Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shattering The Myth Of Mother Theresa.


In all the universe of religious experience, few figures are so beloved as the Catholic nun known to the world as Mother Teresa. The official biography holds that she selflessly devoted her life to ministering to the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, suffering through poverty and deprivation nearly as great as that of her patients without complaint, and asking no reward except the knowledge of doing God's will. She was a beloved figure to millions and a trusted counselor to powerful leaders and celebrities worldwide, was showered with rewards and honors during her life, and attracted huge crowds as she lay in state after her death.

As I said, that is the official story. But atheists and freethinkers, more than any other group, should recognize how pious words are so often used to conceal ugly acts of inhumanity, and to gloss over the disreputable elements of stories presented as inspirational and noble. Teresa's story is perhaps the supreme example of this. In this post, I intend to look past all the uncritical praise and point out some unsettling facts about her life and her mission that devotional biographies tend to avoid.

Teresa was a friend to vicious dictators, criminals and con men.

As Christopher Hitchens documents in his book The Missionary Position, Teresa was acquainted with a startling number of unsavory characters. Two such were the Duvaliers, Jean-Claude and Michelle, who ruled Haiti as a police state from 1971 until they were overthrown in a popular uprising in 1986. (They looted the country of most of its national treasury when they fled.) Teresa visited them in person in 1981 and praised the Duvaliers and their regime as "friends" of the poor, and her testimony on their behalf was shown on state-owned television for weeks.

Bizarrely, she also visited the grave of brutal Communist dictator Enver Hoxha in 1990, laying a wreath of flowers on the tomb of a man who had viciously suppressed religion in Teresa's native Albania. The list also includes the Nicaraguan contras, a Catholic terrorist group who unleashed death squads on the civilian population in their bid to conquer the country.

Teresa was also a friend to Charles Keating, a conservative Catholic fundamentalist who served on an anti-pornography commission under President Nixon. Keating would later become infamous for his role in the Savings & Loan scandal, where he was convicted of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy for his involvement in a scam where customers were deceived into buying worthless junk bonds, resulting in many of them losing their life savings.

Keating had donated $1.25 million to Mother Teresa in the 1980s, and as he was awaiting sentencing, she wrote a letter to the court on his behalf asking for clemency.

The prosecuting attorney, Paul Turley, wrote a reply to this letter. In his reply, he explained what Keating had been convicted of, and observed, "No church... should allow itself to be used as salve for the conscience of the criminal." He also pointed out that the $1.25 million Keating had donated to her was stolen money, and suggested that the appropriate course of action would be for her to give it back: "You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the 'indulgence' he desires. Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it!"

Teresa never replied to this letter.

Teresa cloaked a reactionary right-wing political outlook in false protestations of innocence and naivete. Although she insisted on several occasions that her mission was resolutely apolitical, Teresa's true interests were anything but. Like the right-wing conservative Catholic she was, she traveled the world to lobby against the legality of abortion, contraception, and even divorce.

When the International Health Organization honored Teresa in 1989, she spoke at length against abortion and contraception and called AIDS a "just retribution for improper sexual conduct". Similarly, when Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, she proclaimed in her acceptance speech that abortion was the greatest threat to peace in the world. (Hitchens cuttingly notes that when the award was announced, "few people had the poor taste to ask what she had ever done, or even claimed to do, for the cause of peace").

 In 1992, she appeared at an open-air Mass in Ireland and said, "Let us promise Our Lady who loves Ireland so much that we will never allow in this country a single abortion. And no contraceptives." She also campaigned in Ireland to oppose the successful 1995 referendum to legalize divorce in that predominantly Catholic more

The Vatican Current Cover Up Reveals Strong Similarities To The Franklin Scandal - Paedophiles And Child Abuse At The Whitehouse. George Bush Senior Is A Papal Knight Of Malta (SMOM) He Answers To The Pope .

Uploaded by on 15 Jul 2010

As covered by NBC mainstream news

"Homosexual Prostitution Probe Ensnares Officials of Bush, Reagan," screamed the front-page headline of the Washington Times with the kicker "Call Boys Took Midnight Tour of White House."

Full washington times articles in full detail

The Times reported, "A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close ties to Washington's political elite."

Washington times articles

"Conspiracy of silence" film on the white house call boy ring was to be broadcast on the Discovery channel but was blocked from airing...VIEW HERE

Vatican Official Told Irelands Catholic Bishops In 1997 NOT To Report Priests Suspected Of Child Abuse To The Police.

 50857193 Vatican Letter Vatican officials told Irish not to report child abuse

A Vatican department advised Ireland’s Catholic bishops in 1997 not to report priests suspected of child abuse to the police, a newly revealed letter shows.

Obtained by Irish broadcaster RTE, the letter shows Vatican officials rejected an initiative to begin the “mandatory reporting” of abuse claims.

The proposed policy “gives rise to serious reservations”, it says.

The Vatican has persistently said it never instructed bishops to withhold suspicions or evidence of crimes.

To read more go to the BBC site.

Paulo Gabriele Accused Of "Vatileaks" Now Sits In A Lonely Room In The Vatican Awaiting His Fate.

Just after dawn on Wednesday, May 23, Paolo Gabriele said goodbye to his wife, passed by the bedrooms of his three children and left to start another day in the service of the man Roman Catholics believe is the vicar of Christ on Earth.

By the end of the day, Pope Benedict's butler would be branded a traitor and some, including an Italian cardinal, would compare him to the most famous betrayer in history - Judas Iscariot, the man who turned Jesus over to the Romans.

Dark haired and handsome, Gabriele, 46, left his simple home on the third floor of a 1930s Vatican apartment block named after the 7th century monk Saint Egidio.

With the St Ann's Gate entrance, guarded by Swiss Guard in blue berets, to his back, he passed the Holy See's central post office on Via Del Belvedere, turned left to climb a stone stairway named after Pope Pius X, and walked up a flight of covered steps to enter the small Renaissance-era Courtyard of Sixtus V.

Here he used a key held by fewer than 10 people to enter an elevator that leads directly to the pope's private apartment on the third and top floor of the Apostolic Palace in the world's smallest state. Even cardinals can't use it.

Gabriele, said by those who know him to be a timid, reserved and shy man, is now at the centre of the worst crisis in Pope Benedict's pontificate.

His face has appeared on the front pages of newspapers all over the world, accused of being the source of leaked documents alleging serious Vatican corruption and cronyism in a scandal that has shaken the very centre of the Church.

To some - even if he is found guilty - he is an idealist who wanted to root out corruption in the Vatican and was helped by outside accomplices.

To others, he is merely a pawn in a much bigger power struggle among cardinals inside the Vatican walls.

"I know Paolo and I don't think he is capable of doing something like this by himself," a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Reuters.

"It is clearly a betrayal of the pope's trust but I don't think he could have acted alone," that person said.

That Wednesday morning when Gabriele, dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, entered the private papal apartment, he walked down a corridor past the pope's modern private chapel, with its stained glass ceiling and white leather kneelers.

Even as he was serving the pope his breakfast, after the pontiff had said mass with other members of the "papal family" that morning, Gabriele knew he was a suspect in an investigation into leaks that had begun in January.

"He was questioned earlier but the decisive elements that permitted the arrest surfaced later," a Vatican official said, adding that one of the pope's two private secretaries, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, had confronted Gabriele with his suspicions.


At precisely 10:30 that sunny Wednesday morning, Benedict rode in his white popemobile through the Arch of the Bells into St Peter's Square to start his weekly audience. Gabriele was in his usual place, to the right of the driver, and his stony face showed no emotion.
It was the last ride he would take in the iconic vehicle that carries the man world diplomacy recognises not only as leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics but as "The Sovereign of the State of Vatican City."

That afternoon, agents led by Domenico Giani, 49, the shaven-headed Vatican police chief who is known by the diminutive "Mimmo" to his friends, rang the buzzer on the Gabriele family apartment and entered.

Giani was formerly a member of the Italian secret service.

"It's not a fancy place - four rooms, a bath and a kitchen, if I remember correctly," someone who has been inside told Reuters.

Inside, they found what the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano - which waited nearly a week before writing about the arrest - called "a large number of confidential documents" belonging to the pope.

"A sense of tension, disorientation, stupor and sadness fell over the whole place like a thick fog after news of Paolo's arrest spread," said one Vatican worker describing the mood of employees from priests to postmen in the following days.

Because the Vatican does not have a jail, Gabriele is being held in a simple "safe room" with a bed and small table in the Vatican police station.

But the question on many people's minds and lips, including Gabriele's friends, was "Why? What is the motive?"

If he is guilty, why would Paoletto (little Paul, as he known), a devout Catholic and devoted father, betray the man whose official titles include "Successor of the Prince of the Apostles" and "Servant of the Servants of God"?

People who know Gabriele, now called "the defendant" in Vatican statements, exclude money as a motive.

They say the butler, who still attends Mass each day in the police station, would not have been able to spend it anywhere without raising suspicion; unless he left his job and probably even Italy.

And why, at 46 with three small children, would he leave a simple but comfortable life in the Vatican? While Vatican employees do not receive large salaries, they do enjoy benefits such as low rent, no income tax and cheap food and petrol at the commissaries of the 108-acre city state.


Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian journalist who revealed many of the documents alleging corruption in the Vatican and internal conflict over the role of the Vatican bank, declines to reveal his sources but insists he did not pay anyone.

Nuzzi, a respected journalist with a good track record whose book "His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI," contains some of the allegations, says his sources were simple, devout people "genuinely concerned about the Catholic Church" who wanted to expose corruption.

People who know Gabriele, who started out as a humble cleaning person in the Vatican, said there was no indication either that he could have been blackmailed over his private life to force him to leak the documents.

Apart from Gabriele, the few other people who could go directly into the papal apartments via the reserved private elevator at the base of the Sixtus V courtyard include the pope's two priest secretaries, Ganswein and Maltese Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, and four consecrated women of "Memores Domini".

Memores Domini is an association of lay women, similar to nuns, who take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience within the Catholic organisation Communion and Liberation. Their names are Carmela, Loredana, Cristiana and Rossella.

The fact that Gabriele was part of a tightly knit group known as "the papal family" explains the sadness and bitterness in the pope's words when he first spoke about the crisis in public on Wednesday, exactly one week after the butler's arrest.

"Our life and our Christian path are often marked by difficulties, incomprehension and suffering," he said, adding that all people must persevere in the face of "conflicts in human relations, often within one's own family".

While the pope's secretaries and the four women who help him run the simple household live in the papal residence, Gabriele stayed in his own apartment nearby with his family.
"He lived in the Vatican but not in the papal apartment," one Church official who knows Gabriele told Reuters. "He could have met with anyone in the Vatican or outside the Vatican".

In an interview with Reuters, Nuzzi would not say if any of the documents he had received came from Gabriele.

His book contains a treasure trove of private Vatican correspondence, including documents alleging cronysm and corruption in contracts with Italian companies, conspiracies among cardinals and clashes over management at the Vatican's own bank, the Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR.

He said the book, which hit the stands last week and is already sold out in Rome, is based on confidential conversations with more than 10 Vatican whistleblowers.


The Vatican has not contested the authenticity of the documents but says their leak was part of a "brutal" personal attack on the pope and their publication "a criminal act".

The Italian media have dubbed the people who have leaked the documents "Corvi" (crows), a pejorative Italian term for an informant.

"They are not crows, they are doves who wanted to shed light, clean their air," Nuzzi told Reuters. "If the image of the Vatican that emerges is negative, it is not my fault, it is because of what is written in the documents."

The leaks began in January when an investigative television show hosted by Nuzzi broadcast private letters to Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the pope from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former deputy governor of the Vatican City, who has been moved to Washington as the Vatican's ambassador.

The letters showed Vigano was transferred after he exposed what he said was a web of corruption and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts at inflated prices to Italian contractors.

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.

Bertone, whose job is to keep the Vatican's central administration, or Curia, running smoothly for the pope, now looks weakened after the leaks scandal and other failures.

They include the abrupt departure last week of the Vatican bank's Italian chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi - who was recruited by Bertone from Spanish bank Santander - after a no-confidence vote by its board.

At his position in the papal apartments, Gabriele was in a prime position to see at least some of the disarray and tension in the Curia. But it remains to be seen whether he really was a pawn used by others to undermine Bertone, as some sources say.

"This is a strategy of tension, an orgy of vendettas and pre-emptive vendettas that has now spun out of the control of those who thought they could orchestrate it," said Alberto Melloni, a prominent Italian Church historian.

After his arrest Gabriele called an old school friend and devout catholic, Carlo Fusco, and asked him to be his defence lawyer. Fusco, a civil advocate, called in criminal lawyer Cristiana Arru to help with Gabriele's defence.

Gabriele's fate is now in the hands of Piero Antonio Bonnet, the Vatican's public prosecutor.

He will decide if the man who once was trusted with the keys to the papal elevator should stand trial for aggravated theft, or even worse, disclosing the documents of a head of state or breaking a special pontifical law protecting papal confidentiality.

The pope has tried to end talk of conflict under his roof.

Breaking his silence on the scandal on Wednesday, he expressed full confidence in his staff, including those who he said work "in silence" to help him carry out his ministry.

But that group no longer includes Gabriele, who only a few days ago was one of the closest men to Pope Benedict but now sits in a lonely room in the Vatican awaiting his fate.

(Additional reporting by Silvia Aloisi, Paolo Biondi, Tom Heneghan and James Mackenzie, editing by Barry Moody and Ralph Boulton)

Vatileaks: What Kind Of 'God' On Earth Jails His Butler ?


What Kind of “god on earth” Jails His Butler?

Kevin Annett from Hidden from History dot org provided this article to the Investigative Journal regarding the recent controversy at the Vatican. At least for the time being, it appears the Pope will be boiling his own tea as he had his butler jailed for reading his mail and giving it the press. It appears the Pope doesn’t like his billion strong to know the truth.

Here is Kevin’s article:

Why We are Still in the Middle Ages: The Vatican Inquisition Strikes Back

By Kevin D. Annett

Paolo Gabriele is languishing in a secret church prison tonight in Vatican City after being arrested by church police for having some of the Pope’s private papers in his possession.
The Pope’s former butler and a father of three children is threatened with thirty years in a papal jail for having uncovered some of Joseph Ratzinger’s dirty secrets.

Paolo might as well not be an Italian citizen, since his civil rights vanished once he crossed the Vatican. The law of the church supersedes that of any nation, it seems, since clearly the Pope can arrest and jail anyone he doesn’t like !

It’s quite abominable.

How many corporations get to arrest and put on trial in their own private courts one of their employees who’s found with internal company documents?

How often does the CEO of such a company get to shelter and exonerate child rapists in his firm, hide the crime from the police, and silence those who know about it all?

Does the company itself get to launder money, finance wars, conduct genocide and crimes against humanity, and depose governments, and never answer for these crimes?

The Vatican Incorporated is the one company in the world that can do all this.

And what’s more, they even get massive financial subsidies from taxpayers in over a hundred countries to do so!

That said, it’s a sign of the degree of institutional rot and panic erupting in Rome these days that members of the papal inner circle are breaking ranks and squealing on their boss.

Paolo’s arrest follows hot on the heels of the forced resignation of the chief of the Vatican Bank, Gotti Tedeschi, who allegedly had blown the whistle on shady transactions by the bank.

It’s small wonder the papacy is crushing a lone employee like Paolo so rapidly.

Some of the documents held by the butler suggest that the Pope personally accepted bribes to award Vatican contracts to friends and supporters of his, and that he engineered a cover up of the whole thing, including by expelling Vatican City governor Archbishop Carlo Vigano last year when he asked the Pope to come clean.

One can’t help but be reminded of the last days of Richard Nixon.

 But the former president cum gangster, at least, was legally accountable to the United States Congress.

The Pope is answerable only to himself.

He is, under his own laws, both “Master and God”: church and state all rolled into one, all powerful ruler of humanity.

Roman Emperor Aurelian invented that title known as “Dominus et Deus” in the year 273 when he created a new religious cult of sun worship that evolved into state Christianity under a later Emperor, Constantine.

For the first time, and ever since then, one ruler was designated as having absolute authority over everyone, and could therefore never be challenged.

Adolf Hitler was a pale imitation.

When Aurelian’s god-emperor evolved into the papacy, Europe inherited a monster called Christendom that would cause more death and atrocity than any force in human history.

Sadly, over the centuries governments have accommodated themselves to this monster since historically they arose in partnership with it, and derived their authority from papal sanction.

What Martin Luther called “the two swords” – church and state working in tandem – is still the governing principle that allows so-called “canon law” to supersede civil laws in most nations, with the result that men like Paolo Gabriele can simply disappear with the nod of a pope.

We really are still in the middle ages, in many ways: and we techno-serfs still blindly clamor for justice from institutions run from the top-down by men who consider themselves gods.

Joseph Ratzinger is an expert at making people disappear, having run the papal Inquisition – renamed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – for many years.

But the very absoluteness of his power as Grand Inquisitor made Ratzinger many enemies, and the latter are gathering nowadays to help expose their adversary.

The details of Ratzinger accepting bribes, for instance, actually came from Vatican Secretary of State archives to which Paolo Gabriele could not have had access.

Only senior Cardinals could have released such damning evidence.

This kind of power struggle in the papacy is nothing new, but since it is happening amidst efforts to criminally indict the Pope for concealing child rapists and obstructing justice, many of the Curia are worried that the institution will suffer permanent damage: a fact quite unacceptable to the money boys who stand behind the papal throne.

To quote a senior Italian state senator who spoke to me in Rome in the spring of 2010,
“The Vatican, the mafia, and the government, they’re really all the same men, and they have one major concern: to hold on to their revenues.

They are terrified that the ORI (Vatican Bank) will suffer from these scandals and will lose its credit standing with the banking cartels. They will never let that happen, even if the heads of popes have to roll in the dust.”

So it’s an interesting question: who is more powerful, ultimately – the “Master and God” himself, or his creditors? The image, or the finances?

For men like Paolo Gabriele, or any victim of priestly rape, the answer is perhaps moot.

For whoever is in charge in Rome is like any self-governing dictator: one who cannot be reasoned or negotiated with, but simply overthrown.

I believe the world is finally waking up to that fact.

The issue now is, how will we unite across faiths and borders to finally unseat the God Emperor and his vile kingdom?

Our network has given the Vatican until September 15 to undertake ten steps to relinquish its power and do justice to its victims.

 After that day, the church will have lost its right to operate in our communities.

 And the occupations that will strike Roman Catholic churches and facilities after that date will include the targeting of secret papal prisons where men of conscience like Paolo Gabriele are being held.

We will free Paolo, if he is not free by then.

When Jesus of Nazareth first spoke publicly, he announced that God had sent him to release the captives, give sight to the blind, and let all the oppressed go free.

The papacy of his day killed him for it, and the Vatican cemented that murder in its subversion of his message.

But fortunately, you just can’t keep a good man down.

Vatican: Banco Ambrosiano - Roberto Calvi - A MURDER PLOT REVEALED?

Beginning in 1998, the Calvi affair was back in the news when the family of the late financier had his body exhumed. The new autopsy confirmed that Calvi was murdered elsewhere, and his corpse then hanged from beneath Blackfriar's Bridge. Investigators caught a major break in the case when in December, 2002, Mafia kingpin Antonio Giuffee told police that Calvi was murdered in part for absconding with mob money being laundered through Banco Ambrosiano.
It is known that as the bank collapsed, Calvi approached friends in the Vatican to cover losses. He allegedly told associates in the Holy See that unless Ambrosiano was protected, he would expose powerful men in Italian finance and politics. Calvi disappeared the day after those frantic phone calls to the Vatican, along with the briefcase packed with sensitive documents.
Leading the effort to solve the mystery of Roberto Calvi's murder has been Carlo Calvi, the banker's son who left Italy in 1977 and now lives in Montreal, Canada.
His father, says Carlo Calvi, "was a dynamic businessman but not a good judge of people."
Police and prosecutors have zeroed in on four suspects now on trial: Flavio Carboni; his former girlfriend Manuela Kleinzig; and Pippo Calo and Ernesto Diotallevi, two "fixers" with close ties to the Mafia.
There are concerns, though, that the four could be scapegoats for a wider conspiracy, and that significant aspects of the case implicating the Vatican, government agencies, other banks and special interests could be conveniently ignored. The judge in the current proceedings, Mario D'Andra, has been vehement in demanding a swift trial.
"Let's try to keep in mind that this is a trial about facts that happened almost 24 years ago," he declared. And Carboni's attorney, Renato Borzone has argued that there is no proof of his client's participation in any murder, charging Italian prosecutors with "relying on a phony testimony by turncoats" in order to make their case.
On the opening day of the proceedings, Borzone told the court, "Today, a new battle begins to find the truth about Calvi's death.
Carlo Calvi theorizes that while mobsters may have executed his father, "the murder was organized by politicians. The Mafia had simply the role of carrying out the murder."
Questions linger not only about who killed Roberto Calvi, but who ordered the murder.
For more informative arcticles, go to 

Vatican: Banco Ambrosiano - Closed For Allegations Of Organized Crime And Political 'Terrorism'.

Murder, Banking, Strategy - The Vatican

by Conrad Goeringer

Early on the morning of Friday, June 18, 1982, a body was found dangling from an orange rope underneath Blackfriars Bridge in London, England. Police recovered the corpse of a middle age man, about sixty, paunchy, in a gray suit. Pieces of rocks and brick had been stuffed into the pockets, along with $15,000 in various currencies. A passport identified the victim as Gian Roberto Calvini, but soon it was learned that the dead man was really Roberto Calvi, chairman and managing director of Banco Ambrosiano in Milan, Italy. Calvi had mysteriously vanished from Rome on June 11, and his misfortune in London re-ignited media curiosity over a story which had already made headlines, and reverberated through the world’s major financial and political institutions.

Calvi was only one of a cast of characters in that story that included organized crime interests, political groups, secret societies, drug dealers, major financial institutions, and perhaps most stunning of all, a little-known entity identified as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, the official bank for the Vatican. The collapse of Calvi’s Banco Ambrosiano revealed that high officials within the Vatican and its bank had collaborated in building a network of offshore dummy corporations propped up under the Ambosirano Group’s line of credit, into which hundreds of millions of dollars disappeared. Some figures indicate that the Vatican’s participation in this scandal exceeded $1.25 billion dollars (and remember, this is the early 1980s).

It is a very complex story, so I want to divide this up into three sections. I want to begin by putting it in its historical context complete with a cast of actors; I want to try and tie this together and talk about the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano and the involvement of the Vatican; and finally, I want to briefly discuss the aftermath of the Calvi scandal, and touch upon some areas that I see, anyway, as related to this notion of the Vatican as a very worldly institution and political animal -- and perhaps the best place to start is by talking about the geographic and political entity known as the Vatican.

When you mention the Vatican, most people instinctively think of a religious institution, the Roman Catholic Church, when in fact the Vatican is really the latest incarnation of something known as the Papal States, Pontifical States or States of the Church. Less than six centuries after being constituted, the popes of the Church became the defacto political rulers of Rome and the surrounding regions; the Frankish king, Pepin the Short formally granted those lands to the church under Pope Stephen II, and by the 16th century, the papal holdings came to embrace nearly the whole of central Italy. . Napoleon seized much of this, but in 1815 the Congress of Vienna restored the bulk of earlier papal holdings. Uprisings were put down by the Austrians who acted as surrogate troops and neighborhood watch for the papacy, but in 1870, the Vatican again lost control in the united Italy under Victor Emanuel II. Papal authority was confined to a small area in Rome, and in protest a series of popes designated themselves as “voluntary prisoners.” .....a long article but well worth the effort

Vatican: Millions Seized In Vatican Money Laundering Probe ( 21.09.2010)

 Prosecutors have seized 23 million euros of Vatican Bank funds and placed its president under investigation for violating money laundering legislation, the ANSA news agency reported on Tuesday.
Ettore Gotti Tedeschi and another manager of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), the bank's official name, are accused of violating legislation that requires banks to disclose information on financial operations.
The Vatican's spokesman declined to comment on the report.
The funds were seized temporarily from the IOR's account in another bank, Credito Artigiano, ANSA said.
According to earlier reports in the Italian press, investigators suspect that subjects with their fiscal residence in Italy are using the IOR as a "screen" to hide dealings such as fraud or tax evasion.
The IOR manages bank accounts for religious orders and Catholic associations and benefits from Vatican offshore status.
In September 2009 the IOR nominated Gotti Tedeschi, Spanish banking giant Santander's representative in Italy, as its new head.
The appointment was greeted at the time as a move towards greater transparency at the IOR.
US archbishop Paul Marcinkus headed the bank in 1971-1989 when it was caught up in scandals including the collapse of the private Italian bank, Banco Ambrosiano in 1982 amid accusations of links to organised crime and political "terrorism".

Vatican: Priests Have Been Raping Nuns to Avoid Hookers with HIV (Feb 24th 2011)

The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.
Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.

Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.
In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.

Predator Priests And Nuns. (2011) Madonna Manor Where Nuns Ran A Prostitution Ring.

An excerpt from a published review of the experiences of some who have suffered at the hands of abusers within  the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.

Predator priests

We want people to know it happened, it’s happening today.

Every 1-in-4 girls is sexually abused and every 1-in-6 boys.

What are these crimes? Merely inappropriate touching? No. Not at all.

We’re run across things we don’t want to know about. For example, a predator priest while telling a child she’s the bride of Christ, and threatening to have God kill her parents if she tells, and while reading to her from the bible, is raping her. This is called, ‘Catholic ritual abuse’ … it’s quite common. You’ll learn about it in this book. You’ll also learn about the priest who helped a teenager before her marriage to see ‘if her womb was big enough for child-bearing’, by checking it with his fist. You’ll learn of kids who contracted AIDS from priest, kids who were murdered by priests and nuns, women who were raped by priests and became pregant, dioceses that paid for abortions of children, girls who were raped by Catholic priests and bore their children and raised them — everything you need to know to wake up, to step out of denial, to embrace the severity of the epidemic, and hold the perps and the institutions that support them, accountable.

Rita Milla, was raped by a priest at 16 then passed around to be raped by a total of 7 priests.

Then, was sent to the Philippines to have the child of one of them, then came back and raised her daughter. Her case settled in 2007, as part of the 650 million dollar suit Jeff Anderson won, representing 600 victims in Los Angeles.

These kinds of stories, are, unfortunately, not uncommon … at all. As you will unfortunately, see. But can you imaging the horror and pain the child who is being raped, feels.

Let us not feel so sorry for ourselves that we forget that we can stop the perpetuation of these crimes.

Right now, State legislatures across the United States are considering amending their statute of limitations laws in ‘windows of opportunity’ so that adults who were raped as children can sue.


Because, the psychiatric literature establishes, after a child is victimized by a predator, because of the emotional, psychological and spiritual trauma it is often 20-40 years before the victim can report the crime. In other words, victims often kill themselves, or stay in denial because of subconscious forces erase in their minds the horror of what happened to them as children …because, the human will not allow itself to become conscious of the heinous crimes committed against it when it was a child, the mind will go mad. If you believe we’re created in God’s image, then …even God can not bear this truth.

Predator Nuns

After looking at predator priests, we’re going to look at predator nuns.

While predator priests have been accepted as a reality in America, nobody believes there are predator nuns.

We’re going to interview someone who as a child was sexually abused every night by a nun for two years…and, who has spoken with 450 other men and women who were, too.

We’re also going to speak with a former nun, who as a teenage nun was molested by her Mother Superior each night for two years, who then left the convent … and knows of 100 other men and women who as children were sexually abused by nuns.

You’ll learn about nuns sexually abusing and raping deaf kids, and nuns sexually abusing orphanage children and pimping them. We’ll interview some of the attorneys representing the kids.

William Ross says he was 9 years old when a nun at the now-closed Boston School for the Deaf in Randolph force-fed him soup, causing him to vomit. And, when he was 12, the same nun locked him in a dark closet for long periods of time, according to a lawsuit filed in Boston Tuesday.

Ross says when he was 16 and attending the school, another nun fondled his genitals, put his hand to her breasts and had sexual intercourse with him.

Violet Guertin, of Rockland, says when she was a 9-year-old student at the school a nun put her head in a toilet bowl until she passed out, the same lawsuit alleges. Guertin says the same nun also raped her with a finger and locked her in a closet at the school for extended time periods.

“As children, they were sexually molested, physically abused and otherwise mentally tormented,” attorney Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said.

Years after she left the school, Guertin heard about a similar situation in Maine where deaf students who had been abused later sued. “I started talking with other deaf people, and we came together and set up a survivors group,” Guertin said through an interpreter.
Garabedian began meeting with the former students at the Boston School for the Deaf more than six months ago and compiled their stories though sign language interpreters.

Several plaintiffs at the news conference recounted tales of abuse at the hands of Sisters of St. Joseph from 1944 to 1977. “Instead of receiving an education, they received beatings and sexually abusive actions,” said Garabedian, who previously sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston as part of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

Attorney: 1 in 4 Nuns Abused Deaf Kids, by David Connolly, in The Enterprise, Boston MA, May 12, 2004

Half a dozen men have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually molested, beaten and frequently humiliated 40 years ago by nuns, priests and civilian staff members at Madonna Manor, a Catholic home for troubled children in Marrero.

The six lawsuits represent the largest concentration of complaints involving a single institution or individual in the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ three-year experience in dealing with complaints of past sexual abuse.

The suits are based on plaintiffs’ experiences between the ages of 4 and 14.

 In many cases they name staff members and recount specific beatings or episodes of rape or sexual molestation.

A few also allege abuse by adult strangers whose identities the plaintiffs hope to learn as the lawsuits’ investigative process unfolds. Other complaints are more generalized, describing a climate of physical and psychological abuse in which nuns beat them severely and told them they were worthless, and that no one loved them.

6 allege abuse at Catholic home, by Bruce Noland, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Aug. 25, 2005

And, in an update:

At the time of the allegations, Madonna Manor was staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Nuns named in the latest suits are Sister Mary Omer; Sister Gertrude Marie, Sister Alvin Marie, Sister Martin Marie and Sister Laurdette.

After the first wave of litigation, Maestri said officials in the order informed him that those named were either dead, aged and incompetent, or had left the order and could not be located.

In the new suits, Miller, now a New Orleans police officer, alleges he was repeatedly raped by Monsignor Raymond Hebert, who served as chief executive for the agency that ran Madonna Manor.

Hebert, accused in two earlier suits, retired several years ago as one of the most respected priests in the archdiocese.

He retired as director of the department of clergy.

Maestri said earlier that the archdiocese believes Hebert is the victim of a misidentification.

He said Hebert denies the allegation, as he has denied the earlier charges. “I’ve never abused a child in my life,” Hebert said of the earlier accusations.

The earlier accusations were taken before an archdiocesan review board. It found insufficient evidence to remove Hebert from ministry.

The plaintiffs charged that several unidentified priests and others abused them. In some cases the plaintiffs named specific people as abusers at Madonna Manor or elsewhere, even though church records do not link those persons to the sites, Maestri said.

In this book we interview Gabe, a young nun, abused by her Mother Superior for several years.

What does Gabe say?

“I felt horror while she was doing what she was doing to me, I took myself outside of my body.

It was as if I wasn’t there. It was never spoken about, or referred to, during the day.

 It was almost as if, it didn’t exist … to the point where I started to question my sanity.

I doubted God for a long time, after that. I felt like I had been duped. Like I had been drawn into religious life, to have this happen to me. For a while I had a very hard time with God. Because, I had entered the convent. I had given my life to God. And then, this happened. So God and I had an awful lot to work out. And, it’s taken quite some years. I do not belong to the institutional Church. I do still have a relationship with God. But, believe me, when I get to Heaven, God’s going to have a lot of questions to answer.”

And, we interview Mary C. Dunford, a teen abused by a nun for several years in a Catholic school.

Dunford says the experience damaged her life, the lives of her kids, and of her grandkids: “Making the public aware of kids being sexually abused by nuns is a big taboo in society.

Some of the reasons for that, besides the societal inability to accept the fact that women, and for that matter, women dedicated to God, can sexually abuse children, or teens, or vulnerable adults.

I was 15 years old when I was abused, 15 through 17 …the way I grew up, I had such a bad self image …and I could just see that imprinted on my children and grandchildren and great grandchild. I’m referring to attitude-wise. I think they picked up from me how not to feel valuable, and not to trust people.

“So often, it’s in orphanages, there were about 200 children victimized in an orphanage in New York, in the town of WaterVliet.

It was Saint Colman’s Orphanage. The children were abused sexually, and abused physically, abused psychologically. One boy was beaten to death there. He’d also been sexually abused.

“Joy Bubbles was in the newspaper, recently.

 He was in a home for the blind, he was sexually abused. He changed his name. He’d been abused from the time he was 5 or 6 years old, in a home for the blind out East, run by nuns. He was abused, there.

Down in New Orleans, there were two orphanages, one for females and one for males.

Six men have brought charges against this place in New Orleans and against the archdiocese there.

Then, 21 people joined in that lawsuit.

One guy, that I’ve talked to personally [Editor’s note: as a Snap counselor], said that the children there were physically abused, beaten, and locked in closets …and, sexually abused by seven nuns …by nuns …by religious brothers, by a Monsignor, by the truck driver on the facility, by the camp director, and various men who’d come to visit.

I’m figuring, the nuns pimped the children.

This was a fellow I talked to from Milwaukee who had lived down in New Orleans in this orphanage and grew up in there, he and six of his friends were abused by these people who ran and visited the orphanage, and men who would stop to visit … the children were brought to them. That’s why I think the nuns were pimping the children.

“In Kentucky there was an orphanage where five girls from the same family were put in, and the older sister would offer …when the older nuns would come through to pick up little girls to take to Father, the nuns also abused them sexually, but they’d take them to Father, and he’d have sex with them … this older sister would offer herself, so they wouldn’t take her younger sisters.

“About 650 victims abused by nuns have contacted me.

Some of those are where a lawyer in a newspaper article says, besides the person that contacted him, there are another 200 people who were also abused and who are also coming forward.”

To us, the idea of nuns running a child prostitution ring is unimaginable, particularly since it appears to be true. The name of that place was, Madonna Manor, in the New Orleans Diocese.

War Criminal And Papal Knight Of Malta Tony Blair - His Senior Catholic Fr Michael Seed admits soliciting charity donations of up to £50,000 for prestigious honours

  • Senior Catholic Fr Michael Seed admits soliciting charity donations of up to £50,000 for prestigious honours
  • Franciscan Friars ‘appalled’ by MoS disclosures... as Seed admits his actions could be ‘morally wrong’
Father Michael Seed
Suspended: Father Michael Seed's superiors are said to be 'appalled'
One of Britain’s most high-profile Catholic priests has admitted arranging papal knighthoods for wealthy businessmen for money.
Father Michael Seed, who regularly celebrated Mass for Tony Blair and his family in Downing Street, now faces questions from his religious order after an investigation by The Mail on Sunday.
The most damaging evidence concerns his attempted cultivation of an Israeli arms dealer, Hezi Bezalel, who was seeking business opportunities in the Balkans.
It shows that Fr Seed, a former ecumenical adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster, had ‘agreed’ a papal knighthood for Mr Bezalel before approaching him. In return for a £45,000 donation to charity, Fr Seed said he could also introduce Mr Bezalel to influential Balkan politicians ‘and the man who looks after all arms for the region’. Mr Bezalel declined the offer, saying he did not give to charity ‘under instruction’.
Papal knighthoods are awarded to lay men and women for conspicuous service to the church and society. They are among the highest honours the Pope can bestow.
Tonight a source close to Fr Seed’s order, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, said his superiors were ‘appalled’. Although he failed to solicit funds from Mr Bezalel, at least four wealthy Britons were impressed by his overtures. Fr Seed admitted they made donations to an Archbishop friend’s charity in Serbia to become papal knights.
It was unclear last night if the four, who are each understood to have contributed between £25,000 and £50,000, had done anything else to merit their honour.
Our inquiries also reveal that:
  • Fr Seed gave a £34,000 cheque drawn from his order’s charity bank account to a friend, Chinese businesswoman Xuelin Black, who later paid the money into his personal account. Last night the order said it was auditing accounts over the disclosure. Ms Black, 47, who was made a papal dame by Pope Benedict XVI, is a Tory donor and adviser to the Government’s Big Society project.
  • Fr Seed is on indefinite leave from his order after claims that he marked the 25th anniversary of his ordination in January with a champagne party at a racy club, with entertainment provided by men dressed as nuns.
  • He lives rent-free in a flat owned by one of his wealthy papal knights in exclusive Dolphin Square in Pimlico, Central London.
Fr Seed, who has taken a vow of poverty, denied profiting from any of the deals. But he agreed that trying to solicit funds from Mr Bezalel could be seen as ‘morally wrong’.
Asked if he thought many would see the deal as an abuse of the papal honours system, he said: ‘Of course I do.’
Fr Seed is honorary chaplain to the International Committee on Human Dignity, based at the European Parliament in Brussels. But it was as unofficial Catholic envoy to Parliament that he acquired many well-connected friends. He was praised by Cherie Blair for turning ‘the great into the good’ and helped to convert Tony Blair, Ann Widdecombe, John Gummer and the Duchess of Kent.
Father Michael Seed
Admission: Father Seed is facing questions from his religious order
When he approached Mr Bezalel in November 2008, he had recently left his post as ecumenical adviser to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, then Catholic Primate of England and Wales.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Fr Seed and his go-between, American corporate strategist Kalman Sporn, 39, constructed a careful plan to try to win over Mr Bezalel.
Central to their strategy was Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro, the Vatican’s ambassador to Serbia, who had the power to nominate people for papal knighthoods. He has been a close friend of Fr Seed for nearly 30 years and Fr Seed was soliciting funds for the Archbishop’s Belgrade charity, The Path to Peace in the Balkans Foundation.
In an email to Mr Sporn dated November 17, 2008, Fr Seed wrote: ‘Spoke to Eugenio – Hezi can meet President [of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic] any time he wishes – Eugenio will call him.
‘Eugenio will also introduce Hezi to the man who looks after all arms for the region of Serbia, Montenegro and the Balkans in general – he is a friend of Eugenio – my side of deal is done – Eugenio will entertain Hezi in Belgrade. We must act quickly as Eugenio might be going on vacation in a week or so to his family in Italy, near Genoa, till early December. Papal knighthood is also agreed.’ The following day Fr Seed sent an email to Mr Bezalel couched in more formal language.
In it, he said he understood from Mr Sporn that ‘you are seeking a meeting with the President of Montenegro and I am only too happy to facilitate that for you whenever you wish’.
Fr Seed added: ‘I have spoken with the Archbishop and he is only too happy to assist you in any way you wish. I have told him of your particular interests and he is again familiar with the specific people (at the highest level) you wish to meet. As he has been in the region for nine years he is very well known and trusted by all.’
Although he made no mention of a papal knighthood at this point, Fr Seed raised the matter in an email to Mr Sporn later that day. He included advice on how to court their target.
He told Mr Sporn: ‘We must wait and see now – my email says it all – no mention of Papal Knighthood though – you can do that.’ He advised Mr Sporn to stress how ‘good’ the honour has been for two British philanthropists. One was made a Knight of the Pontifical Order of Pope Saint Sylvester in 2004. Archbishop Sbarbaro gave him the award for his support for ‘inter-faith initiatives’ in the Balkans.
Ann Widdecombe is converted to Catholicism by Father Michael Seed
'Turning the great into the good': Father Seed converts Ann Widdecombe to Catholicism
In the 2008 email to Mr Sporn, Fr Seed said of the papal knighthood nomination process: ‘We have time – he can submit even as late as April 09 if necessary. [Archbishop Sbarbaro retired in late 2009.] He [the Archbishop] is submitting names next in January.
‘Hezi could be on that list and be invested in February, perhaps at the Ritz hotel, London. I can get the grand rooms free of charge – or wherever he wishes. Eugenio would come over for it.’
Mr Bezalel was unmoved by Fr Seed’s offer, though he told him on November 21 that his representative in the Balkans ‘will approach you should we need’. Undeterred, Mr Sporn told Mr Bezalel next day: ‘I don’t think you understand the context and nature of Father Seed’s recommendation; so I will spell it out for you. If you Hezi Bezalel make a sizeable contribution to the charitable efforts of His Excellency Eugenio Sbarbaro in Belgrade; then on a diplomatic level you will be introduced to certain heads of state in both Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. A sizeable contribution is more than $75,000 [£47,000]. The Vatican can open certain doors for you ...’
Mr Sporn tried again soon after. Accusing Mr Bezalel of being ‘short-sighted’, he told him: ‘Within days you could be sitting with the Presidents of Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro selling them technologies they want and need. To achieve direct access... surely 75,000 is a small fee.’
Later that day, Mr Bezalel replied by email: ‘I don’t like this approach. When I give to charity it’s because I want and not under instruction. I’m trying to be as polite as possible. So please let’s forget about it.’
Friend: Archbishop Sbarbaro made nominations for papal knighthoods
Friend: Archbishop Sbarbaro made nominations for papal knighthoods
Fr Seed was a student at the Catholic University of America when he met Archbishop Sbarbaro in Washington in the early Eighties. The Archbishop was charge d’affaires at the Vatican embassy.
This January, the Archbishop flew to London to conduct a Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Mayfair, marking Fr Seed’s 25 years as a priest. At a party afterwards at the Pigalle Club in Piccadilly, known for its racy floor shows, many were taken aback when men appeared on stage wearing nuns’ habits.
Party guests ranged from Westminster diocese clerics to millionaire benefactors who had flown in by private jet.
His order exclaustrated Fr Seed, meaning he is suspended indefinitely but is bound by his religious vows.
Last night Fr Seed said he was introduced to Mr Bezalel by Mr Sporn, a New Yorker who keeps a blown-up photo in his apartment of himself with Tony Blair.
Admitting the emails were ‘extremely damaging’, Fr Seed said: ‘I regret the language used. It was because I was dealing with Kalman Sporn, who is very blunt. I had to use language that he understood.’ When it was put that he was effectively trying to facilitate a potential arms deal, he replied: ‘I can’t deny that ... it’s terrible.’
But he said all the funds he solicited helped charity in the Balkans. He said donations went to Archbishop Sbarbaro, who then distributed them as he saw fit. ‘At the heart of this is goodness,’ he said.
Asked if he thought donors he recruited were motivated more by a papal knighthood then helping good causes, he laughed: ‘I can’t answer that.’ He admitted he is living in a London flat owned by Gregory King, a Glaswegian corporate money lender whose fortune is estimated at £200 million. Fr Seed claimed that Mr King, who could not be contacted last night, received a papal knighthood after donating to Archbishop Sbarbaro’s charity.
Archbishop Sbarbaro said yesterday: ‘Fr Seed is a very good man. When I was ambassador I met a lot of people and I awarded papal knighthoods but this was a secondary part of my work.’
He could not remember discussing Mr Bezalel with Fr Seed but said: ‘The Church rewards people who are charitable. I still work for the foundation and we are completing two works in Serbia which came about through kind donations.’
Mr Bezalel did not respond to calls last week. He has many other business interests.
The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, based in New York, stressed they were unaware of Fr Seed’s ‘involvement with soliciting funds for any charitable organisation’. They were ‘most definitely not aware of any promises or implied promises of a papal knighthood’.
Tony and Cherie Blair
High-profile: Father Michael Seed regularly celebrated Mass for Tony Blair and his family in Downing Street
Mr Sporn said the emails referred to helping Mr Bezalel with introductions to politicians who could faciliate Balkans technology deals.
He said: ‘Hezi was involved in the arms trade but for five years he has been a distributor for security technology for software companies.
‘Sometimes when you are raising money for charity, the language may sound heavy-handed but the overall result is beautiful. Fr Seed and I were raising money for Path to Peace, which brings Jews, Muslims and Christians together in the former Yugoslavia. Hezi already had business interests there and the approach was that he should use them to support this charity.’
He said he and Fr Seed would not have been remunerated if Mr Bezalel had agreed to their proposal.

Riddle over the £34,000 he gave to Tory donor

Questions: Father Seed with Tory donor Xuelin Black
Questions: Father Seed with Tory donor Xuelin Black
A Chinese businesswoman is at the centre of a mystery over why Fr Seed gave her £34,000 from his order’s charity bank account.
Xuelin Black, 47, has lived in London since the late Nineties ‘developing business and political interests’.
In the run-up to last year’s Election she donated £50,000 to the Tories and was later invited to their summer ball. She now advises Mr Cameron’s Big Society ‘Tsar’ Lord Wei.
Last night the Franciscan order was investigating why Fr Seed gave her the £34,000 cheque drawn from its charity account. She held on to it for two months before paying it into Fr Seed’s personal account.
Fr Seed described it as a ‘loan’ when questioned by The Mail on Sunday but declined to elaborate.
Miss Black, who runs an import business was made a papal dame by Pope Benedict XVI. She insisted yesterday that Fr Seed had inherited money following an elderly relative’s death.
‘He didn’t have a bank account so I held on to it for a couple of months while he opened one,’ she said. She added that she was introduced to Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro by Fr Seed at a party ‘years ago’.
She said: ‘He [the Archbishop] told me about his good work and asked if I could help. I made a donation a few years later. I didn’t expect to be made a papal dame. I do loads of work for charity.’ She said the Archbishop flew to London to present her with the honour at the Ritz hotel. Fr Seed was also there.

Elite band of 400 Britons

Prized: The papal knighthood medal for which four Britons allegedly donated up to £50,000 to a charity n the Balkans
Prized: The papal knighthood medal for which four Britons allegedly donated up to £50,000 to a charity n the Balkans
Britain now has 400 papal knights – an award that Popes have been making since the early Middle Ages.
Originally they were conferred to the nobility.
But today the Papal Orders of Chivalry are a means for the Holy See to distinguish all those who have served the Church well.
British papal knights are traditionally members of the Pontifical Orders of Saint Gregory the Great and Pope Saint Sylvester.
Most are Catholics but some come from other faiths.
Knights and dames wear their badges suspended from a ribbon on their left breasts at ceremonies.
They are entitled to wear a uniform of their order. Dames wear capes.
The uniform of St Gregory is dark green, with silver buttons and braiding; that of St Sylvester is black, with gold buttons and braiding.
The uniform is accompanied by a cocked hat and dress sword.
Those honoured do not have specific obligations.
But it is customary to take part in major diocese events like consecrating bishops and ordinating priests.

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