Major Financial News from Vatican

Chances are you never saw the news about the former auditor general of the Vatican, Libero Milone. On taking office, Pope Francis said his top priority was cleaning up Church finances. He chose Milone, a former executive at Deloitte, for the job. About a year after Milone started his new job, the Vatican arrested him and seized his records. Now, a year later, the Vatican announced that all charges against him have been dropped. They provided no additional information or apology. A Google search shows that all major media in the U.S. ignored the story; only some of the Catholic press took note (here for the National Catholic Register, and here for an editorial by John Allen, editor of CRUX).

After his arrest, Milone claimed he was framed, and charged that some of the “evidence” was forged. The Vatican did nothing to clear his name, and has not charged anyone else in connection with this case. John Allen discusses various possibilities. But Milone’s view seems most plausible: “ ‘Evidently, they didn’t want me to report some things I’d seen,’ … implying he was brought down by enemies of transparency and financial reform.”

Conclusions

No one seems to have noticed Pope Francis’ handling of this case, and his peculiar sense of justice. Pope Francis attacked reporters and shouted ‘calumny’ in defense of a Chilean bishop charged with child abuse. The bishop retained his job long after he was charged with the crimes. But Pope Francis did and said nothing after Milone - the man he personally chose to clean up Vatican finances- was summarily fired by the Vatican. Nor has Pope Francis commented on the Vatican’s failure to make a case against him. Needless to say, there are no signs of progress on his “highest priority,” cleaning up the Vatican. While John Allen recently claimed Pope Francis was desperate to clean up Vatican finances (John Allen on Vatican Finances), Allen apparently failed to realize the implications of the Milone affair.

 

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