"THE MEMORY OF JESUS IS BOTH SACRED AND SUBVERSIVE"
Saturday, 28 February 2015
CARDINAL IN CHARGE OF PURSE SPENDS A FORTUNE
Cardinal appointed by Pope Francis to reform Vatican budget accused of massive overspending
Cardinal George Pell was appointed as the Vatican’s new finance czar last year, but reportedly spent £360,000 on business-class flights, furniture and other expenses
The Vatican’s finance czar George PellPhoto: Torsten Blackwood/AFP
A cardinal appointed by Pope Francis to introduce budgetary rigour and transparency to the Vatican’s murky finances spent half a million euros (£360,000) on business-class flights, furniture and other expenses, it emerged on Friday.
Cardinal George Pell, a former archbishop of Sydney, was appointed as the Vatican’s new finance czar last year as the Pope embarked on sweeping reforms of the Holy See’s economy.
But his apparent taste for luxury and good living stands in stark contrast to the frugality and austerity espoused by the Pope, who lives in a modest residence rather than the opulent Apostolic Palace and has eschewed grand motorcades in favour of humble hatch-backs.
Cardinal Pell reportedly spent 501,000 euros between July last year and January this year on business class flights, ceremonial clothing, wallpaper, tapestries and furniture, including 4,600 euros on a designer kitchen unit.
"WAS IT MADE OF GOLD" - POPE FRANCIS
“What, is it made of gold?” the Pope reportedly asked him when told of the kitchen unit.
The Australian cardinal spent 47,000 euros on furnishings and decoration for his new office and a rented apartment in an exclusive part of central Rome.
The leaked list of expenses also shows 2,508 euros being spent at Gammarelli’s, a historic Rome tailors which has provided silk and lace robes for popes, cardinals and bishops since 1798.
As head of the newly-formed Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal Pell reportedly awarded his right-hand man, a fellow Australian, a tax-free monthly salary of 15,000 euros.
The expenses emerged from confidential Vatican documents leaked to L’Espresso, an Italian current affairs magazine.
There was speculation that they were leaked in order to discredit Cardinal Pell, whose reform efforts have reportedly made him powerful enemies within the Curia, the Vatican’s governing body.
He has long been known to enjoy the trappings of power and privilege – he is one of the few cardinals still to don the “cappa magna”, a long silk scarlet cloak that has to be carried by an assistant.
The leaked documents showed that the former rugby player has come up against fierce opposition within the Vatican hierarchy to the financial reforms he has implemented on behalf of the Pope.
The Vatican angrily condemned the leaking of the documents but did not deny their authenticity.
“Passing confidential documents to the press for polemical ends or to foster conflict is not new, but is always to be strongly condemned, and is illegal,” said Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.
“The article makes direct personal attacks that should be considered undignified and petty. It is untrue that the Secretariat for the Economy is not carrying on its work with continuity and efficacy.
PAT SAYS: So the cardinal brought in by Pope Francis to stop financial corruption and overspending at The Vatican has just spent 500,000 Euros on himself in the last 6 months! Is this not like appointing a paedophile cardinal to be in charge of child protection in the Catholic Church? This is the THIRD big financial scandal in the Catholic episcopate in the past year or so. The "Bishop of Bling" (Limburg, Germany) spent Euros 50 million on renovating his episcopal palace and was removed by Pope Francis and now has a desk job in Rome.
The "Bishop of Bling"
And here in Belfast the Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor has just spent up to £ 4 million on renovating his palace.
And yet millions of Catholic will go to Mass all over the world this weekend and put money in the coffers of these men.
As long as these Catholics behave like turkeys voting for Christmas this scandal will continue. What has all this to do with Jesus Christ and his gospel message?
What can we say about these abusing prelates? We can say: "THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO GO OUT AND DO GOOD - INSTEAD THEY HAVE GONE OUT AND DONE WELL!!!!