Vatican in financial trouble

This March 2017 live punk rock music video is called The Damned – Anti-Pope.

That song, about the Roman Catholic church and money, is orginally from 1979.

So, when John Paul II was pope. Later, it turned out that this right-wing religious leader was not only declared to be a saint by the church, but was also involved in various cover-ups of child abuse. Like his also right-wing successor Benedict XVI was similarly involved.

Now, scandals from the days of these popes come to haunt the present pope Francis I.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today:

Money problems and scandals plague the Vatican

The series of abuse scandals is now also affecting the Vatican. Donations are decreasing and, moreover, those decreasing amounts of money are poorly managed. That is what the Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi says in a book published this week. News about financial mismanagement and money shortages seems to support his findings.

By Charlotte Klein

If the pontificate of Pope Francis fails, Nuzzi writes in his book Guidizio universale (“Last Judgment”), it will not be because of the attacks by conservative Catholics or the worldwide decline in the number of believers, but because of “the financial collapse that is getting closer’. The journalist bases that on three thousand pages of documents that he has collected since 2013. The fact that according to AP news agency the Vatican has not published a budget since 2015 is only fueling the rumors.

Financial mismanagement, a reduction in donations, money laundering and corruption is said to lead to this collapse. …

Discussion is possible about Nuzzi’s claim that the Vatican is heading for bankruptcy in 2023. But it is almost certain that the mini-state is struggling with financial deficits, partly due to the way the Vatican generates income. The state does not collect taxes but receives contributions from dioceses, income from popular museums, donations from believers and income from real estate.

The latter two now cause the biggest problems. Due to the sexual abuse scandals, worldwide donations have fallen dramatically, writes Nuzzi, especially from the United States. According to Nuzzi, the Peter’s Pence, the annual gift of millions of euros from Catholics to Vatican City, is on its way down.

Luxury apartments in London

The Financial Times also writes that around 150 million euros have been used in a Swiss bank account of the Vatican for the purchase of luxury apartments in London. This controversial purchase, which resulted in a huge profit for the original seller, was made under the direction of Cardinal Becciu. He is now under fire, also because of other substantial foreign investments.

The Vatican police therefore started an internal investigation at the beginning of October and invaded two important departments: the Financial Information Service (AIF) and the State Secretariat. Documents and computers were seized. The Vatican police suspect money laundering, fraud and corruption.

The five employees allegedly involved in these malpractices were suspended after the Italian magazine L’Espresso had published leaked documents about them. Domenico Giani, the Pope’s main bodyguard and head of the Vatican police, also offered his resignation. He was succeeded by Giuseppe Pignatone.

Pignatone was a prosecutor in Rome until last May and played a major role in the Italian fight against the Mafia. This crime fighter must now put things in order in the Vatican. It seems to be the next step of Pope Francis to reform the Catholic Church from within.

Vatican #3 man convicted for child abuse

This 25 February 2019 video says about itself:

Cardinal Pell found guilty of 5 counts of historical child sexual abuse | Nine News Australia

A court-ordered suppression order has been lifted, revealing Cardinal George Pell was found guilty of five historical sex abuse charges last year.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Australian cardinal George Pell, one of the most powerful people in the Vatican, has been convicted of child abuse. The Court considers that it is proved that in 1996, in Melbourne, he abused two minor altar boys. Pell denies the five charges and is expected to appeal against his sentence, which he will hear tomorrow.

The now 77-year-old Pell is said to have abused the boys when he was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996. One of his two victims stated that Pell caught him and another altar boy after a service when they secretly drank from the altar wine together. Pell is said to have reprimanded the two 13-year-old boys and have forced them into sexual acts.

… His lawyer … considered it physically impossible that Pell had bared himself because of his heavy stole.

At the court were survivors who called Pell “a monster”. …

In 2014 Pell was appointed treasurer of the Vatican, meaning he is one of the highest officials within the Roman Catholic Church … Since 2017 he has been on leave.

The jury had already ruled in December last year, but nothing was published about this by order of the court. Since the beginning of the case, a publication ban is in force, in order not to influence the course of the trial and a second lawsuit against Pell. This morning the publication ban was lifted.

The verdict against Pell comes at a painful moment for the Vatican. Last week was a conference with participants from all over the world about abuse within the church. The pope called perpetrators of sexual abuse there tools of the devil and called for measures.

VATICAN TREASURER CONVICTED OF CHILD SEX ABUSE Cardinal George Pell, once one of the highest-ranking members of the Vatican, has been convicted of multiple counts of child sexual abuse. He faces a maximum 50-year sentence. [HuffPost]

‘Vatican priests, 80% closet gays’

This 13 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Eighty per cent of Vatican priests are gay and living in the closet, according to an explosive new book to be published next week.

The 570-page expose, titled In the Closet of the Vatican, claims that four in five clerics in the Roman Catholic Church are homosexuals – but aren’t necessarily sexually active.

French sociologist and journalist Frédéric Martel, who spent four years conducting 1,500 interviews for the book, found that some priests maintained discreet long term relationships, while others lived double lives having casual sex with gay partners and using male prostitutes.

He found that a number of clerics spoke of an unspoken code of the ‘closet’, with one rule of thumb being that the more homophobic they were, the more likely they were gay.

The author, a former adviser to the French government, claims the late Alfonso López Trujillo – a Colombian cardinal who held senior roles in the Vatican – was an arch-defender of the church’s teaching on homosexuality and contraception while using male prostitutes, according to Catholic website the Tablet.

The book is a ‘startling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican‘, according to British publisher Bloomsbury. In its marketing material, Bloomsbury claims the book ‘reveals secrets’ about celibacy, misogyny and plots against Pope Francis.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 15 February 2019:

A majority of cardinals and many bishops and other church leaders are homosexual. This is the conclusion of sociologist Frédéric Martel, who immersed himself four years in the world of the Vatican. According to an initiate to whom Martel spoke, in the Vatican it would even be about 80 percent of the clergy.

Martel, who himself is also gay, does not aim to blame people who do not want to come out of the closet. He does want to expose a system: according to him, the Catholic Church has a hidden face that is based on a double life: on the outside radically homophobic, in reality homosexual. “I do not want to out individuals, I want to out the Vatican”, Martel says to Dutch Nieuwsuur TV.

Hide nature

He emphasizes that homosexuality is not the problem. The situation is complex. “What you want most as a homosexual cleric is to hide your nature, to show everyone you’re not gay, so you’re more homophobic than others.”

And that, according to Martel, worsens other issues, such as the AIDS problem. Martel explains: “As a clergyman you want to show that you are more celibate than others, so you become extremely rigid in propagating a sexual morality, which is why you are also against condoms, because they represent sex with a partner which is not fixed.”

Martel’s voluminous book Sodoma [In the Closet of the Vatican] of 670 pages will appear Monday in the Netherlands and other countries. He did research in more than 30 countries and spoke 1500 people, inside and outside the Vatican, including 41 cardinals, 52 bishops, 45 nuncios and more than 200 priests and seminarians.

The vast majority of all clergy in the Vatican is gay, practicing or not. And according to the author, that also applies to the four predecessors of the current Pope, Francis.

Martel also says that many homosexual clergy in Rome lead a double life with secret relationships. Some have a permanent partner, others hire escort boys. A minority of these clergy lives strictly celibate. Another conclusion: because of the culture of secrecy, sexual abuse of children could remain hidden for a long time.

There is also manipulation in the Vatican. According to the researcher, spreading rumours about the alleged homosexuality of a cardinal or bishop is a crucial weapon to attack opponents. The rumours often come from other clergymen who are themselves in the closet.

Fifty shades of gay

“The world that I have discovered, with its fifty shades of gay, is beyond understanding”, writes Martel in his book. “Appearances are deceiving, perhaps no more than in this institution, and the declarations of principle about celibacy and the vows of chastity are equally deceitful, for behind them lies a completely different reality.”

The Vatican’s Secret Rules for Priests Who Have Children: here.

Dutch bishop suspends openly gay priest: here.

Vatican prelate’s child pornography scandal

This 15 September 2018 video says about itself:

Vatican priest

The Vatican arrested one of its diplomats Saturday on suspicion of violating laws against child pornography.

Translated from daily De Volkskrant (founded by the Roman Catholic trade unions) in the Netherlands, 8 April 2018:

Priest in Vatican charged with possession and distribution of child pornography

Third arrest in the heart of the Catholic Church

He is probably the first man accused ever in a Vatican criminal case concerning child abuse: Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the Italian priest who was arrested Saturday at the heart of the Catholic Church for the possession and distribution of child pornography.

The 50-year-old Italian priest was arrested Saturday on the basis of a law that forbids the residents of Vatican City since 2013 to ‘own, distribute, distribute, broadcast, import, export, offer or sell child pornography‘. …

US American and Canadian investigations

Capella moved to Washington in 2016 where he was considered the third most important diplomat of the Catholic Church. Already a year later, in August 2017, he was called back to Rome because he was investigated by both the American and the Canadian police. The Canadian police, for example, discovered that when Capella spent a three-day working visit to the Canadian city of Windsor during Christmas 2016, he had used a computer of the local church to download child pornography.

The US State Department asked the pope to lift the diplomatic immunity of Capella last August so that he could be prosecuted. The Vatican not only refused, but rushed him back to Rome before the FBI could finish the investigation and also before the Canadian police had completed its arrest warrant.

It is unclear why eight months have elapsed since Capella, who has been relatively free to move since his return, was finally arrested by the Vatican gendarmerie. After all, it was the current Pope Francis who said that from now on he would have a zero-tolerance policy regarding child abuse. The Capella case was proof to many critics that Francis made these statements mainly for public relations. In fact, many pedophilia charges are said to also be stashed away and covered up under the current pope, according to his critics.

Third arrest

On Saturday it was the third time that a resident of Vatican City was arrested for possessing child pornography. Three years ago Polish archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was put under house arrest because, as a former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, he is said to have paid young homeless boys for sex and is also said to have large amounts of child pornography in his possession. As with Capella, he was also brought back to Rome when local authorities asked for the withdrawal of his diplomatic immunity.

His case would be the first abuse case in the history of Vatican law, as Wesolowski died before it happened. A month ago Monsignor Pietro Amenta was also convicted of possessing child pornography. However, this happened in a Rome city court instead of the Vatican, because Amenta himself was a judge at the Vatican Court.

USA: GOP STATE SENATOR RESIGNS AFTER CHILD PORN CHARGE Pennsylvania GOP leaders said they had received a letter of resignation from state Sen. Mike Folmer (R), who was charged Tuesday night after law enforcement officials found images of child porn on a Tumblr account belonging to him and on his iPhone. [HuffPost]

Vatican child abuse cover-up

This video says about itself:

26 July 2012

A former Vatican insider shares details of the sex-abuse epidemic.

Having reached extraordinary heights in the Catholic Church and served in the Vatican embassy during the sexual abuse epidemic, Fr. Thomas Doyle turned away from the religious order in response to the spiraling and far-reaching cover-up. Privy to some of the most sensitive dealings of the church, Fr. Thomas provides us with a very rare perspective on the abuse, response and cultural framework that allowed it to happen …

Fr. Thomas names names as to who he feels are directly responsible, and shares with us how the sordid affair has changed his own spiritual relationship to the church.


Thomas Doyle was ordained a Dominican priest in 1970 in Dubuque, Iowa. He did graduate studies in philosophy, and theology at the Aquinas Institute of Philosophy and Theology and political science and Soviet Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He pursued further graduate work in Canon Law at the Gregorian University, Rome, Catholic University of America, the University of Ottawa and St. Paul’s University, Ottawa. He was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law in 1978.

In addition Father Doyle studied addictions therapy at the Naval School of Health Sciences and is a fully certified Alcohol, Drug and Addictions therapist. He holds MA degrees in philosophy, theology, administration, Canon Law and political science as well as his doctorate in Canon Law.

He has served as a consultant and expert witness on several hundred clergy abuse cases before the civil courts in nearly every state in the US as well as in Ireland, Israel and Canada. He has been involved with support groups for clergy sexual abuse victims and as a legal consultant for cases in Belgium, England, Mexico, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. He has appeared before eight State legislatures and has been a consultant and expert witness for several Grand Juries in the U.S.

He has written several books and articles on a variety of subjects related to Church law and practice. Included among these are one book and twelve articles on the clergy abuse crisis. He co-authored Sex, Priests and Secret Codes with Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall. Tom Doyle has lectured extensively throughout the U.S., in Canada and in Europe on the clergy abuse issue.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Vatican threat to sue altar boys who allege abuse

Saturday 25th November 2017

THE Roman Catholic church has threatened to sue former Vatican altar boys over their allegations of sexual abuse.

Lawyers for the Italian diocese of Como have also warned Italian investigative news programme Le Iene (Hyenas) not to broadcast the boys’ claims and have purportedly pressed a church official to recant his suggestion of a cover-up.

The Associated Press agency reported yesterday that it had seen a letter from Opera Don Folci association lawyer Riccardo Rolando Riccardi to one of the alleged victims.

Mr Riccardi said he was preparing a criminal defamation case in Rome’s tribunal “for the alleged crime committed by the divulgation of news to the press about alleged acts of sexual assault that allegedly occurred.”

He demanded that the former student submit to questioning or face interrogation by Rome prosecutors.

The association runs the St Pius X preseminary in the Vatican, where accusers allege that a former student — ordained as priest this year — demanded sexual favours for years from boys as young as 13.

Reporter Gaetano Pecoraro interviewed an ex-student — identified a “Marco” — who said the seminarian, who was a year older than him and in a position of authority, started abusing him from when he was 13 and continued until he was 18.

Marco’s roommate Kamil Jarzembowski said he had witnessed dozens of incidents. He first reported them to seminary officials, and then in writing to cardinals and finally to the Pope in 2014.

Internal church investigations, which initially did not interview the boys in question, declared the claims to be false.

The former students, including another who reported a groping incident when the seminarian was 20 and he was 15, have gone public with their allegations to Le Iene and in a book.

Vatican diplomat in child porn scandal

This 15 September 2017 CBS TV video from the USA is called Vatican Recalls Priest From D.C. Embassy, Launches Child Porn Investigation.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

US: Papal envoy called back after child porn claims

Saturday 16th September 2017

A VATICAN priest working in the Holy See’s embassy in Washington has been recalled after US officials warned he could be breaching child pornography laws.

The Catholic Church declined to identify the diplomat [Carlo Capella], but said he was currently in Vatican City and that its prosecutors have launched their own probe.

The US State Department says the Vatican had denied a request to waive the priest’s diplomatic immunity so the crime could be investigated.

In declining to identify the priest, the Vatican said the case was subject to confidentiality while still under investigation. It said it was the normal practice of sovereign states to recall diplomats in such cases.

But it is likely to be accused of reneging on a commitment given by Pope Francis just last month that the Church would apply the “most strenuous measures” to root out priests guilty of the “monstrosity” of child abuse and that “bishops and cardinals who protected these priests — as happened repeatedly” would also be punished.

Canada: Catholic priest [Vatican diplomat Carlo Capella] wanted for alleged child porn offences committed in Windsor church. Alleged offence happened in a place of worship during Christmas holidays: here.

Vatican children’s hospital financial scandal

This 31 March 2016 Italian video is called (translated) Bertone’s penthouse renovated with money of the Bambino Gesù Hospital.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Vatican accuses two hospital officials

Today, 17:26

The Vatican has accused the former director and treasurer of the Vatican children’s hospital Bambino Gesù in Rome. These two are suspected of transferring money illegally.

The suspects are said to have used 422,000 euros of the hospital’s money in 2013 and 2014 for the renovation of an apartment of a prominent [homophobic] cardinal, Bertone. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Pope Benedict and was one of the most powerful people in the Vatican. The current Pope Franciscus sacked him after eight months. A few weeks after his departure, the renovation of the apartment began. …

It is not the first scandal in the Vatican of recent weeks. Two weeks ago, the Vatican’s #3 man was charged with sexual abuse. Two days later, Pope Francis sent a German cardinal packing.

Cardinal sells Saint Peter’s Square to McDonalds

This video from Italy says about itself:

20 April 2013

Visit the St. Peter’s Basilica and the St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Lean back and discover the beautiful Saint Peter’s Basilica and Saint Peter’s Square 3D in Google Earth.

Film & music by YourTVPlanet.

Jesus drives money changers from the Jerusalem temple

This 1875 picture, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, depicts Jesus driving the money changers from the Jerusalem temple, as told in the Christian Bible. However, it looks that today, at least one of the money changers is a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

From AFP news agency:

Cardinals in a tizz over Vatican McDonalds

Published October 15, 2016 10:41pm

ROME, Italy – The new McVatican comes with a side order of outrage.

Plans to open a McDonald’s next to Saint Peter’s Square in Rome have angered cardinals, including a group of the red-hatted “Princes of the Church” who live above the proposed site.

“It’s a controversial, perverse decision to say the least,” Cardinal Elio Sgreccia said in an interview with La Repubblica daily on Saturday.

Opening a branch of the US fast-food chain in a piazza to the right of the Vatican’s basilica is “by no means respectful of the architectural traditions of one of the most characteristic squares which look onto the colonnade of Saint Peters,” he said.

Sgreccia does not live in the building but was speaking on behalf of the seven cardinals who do reside above the site, which covers 538 square meters (5,800 square foot), and is being rented out by ASPA, the authority in charge of the Vatican’s real estate.

One angry cardinal has even written a letter to Pope Francis urging him to intervene against a commercial decision which would bring 30,000 euros ($33,000) a month into the Vatican’s coffers but at a noisy, burger-smelling price, La Repubblica said.

Moreno Prosperi, head of the Committee for the Protection of Borgo, the historic district around the Vatican where many cardinals live, told AFP that the planned outlet would be a further blow to the area which draws huge throngs of tourists.

“Over the last few years, the identity of this area has been lost” due to an increase in illegal souvenir stands and mini markets, he said.

Other members of the committee say it is madness to pack more people into an area considered at high risk of a terror attack.

Instead of a Golden Arches near the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, the space should be used to house entities which help the needy, in line with the pope’s call for “a poor Church for the poor“, Sgreccia said.

But Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, head of ASPA, told La Repubblica he was “not going to back down” because the deal is legally valid and he didn’t see “anything negative” about it.

See also here.

These disgusting photos of the inside of a McDonald’s ice cream machine are making us regret our choices this weekend.

MCDONALD’S workers are to strike in Britain for the first time after a beefy ballot yesterday backed action over unpalatable pay and conditions at two of its branches: here.

‘Sick children’s money abused for homophobic cardinal’s Vatican apartment’

This Associated Press video from Peru says about itself:

Protest against comments made by Vatican‘s No.2 official

1. Wide camera shot of demonstrators in front of the Vatican nunciature
2. Mid of protesters with a poster reading (Spanish) “To cover up a crime is also a crime.”
3. Mid of women waving gay rights rainbow flags
4. Close of banner reading (Spanish) “No prayers will stop a rapist.”
5. Protesters
6. Close of banner reading (Spanish) “No to child abuse, to break the silence is everybody’s duty.” (with pictures of children on the banner)
7. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Cristian Olivera, Leader of the Gay Movement in Lima:

“Today we are here, we are gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans (transsexuals), feminists and other groups, protesting in front of the Vatican nunciature in Peru against Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone‘s comments. He has put paedophilia at the same level as homosexuality. We are here to denounce that kind of idea that only promotes hate and discrimination against our community. We also want to denounce the spirit of covering up inside the church that makes them cover up these kind of crimes within their ranks.”
8. Various of Catholic worshippers praying and standing in front of the nunciature
9. People kneeling down and praying with a photo of Pope Benedict XVI in their hands
10. Man shouting against the church outside the same venue
11. Women with drums, also protesting against the crisis of alleged abuse within the church
12. Wide of the building with both sets of demonstrators


Gay rights activists protested in front of the Vatican nunciature in the Peruvian capital Lima on Saturday following remarks made by the Vatican‘s No. 2 official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who said the sex scandals haunting the Catholic church were linked to homosexuality.

Dozens gathered outside the nunciature holding banners criticising Bertone’s recent comments.

Bertone said earlier in the month that the sex scandals haunting the church were linked to homosexuality, rather than vows of celibacy, among priests.

The Cardinal also said that many psychologists and psychiatrists had demonstrated that there was no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia.

He also asserted that the church had never impeded investigations of paedophilia by priests.

Cristian Olivera, leader of the Gay Movement in Lima, said the demonstrators were denouncing Bertone’s comments that put paedophilia and homosexuality on the same level.

Bertone’s recent comments have further stoked the worst crisis to engulf the Catholic church in years, as further accusations pile up that the Vatican, and even the pontiff Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger, obstructed investigations into abuse.

While running the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger resisted pleas from a California diocese to laicise a priest who had pleaded no contest to lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two boys, according to correspondence obtained by The Associated Press.

Self described abuse victims have called on church officials, including Pope Benedict XVI, to take personal responsibility for clerical abuse.

They allege that a culture of cover-up and secrecy has allowed priests to rape and molest children unchecked for decades.

Hundreds of people have reported cases of abuse by priests at schools, orphanages and other church-run institutions.

Victims say bishops and other church members higher-up covered up the crimes, choosing to protect the church rather than children.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

“Money for sick children abused for cardinal’s apartment”

Today, 18:06

Two former employees of the Vatican are suspected of fraud. They are said to have used money that was meant for the Vatican’s children’s hospital for refurbishing the luxury apartment of Cardinal Bertone, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Vatican. He is not a suspect in the case.

Cardinal Bertone is not a suspect. Because he is ‘too big to jail‘? When Cardinal Bertone was still the number two in the Vatican hierarchy, under Benedict XVI, the predecessor of the present pope, he was mainly known for homophobia.

The Vatican has started an investigation into Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina. Profiti was manager at the Bambino Gesu [Little Child Jesus] Children’s Hospital, Spina was the treasurer. According to the Italian magazine L’Espresso a total of about 422,000 euros has been spent in refurbishing Bertone’s apartment.

That money was, according to the magazine, meant for sick children. The money came from a fund established for the children. A lawyer for Bertone says that the cardinal knew nothing and never approved that money from the fund was used for his home.

Then, didn’t he ever ask where all that money for refurbishing his apartment so luxuriously came from?


Tackling fraud is one of the priorities set by the Pope [Francis I] when he was elected. In 2014, two fraud investigations were started about real estate.

It is not the first time that the Bambino Gesu is missing money because of fraud. Last year Italian media wrote that maybe 30 million euros was diverted by a cardinal. That money was supposed to be for the hospital, but was eventually used for other purposes.

Pope Francis’ reforms obstructed by Vatican oligarchy

This video says about itself:

4 November 2015

Merchants in the Temple” author Gianluigi Nuzzi is defending his explosive allegations against the Vatican. His new book accuses powerful members of the church hierarchy of greed and financial mismanagement, saying they are fighting reform efforts by Pope Francis. Elizabeth Palmer reports from Rome, where she sat down with the man behind the charges.

Translated from Rop Zoutberg, Dutch NOS TV correspondent in Italy, today:

‘Pope wants reforms in the Vatican, but is stopped’

Today, 16:41

From the outside it may seem that a revolution is underway, but within the walls of the Vatican Pope Francis I hardly manages to bring order. Diametrically opposed to him are groups of authorities who want to know nothing of reforms and are lavish with money. An Italian journalist who wrote all this is now being prosecuted.

“There is for Pope Francis still a long way to go,” says journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book about the financial abuses at the Vatican appears this week in the Netherlands. “On some of the accounts of the Vatican there is not any inspection. There is theft, both of money and goods, there are unprecedented privileges of elites. A situation that is unsustainable, but very difficult for Francis to tackle. He after all has to maintain the unity of the church and prevent fractures.”

Hundreds of millions of euros remain invisible in accounts, while cardinals for a pittance live in colossal palaces up to 600 square meters. Funds raised for the poor evaporate into thin air. For every euro that comes in at most 20 cents goes to help needy people. The rest disappears, according to Nuzzi.