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MargueriteBee
16th June 2010, 07:19
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0%2C1518%2C700513%2C00.html

The Catholic Church in Germany, already struggling to cope with the sex abuse scandal, has been hit by revelations of theft, opaque accounting and extravagance. While the grassroots faithful are being forced to make cutbacks, some bishops enjoy the trappings of the church's considerable hidden wealth.

Shortly before Pentecost, Pastor S. received an unexpected early morning visit, not from the Holy Ghost, but from the police.

For the authorities, the words of the Gospel of Luke came true on that morning: He who seeks finds. More than €131,000 ($158,000) were hidden in various places in the rooms of the Catholic priest, tucked in between his laundry or attached to the bottom of drawers. The reverend was arrested on the spot. After several weeks in custody, Hans S., 76, is now back at the monastery, waiting for his trial.

And lo and behold, the proliferation of cash may have been even more miraculous than initially assumed. The public prosecutor's office in the southern city of Würzburg now estimates that S. may have embezzled up to €1.5 million from collections and other church funds. The members of his flock in a wine-growing village in the northern Bavarian region of Franconia are stunned. They had blindly trusted their shepherd, who always seemed so humble and modest.

The Catholic Church is currently being shaken by a number of financial scandals, not only in Franconia but also in Augsburg, another Bavarian city, where Bishop Walter Mixa's dip into funds from a foundation that runs children's homes recently made headlines.

More than €40 million have gone missing in the Diocese of Magdeburg in eastern Germany, €5 million have disappeared in Limburg near Frankfurt, and it was recently discovered that a senior priest in the Diocese of Münster had 30 secret bank accounts. And while parishes throughout Germany are cutting jobs and funds for community work, many bishops are still living on the high horse. A brand-new residence? An ostentatious home for their retirement? Restoration of a Marian column to the tune of €120,000? None of these expenditures presents a problem to high-ranking church officials from Trier in the west to Passau in the southeastern corner of Bavaria, whose coffers are brimming with cash.

Menkaure
16th June 2010, 10:57
Just another example of total corruption, greed and a 'Me first at your expense' attitude of the Cult of the catholic church. Jesus would turn over in his grave (If He was in one) at the perversion the church turned into.

conk
16th June 2010, 16:59
How appropriate. Your narrative about the church, next to the avatar of the greatest observational comedian ever. Here's to George!

grannyfranny100
17th June 2010, 15:45
How about the unhidden wealth, too. During a fellowship to Brasil forty some years ago, I was quite shocked. One city (Bahia) marketed themselves as the city with so many Catholic churches that one could go to a different one every day for more than a year. One church literally had an interior that was entirely coated with real gold. Contrast that with the favelas and one is easily shocked. Supposably the poor people's sense of hope was to give the church money so their after life would be better. A later trip to the Vatican just reinforced my dismay.

Decibellistics
17th June 2010, 21:47
This doesn't blow me away. Not trying to throw a turd in the punchbowl. It has being going on for hundreds and hundreds of years. Combine that with the fact that the the church is the number one owner of private property and its land on the planet I think. That alone if it were sold off would feed the world many times over.

Take hundreds and hundreds of years of this economic corruption on top of the assets they have straight up in the open. It's sad to know that there isn't a more proactive financial backing to jesus' philosophy. You'd be able to buy a load of fishes and loaves many times over with the artwork the vatican owns alone.

How much do you think the pope's hat would sell on e-bay for these days LOL.

MargueriteBee
27th June 2010, 02:20
The Richest Man on Earth?



"Some idea of the real estate and other forms of wealth controlled by the Catholic church may be gathered by the remark of a member of the New York Catholic Conference, namely 'that his church probably ranks second only to the United States Government in total annual purchase.' Another statement, made by a nationally syndicated Catholic priest, perhaps is even more telling. 'The Catholic church,' he said, 'must be the biggest corporation in the United States. We have a branch office in every neighborhood. Our assets and real estate holdings must exceed those of Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined. And our roster of dues-paying members must be second only to the tax rolls of the United States Government.'

"The Catholic church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The Vatican, independently of each successive pope, has been increasingly orientated towards the U.S. The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican's financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.

"The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.

"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

http://www.chick.com/reading/books/153/153_10.asp

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They could solve most all the problems of the world if they wanted too. But, that is not their purpose.