Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,774 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dead men hold no bank accounts

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 30, 2012

The “Moneyval” audit of the Vatican bank, the IOR, turned up this interesting tidbit: there were 236 cardinals who held accounts there. Which wouldn’t be remarkable, except that at the time of the audit, there were only 213 cardinals alive.

This is not necessarily evidence of financial shenanigans. The estate of a deceased prelate might control a bank account that is still listed in the late cardinal’s name. Dormant accounts might linger on the books for some time before someone decides how the funds should be disbursed. Still one can understand why the European inspectors thought some tighter controls would be useful.

William Bulger, the longtime president of the Massachusetts state Senate, quipped that he wants to be buried in St. Augustine’s cemetery, because he wants to remain politically active. (Bulger was referring to the reports that inhabitants of that cemetery have showed up mysteriously on Election Day at the polling places of South Boston.) The line always draws a laugh, but for election commissioners the laughter is uncomfortable. So too with banking inspectors who discover that 10% of the cardinals holding accounts at the IOR are deceased.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,153 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,847.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Jul. 31, 2012 11:43 PM ET USA

    If I am not mistaken, 236-213=23 and 23/236 is about 10%, not 20%. Not that having 10% of your client base dead is a good thing either.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 14 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 19 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6