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What Vatican Banking Could Be

The recent LIBOR scandal points to yet another in a series of remarkable failures and the deliberate misconduct of the banking industry. The toll is far reaching. 1.2 million Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure with many more facing this serious condition. The American middle class has been devastated. All this brought to you by a banking system rife with corruption, poor or no oversight, a banking gang,  that steers a  cancerous control over legislative bodies all throughout the US. The US Justice system has been unable to prosecute any individuals in the slew of banking scandals, preferring to negotiate huge cash settlements rather than sending the guilty to jail. States Attorneys General have also failed to bring the full weight of the justice system to bear down on this out of control institution.

There is a powerful movement building in America to wrestle control of banking away from private hands and entrust it to legally structured “public banks”. In Europe the call for public banking has  intensified with some calling for nationalizing too big to fail private banks.


“Only if the largest banks are broken up, the part-nationalized outfits turned into genuine public investment banks, and new socially owned and regional banks encouraged can finance be made to work for society, rather than the other way round. Private sector banking has spectacularly failed – and we need a democratic public solution. “


Seumas Milne, The Guardian


Another neglected player with the ability to turn around the toxicity in private banking is the IOR or better known as, the Vatican Bank. Unfortunately the Vatican Bank is mired in its own ongoing problems related to noncompliance with 7 internationally recognized banking standards, including possible funding of terrorist organizations :


and related:



The Vatican Bank was set up amid murky situations and possible links to another scandal in the 80’s known as the Banco Ambrosiano Scandal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banco_Ambrosiano

For more on this scandal and Vatican banking see Robert Hutchison’s illuminating book, Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei which is as much about the secretive church organization Opus Dei, as it is about Vatican Banking. Today, Opus Dei controls the IOR.


In spite of these serious difficulties, the Church stands at the pinnacle of a great positive revival if it can address its compliance problems and considers championing the plight of working Catholic families throughout the globe. The true reserves of the IOR may not be known, but the treasures of the Vatican itself are on constant display to the many visitors who view its priceless art each day. If there was some way to safely add these treasures to its reserves, the IOR could make global history by making no or low cost loans to Catholic families in distress. The phrase “Holy Mother Church” could take on a new meaning, with a newly reformed IOR rediscovering the teachings on compassion and setting a standard for what banking could be.


-John Parulis,  CWA 39521


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