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Vatican 'corruption' story reveals much about new nuncio in US

January 27, 2012

An awkward dispute over the allegations of corruption and cronyism in Vatican business dealings have revealed several things about the new apostolic nuncio in Washington, observes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

We already knew that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano had streamlined the work of the Vatican city-state, realized considerable savings, and ruffled some feathers in the process. Now we know that the archbishop fought vigorously to continue that work, and lost that fight.

Allen cautions that the charges of “corruption” could be somewhat overstated, and notes that the Vatican often gives preferential treatment to loyal supporters of the Holy Father. Nevertheless, he concludes, American Catholics may be happy to realize that the new nuncio is not afraid of making waves--that “the pope's new man in Washington is something of a whistle-blower.”

Allen also observes that the Vatican has, yet again, handled an internal controversy badly and thus allowed for negative publicity. The real story here, Allen says, could have been one about the substantial reforms in the Vatican’s financial affairs; instead the headlines have called attention to the work that is left undone. Allen remarks:

In the Middle Ages, alchemists sought to turn lead into gold. Some of Benedict's aides actually seem to have a genius for turning potential public relations gold, in this case Benedict's impressive financial reforms, into lead.


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  • Posted by: petronius1111718 - Jan. 28, 2012 5:58 PM ET USA

    Maybe Archbishop will be able to rein in the liberal dissidents in the Church

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jan. 28, 2012 4:45 PM ET USA

    " . . . that the Vatican often gives preferential treatment to loyal supporters of the Holy Father." Imagine that. Preferring Catholics with loyalty to the Holy See. What a scandal.