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US State Dept: "$47 million of Nazi Gold was Laundered... 'Held in the Vatican before being moved to Spain and Argentina'"

"In the 1970’s and 80’s the Vatican became increasingly embroiled in what has come to be called the Vatican Bank Scandal. At the center of these scandals was Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the American-born priest who was the president of the Vatican Bank from 1971-1989. Many articles and books have detailed the history of this scandal. It will suffice to say that in the mid 1980’s , according to a report in the Arizona Republic, “Italian civil authorities tried to arrest Marcinkus in connection with a stunning array of crimes, including assassination financing, arms smuggling, and trafficking in stolen gold, counterfeit currencies and radioactive materials. Italian authorities also wanted to talk to Marcinkus regarding what he knew about numerous murders. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, most every key player involved in schemes with Marcinkus ended up dead.” Again, according to the Republic, “In the past six month, the Marcinkus case has taken on renewed interest around the world. Attorneys for Croatian holocaust victims want Marcinkus deposed in their billion-dollar case. They want to know what Marcinkus knows about hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Croatians by the Nazis during World War II. Authorities have discovered that much of the money passed through the Vatican Bank during Marcinkus’ tenure as bank president (1971-1989). Indeed, a 1998 U.S. State Department report confirmed that at least $47 million of Nazi gold was laundered by Marcinkus’ bank. The money ‘was originally held in the Vatican before being moved to Spain and Argentina,’ the report said.”

"All through this process Archbishop Marcinkus remained protected under the umbrella of Vatican diplomatic immunity. After his 'retirement,' and until his death in 2006, he resided in Sun City, Arizona. He denied all charges of wrongdoing, and became famous for his reply, 'You cannot run the Church on Hail Marys.”''

"The situation seems to have only gotten worse. A former head of the Vatican Bank (2009-12), Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was forced by its Board to retire, and recently stated that he almost lost his faith and feared he could be assassinated at the instigation of some members of the Roman Curia, the Church’s administrative body, as he attempted to tackle corruption within the banking organization (from a LSN article). And Cardinal Pell, appointed by Pope Francis to ostensibly clean up the Vatican Finances as the first Prefect for the newly established Secretariat of the Economy, is now in jail under a conviction of sexual abuse (now being appealed) which many believe to the most trumped-up case of injustice in Australian judicial history."
[http://rosarytotheinterior.com/usury-and-the-love-of-money/]

It is the Catholic Monitor's honor to post part of Catholic scholar James Larson's article. Larson is an American independent scholar who resembles the British independent scholar Christopher Dawson in depth of analysis and learning."

Below is the last part of a essays on usury by my friend Jim Larson. Click to the link below to read the whole essay:

 http://rosarytotheinterior.com/usury-and-the-love-of-money/ 


The Modern Descent into the Root of All Evil

Any study of the modern history of the Church’s teaching on usury naturally begins with Pope Benedict XIV’s encyclical Vix Pervenit. The encyclical was addressed only to the bishops of Italy in 1745, but later applied to the whole Church by the Congregation of the Inquisition in 1835. Its definition of usury runs as follows:

The species of sin which is called usury, and which has its roots in the contract of mutuum [the lending of a consumptive, which is, as we have seen, is what money is], consists in this: solely on the ground of the mutuum, the nature of which is to require that only so much be returned as was received, a person demands that more be returned to him than was received; and so maintains that, solely on the ground of the mutuum, some profit is owed to him over and above the principal.” 


This is also the same essential definition of usury given in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Interestingly enough, the new Code of Canon Law does not mention usury, which would seem to indicate that the subject is no longer considered important. The descent into the complete embrace of Mammon would now seem complete.

Vix Pervenit also contains the following passage regarding extrinsic titles or “entitlements”:
By these remarks, however, We do not deny that at times together with the loan contract certain other titles – which are not at all intrinsic to the contract – may run parallel with it. From these other titles, entirely just and legitimate reasons arise to demand something over and above the amount due on the contract.”
 
The following is also of importance to our discussion:

We exhort you not to listen to those who say that today the issue of usury is present in name only, since gain is almost always obtained from money given to another. How false is this opinion and how far removed from the truth! We can easily understand this if we consider that the nature of one contract differs from the nature of another. By the same token, the things which result from these contracts will differ in accordance with the varying nature of the contracts. Truly an obvious difference exists between gain which arises from money legally, and therefore can be upheld in the courts of both civil and canon law, and gain which is illicitly obtained, and must therefore be returned according to the judgments of both courts [note that there is here no mention of that primary concern of the Gospel, the early Church, and St. Thomas that gain in order to be licit must also not be sought for itself, and must serve very modest and specific purpose for the individual and common good]. Thus, it is clearly invalid to suggest, on the grounds that some gain is usually received from money lent out, that the issue of usury is irrelevant to our times.”

There is nothing new here. The traditional prohibition against interest within a loan contract is restated. The Pope recognizes the existence of legitimate extrinsic titles that can allow something extra to be taken for a loan (but not in a loan). No specific titles are given approval, but only a vague warning against over-application of such titles. And, as we noted, there is no discussion of the strict Gospel and Thomistic limitations on profit and gain. Most strange of all is paragraph 6 of the encyclical:

Concerning the specific contract which caused these new controversies, We decide nothing for the present; We also shall not decide now about the other contracts in which the theologians and canonists lack agreement. Rekindle your zeal for piety and your conscientiousness so that you may execute what we have given.”

There is possibly no paragraph in the history of all of Papal and Church documents which is laced with as much absurdity and tragedy as is this one. There is a refusal on the part of the Pope to give any judgment on any specific case regarding any specific extrinsic contracts regarding this absolutely crucial question. And after this refusal, the bishops are then instructed to “rekindle your zeal for piety and your conscientiousness so that you may execute what we have given.” We might well ask precisely what were these bishops supposed to “execute? As a matter of fact, as we shall see, the policy of the Church would now become that of systematic refusal to “execute” its own traditional teaching on usury, or for that matter, any teaching whatsoever.

According to Rev. Patrick Cleary (The Church and Usury, 1919 – recently re-published and available from Catholic Treasures in Monrovia, Cal.), this refusal to make decisions on individual cases prevailed for the next 77 years. Specific inquiries were, for the most part, referred to Benedict IV’s encyclical, which as we have seen, refused to specify or make judgments on any particular case. The following case documents a change in Church policy which, according to Cleary, “becomes apparent for the first time in the year 1822”:

 “A certain woman of Lyons had lent her money demanding in return the rate of payment allowed by the recently enacted civil legislation, and in consequence was denied absolution by her confessor until she should restore her ill-gotten gain. She referred the question to Rome, and the answer ran, “Let the petitioner be informed that a reply will be given to her questions when the proper time arrives; meanwhile, even though she make no restitution, she may receive sacramental absolution from her confessor if she is fully prepared to submit to the instructions of the Holy See.”


This case was only the first in a long list of very similar decisions of the Holy Office. Note that in the above case there was never any consideration given to the question of legitimate titles. The refusal to make a judgment would seem to apply across the board on any case of usury. We may simply say that the Holy Office in these cases, at the very least, quite literally absolved moral indifference and indecision right within the Sacrament of the Confessional. The Teaching Arm of the Church retreated on the subject and was made silent. The Church had not changed its teaching, but it had severely compromised its moral integrity. This is something that God can allow. We must presume that it is a chastisement.

Where We Are Now
“The Church is struck within and so in peace is my peace most sorrowful. But what is peace? There is peace and there is no peace. There is peace from the pagans and peace from the heretics, but no peace from the children.” (Pius VI, 1775).

In the 1970’s and 80’s the Vatican became increasingly embroiled in what has come to be called the Vatican Bank Scandal. At the center of these scandals was Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the American-born priest who was the president of the Vatican Bank from 1971-1989. Many articles and books have detailed the history of this scandal. It will suffice to say that in the mid 1980’s , according to a report in the Arizona Republic, “Italian civil authorities tried to arrest Marcinkus in connection with a stunning array of crimes, including assassination financing, arms smuggling, and trafficking in stolen gold, counterfeit currencies and radioactive materials. Italian authorities also wanted to talk to Marcinkus regarding what he knew about numerous murders. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, most every key player involved in schemes with Marcinkus ended up dead.” Again, according to the Republic, “In the past six month, the Marcinkus case has taken on renewed interest around the world. Attorneys for Croatian holocaust victims want Marcinkus deposed in their billion-dollar case. They want to know what Marcinkus knows about hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Croatians by the Nazis during World War II. Authorities have discovered that much of the money passed through the Vatican Bank during Marcinkus’ tenure as bank president (1971-1989). Indeed, a 1998 U.S. State Department report confirmed that at least $47 million of Nazi gold was laundered by Marcinkus’ bank. The money ‘was originally held in the Vatican before being moved to Spain and Argentina,’ the report said.”

All through this process Archbishop Marcinkus remained protected under the umbrella of Vatican diplomatic immunity. After his “retirement,” and until his death in 2006, he resided in Sun City, Arizona. He denied all charges of wrongdoing, and became famous for his reply, “You cannot run the Church on Hail Marys.”

The situation seems to have only gotten worse. A former head of the Vatican Bank (2009-12), Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was forced by its Board to retire, and recently stated that he almost lost his faith and feared he could be assassinated at the instigation of some members of the Roman Curia, the Church’s administrative body, as he attempted to tackle corruption within the banking organization (from a LSN article). And Cardinal Pell, appointed by Pope Francis to ostensibly clean up the Vatican Finances as the first Prefect for the newly established Secretariat of the Economy, is now in jail under a conviction of sexual abuse (now being appealed) which many believe to the most trumped-up case of injustice in Australian judicial history.

It is not our purpose here to make any judgment on these allegations, nor is any such judgment necessary to our purpose. What is important here is to realize to what extent these events have revealed the Church’s involvement in the financial practices, and pursuit of shameful gain, in prostitution to the economics of the modern secular world. It would seem quite indisputable that, without even considering all sorts of ventures which are illegal under civil law, the Vatican is immersed in the practice of usury and has thoroughly accommodated itself to modern economic policies and pursuits. The Second Lateran Council in 1137 declared that anyone involved in such practices should be deprived of Christian burial. The New Code of Canon Law issued in 1984 did not even consider the subject worth mentioning.
 
The charism of Infallibility guarantees that the Church will never teach falsely on faith and morals. It does not guarantee, however, that Church hierarchy at all periods of history will reiterate these teachings or put them into practice. The lesson that we must learn from our study of the Church’s policy towards usury and unjust gain over a period of almost 2,000 years is that it is practically possible for Catholics en masse to lose certain moral roots in Christ, with virtually no one, hierarchy included, knowing that it has happened. It is only necessary that we enter into a process of compromise, failing in that fortitude which is necessary in order to confront a world which is in violation of the Gospel. And when that happens to whole nations and civilizations over an extended period of time, then it becomes virtually impossible to find our way back simply because no one can remember, or wants to remember, the Gospel- based answers to the questions we might feel impelled to ask. We may even say, at this point in time, that hardly any one even knows the question which should be asked.

We must remember that St. Paul tells us that the effect of the love of money is loss of faith. We really cannot serve both God and mammon. Therefore, considering the fact that love of money has now become enshrined in the universal acceptance of profit-taking through usury and investment in unending “progress”, and that virtually every cultural institution is in slavery to the power of money, we have every reason to believe that Christ was not being rhetorical when He posed a question as to whether there would be any faith left on earth upon His return.

The spirit of Antichrist now rises before us in a geometrically-expanding Spectre of the power of money, reductive science, and technological control over all our lives. It has been fueled and consolidated in power not by our being poor, but by our increasing desire for and consumption of the goods of this world, which have fed the coffers and power of those seeking the destruction of Christian civilization. Its ascension to power over all of our lives was inevitable once we abandoned the living of the Beatitudes, and when we began believing that the Gospel of Christ was compatible with unending human “progress”. As discussed in our article St. Francis of Assisi, They Pretended to Love You So That They Might Leave You, God presented us with the extraordinary grace of the life and charism of Poverty of St. Francis in the beginning of the 13th Century in order to prevent this rise. It was rejected, and we are now faced with what appears to be the impending total embrace of the Prince of this World.

It is of course impossible to totally erase what has happened. The web is spun, and the whole world is profoundly enmeshed. If usury, and what centuries of Christian betrayal have now firmly established as the seemingly universal thirst and economics for insatiable progress and gain, were abolished tomorrow, the world would be immediately immersed in chaos, anarchy, starvation, etc. But this does not at all mean there is no recourse left for those who truly seek the Hearts of Our Lord and Our Lady.

We must first begin by extracting ourselves from the Great Lie. The Gospel is not compatible with unending human progress in relation to the things of this world. It can only thrive in a poverty practiced towards all of the same. The Teilhardian Evolutionary theology which now threatens to become dominant in the Church through the Amazonian Synod, and which deceptively declares itself open to every sort of inclusiveness and denial of Catholic Doctrine, is in reality a vicious monster in adoration of human progress and evolutionary becoming. It is the precise inversion of the Gospel in the intellectual realm, and therefore of Faith itself. But this aberration in the intellectual realm could only have risen out of the insatiable thirst for progress and gain which blinds the mind and heart of man to the immutable Truth and Being of God, and immerses him in the rivers of his own pride and becoming.

Secondly, despite the obvious horrors that are now occurring in regard to the Church hierarchy, the Amazonian Synod, etc, we must first say “We have sinned”, rather than “They have sinned.” And we must believe it, and be convinced of its truth. Ultimately, the source of the present chastisement is the prostitution of each one of us to the world, in denial of the Cross of Christ. There could not have arisen a Teilhard de Chardin, an Amazonian Synod, the inward dissolution of Christian Civilization, or the spectre of Antichrist if Catholics had been faithful to the image of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the simplicity of their life at Nazareth.

None of us, of course, can now extract ourselves completely from the world we have built. But we may certainly believe that, in the midst of a perverse generation, Our Lord will immensely bless all of our sincere and creative attempts to divest ourselves of its trappings, and to live much simpler lives. It is of course true that the flesh is weak, and old habits die very hard. But it is even more true that in these times Our Lady has proclaimed Her Heart to be an extraordinary place of Refuge, possessing the graces and powers of the Holy Spirit which will be the Way to God. Surely, foremost among these must be the inward grace and power to live in imitation of Her Son. As those who proclaim to still be Catholic, let us immerse ourselves in the Immaculate Heart of Mary in collective prayer in order to obtain these graces for our own interior purification. The final determinant of our honesty and integrity before God must begin with ourselves and our sincere desire to return to living the Beatitudes – all of which are firmly rooted in the poverty of spirit which strives to serve God with all our heart, rather than Mammon.
 
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church.
 
 
 


Comments

lynn said…
The Truth is wonderful even when appalling and you have delivered it. "The love of money is the root of all evil", and usury is the vilest form of money getting. When John XXll overturned a papal Bull in 1322 that had upheld the position of St Francis and the mendicants that Apostolic poverty was at the root of christian faith the church of Rome made a decisive step into becoming a worldly and wealth loving operation. It never retreated. Banker and wealth loving popes were standard for the Renaissance. In 1832 Gregory XVl took out a 35 million dollar loan from the House of Rothschild at 5% usury, an extreme endorsement of what was once considered a mortal sin. Interestingly enough his chief financial advisor was one Pacelli, great grandfather of Pius Xll. Pius IX would take out another usurious loan from the Rothschild and his financial advisor was another Pacelli, Pius X's grandfather. Leo XIII's encyclical on modern economics Rerum Novarum, does not deal with usury and his financial advisor? yes another Pacelli. For a wide ranging and very disturbing discussion of the history that has brought us to this very low point I would recommend Michael Hoffman"s The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome.
lynn said…
Correction. Pacelli was not Pius X's grandfather but of course Pius Xll. John XXll was charged with heresy for overturning a papal Bull supporting Apostolic poverty. It was considered a very serious charge and there was much blood shed. This charge of heresy is rarely if ever mentioned, only his other one on the Beatific Vision. I have to think of that omission as scrubbed or revised catholic church history

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