Talking about the “things that matter most” on October 1
4:00 – 6:00 – The Pope Interview: Take 2
Pope Francis has again causes a sensation with a lengthy interview, telling the Italian daily La Repubblica that he will work toward a Church “that is not just top-down but also horizontal.” The interview—which appeared on the same day the Pope began consulting with the Council of Cardinals about possible Vatican reforms— ranged over the Pope’s hopes for the Church, his concerns about youth unemployment and neglect of the elderly, his favorite saints, and other topics. The interview was conducted by Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist founder of the left-leaning Repubblica. Earlier in September the newspaper had published a long letter from Pope Francis, responding to an editorial by Scalfari. Now, Scalfari reveals, the Pontiff followed up with a phone call, suggesting a meeting. That meeting, which took place last week at the Pope’s apartment in the Casa Sanctae Marthae, furnished the material for the interview. Scalfari opened the conversation by expressing some misgivings that the Pope might try to convert him. The Pope quickly put him at ease. “Proselytism is solemn nonsense,” he said. “We need to get to know each other.” In answer to a leading question about the problems facing the Church today, Pope Francis answered: “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” We look at this most recent interview.
On Friday, however, the bank finally caught a break.
There was yet another gossipy piece in an Italian newsmagazine, in this case l’Espresso, featuring ominous storm cloud art, which was full of unnamed sources describing an “earthquake” related to the bank. (The place is technically the “Institute for the Works of Religion,” often referred to by the Italian acronym IOR.)
Immediately after it appeared, the piece had phone lines buzzing inside the Vatican, in part because after last summer’s leaks scandal, the perception that insiders are spilling the beans to reporters usually means going to Defcon 1.
Yet despite the melodramatic flourishes in the piece, its overall effect is probably to burnish, rather than erode, the bank’s new image.
That’s because the “earthquake” to which the title refers is a growing sense of shock that bank officials aren’t just talking about transparency, but actually implementing it – beginning with insisting that Vatican personnel, including those at the very top of the food chain, explain where the money they have parked at the bank comes from and what they’re doing with it.
“In the Vatican, the unthinkable is happening,” the article reports. “A deadly tightening up has been imposed … in the name of legality and absolute transparency.”
For most outsiders, the application of tighter controls probably seems less unthinkable than long overdue. Aside from its checkered historical past, such as the celebrated scandals involving Roberto Calvi and the Banco Ambrosiano in the 1980s, the IOR has recently stumbled through a series of embarrassments:
Read the rest here: http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/once-expos-helps-vatican-bank