2,000 years of accumulating wealth and making canny investments means the “poor” church is actually sitting on vast wealth in securities, property, works of art and other assets.
A report in Italy’s L’Espresso claims the Vatican is worth €9-10 billion (£7-8 billion). London assets include shops on New Bond Street including the jewellers Bulgari and a property in St James’s Square.
Other international assets – funded by a huge donation by Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as a thank you for recognising his regime – include places in Switzerland and a home belonging to former French President Francois Mitterrand.
Even the figure of €9-10 billion is believed to be an under-estimate – the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples is said to have holdings of €7 billion.
In recent years, the church has paid out vast amounts in compensation to child sex abuse victims, including $2.5 billion in the US alone.
In a startling recent admission, Pope Francis said one priest in 50 may be a paedophile.
Of course it’s all about the poor. Greenpeace really, really cares about the poor too, so much so that they are happy to prevent access to cheap lifesaving energy whilst they jet to work and all over the planet for climate jamborees. No wonder the Church were so keen to join in the crusade.
The climate Comms event of, at least this week, has arrived early due to a leak. The Vatican has released its view on the state of the planet. Much anticipated by some on both sides of the debate, the leak will no doubt leave the usual suspects scrambling to spin the Encyclical for all it is worth.
“A crime against nature is a crime against ourselves and a sin against God”
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