George Pell, vice and the Vatican
by Paola Totaro, Australian, 28 November 2020
Cardinal George Pell shared his suspicions that up to €100m in unregistered cash owned by the Vatican could be hidden in foreign bank accounts at a secret meeting with Australian bankers in London’s financial district in 2016 — but four years later his questions remain unanswered.
In a new book citing confidential letters, documents and transcripts of private conversations between cardinals, Italian investigative journalist Gian Luigi Nuzzi recounts in detail the campaign of intimidation and psychological warfare unleashed by the Vatican’s old guard against attempts by Pope Francis and his German predecessor Benedict XVI to clean up the finances of the Holy See.
The intimidation included a Watergate-style break-in and the theft of a dossier of documents relating to the 1982 murder of the Vatican banker Roberto Calvi just weeks after Pell’s appointment as financial tsar. This was interpreted internally as a Mafia-style warning to busybody outsiders.
Nuzzi’s 835-page tome, The Vatican’s Black Book, documents more than 50 years of financial skulduggery by sections of the Roman curia to avoid proper scrutiny and accounting for the millions in cash donated by Catholics around the world each year.