of the journalists, naturally, was not conducted within the faith, but within the categories of today's media, namely apart from faith, with a different hermeneutic. It was a political hermeneutic: for the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different trends in the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world. There were those who sought the decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the expression "People of God", power for the people, the laity. There was this threefold question: the power of the Pope, which was then transferred to the power of the bishops and the power of all popular sovereignty. Naturally, for them, this was the part to be approved, to be promulgated, to be favoured. So too with the liturgy: there was no interest in liturgy as an act of faith, but as something where comprehensible things are done, a matter of community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a tendency, not without a certain historical basis, to say: sacrality is a pagan thing, perhaps also a thing of the Old Testament. In the New Testament it matters only that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, in the profane world. Sacrality must therefore be abolished, and profanity now spreads to worship: worship is no longer worship, but a community act, with communal participation: participation understood as activity. These translations, trivializations of the idea of the Council, were virulent in the process of putting the liturgical reform into practice; they were born from a vision of the Council detached from its proper key, that of faith. And the same applies to the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, it is historical, to be treated historically and only historically, and so on.
We know that this Council of the media was accessible to everyone. Therefore, this was the dominant one, the more effective one, and it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal liturgy and the real Council had difficulty establishing itself and taking shape; the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real force of the Council was present and, slowly but surely, established itself more and more and became the true force which is also the true reform, the true renewal of the Church.
In my experience, the actual reading of the Council documents is a whole lot different than the experience of the "spirit" of the council seen in most parishes.
Assuming it is just a perception vs the reality of VII (as Pope Benedict says in your post), I think that this perception will make it even more difficult to get through the latest issues we are encountering as a Church...many of which seem to be coming about on a more frequent basis.
Honestly, I think a lot of it is really separating wheat from chaff.
I'm unclear as to what Benedict calls the "Council of the Fathers", but I believe he's speaking of this event?
Here the battle as I said was difficult, and an intervention of Pope Paul VI proved decisive. This intervention shows all the delicacy of a father, his responsibility for the progress of the Council, but also his great respect for the Council. The idea had arisen that Scripture is complete; everything is found there; consequently there is no need for Tradition, and so the Magisterium has nothing to say. At that point the Pope transmitted to the Council, I believe, fourteen formulae for a phrase to be inserted into the text on Revelation and he gave us, the Council Fathers, the freedom to choose one of the fourteen formulae, but he said that one of them needed to be chosen in order to complete the text. I remember more or less the formula "non omnis certitudo de veritatibus fidei potest sumi ex Sacra Scriptura", in other words, the Churchs certainty about her faith is not born only of an isolated book, but has need of the Church herself as a subject enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit. Only then does the Scripture speak with all its authority. This phrase, which we selected in the Doctrinal Commission from the fourteen formulae, is decisive, I would say, for showing the Churchs absolute necessity, and thus understanding the meaning of Tradition, the living body in which this word draws life from the outset and from which it receives its light, in which it is born. The fact of the canon of Scripture is already an ecclesial fact: that these writings are Scripture is the result of an illumination of the Church, who discovered in herself this canon of Scripture; she discovered it, she did not create it; and always and only in this communion of the living Church can one really understand and read the Scripture as the word of God, as a word which guides us in life and in death.
Alex, I think the “Council of the Fathers” = Vatican II
“Council of the Fathers” = what was actually done at VCII (i.e., the actual documents published)
“Council of the media” = the spin done by radicals to use this council as an opportunity to violently inject their vision of what the Council “should have” done.
Council of the media = the spin done by radicals to use this council as an opportunity to violently inject their vision of what the Council should have done.
Thank you both for the clarification.
So, as a Catholic, I have to practice patience. And hunker down.
Words of wisdom, my FRiend, echoing what the Holy Father was quoted as saying on a thread I read here on FR today.
I often find myself so puzzled and concerned now about the state of our culture and of our nation. But I am immediately comforted when I say, “To Thee, O Lord, I lift my soul”.
It’s funny how he’s “Vatican official,” “Vatican accountant,” and “Vatican monsignor” in different headlines.
Your religion's interpretation of that verse never has been true...You would do well to flee to the mountains, or far better, to flee to Jesus Christ...Trust Him with your soul, not anyone's religion...
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