My piece on the banking scandal at the Vatican has been published by Time.
When news first broke on Tuesday that Italian prosecutors were investigating the Vatican Bank for violations of anti-money-laundering regulations, the story seemed to be that the bank had returned to its old ways. Reports in the press referenced the Vatican’s connection to a 1980s financial scandal in which Italy’s second largest bank, Banco Ambrosiano, went spectacularly bankrupt, collapsing under $1.3 billion of debt amid allegations of involvement by the Mafia and Masonic lodges. “The Vatican Bank has a very negative image,” says Philip Willan, author of The Last Supper, a book about the death of the Banco Ambrosiano’s chairman, who was found hanging under a London bridge, his pockets stuffed with rocks and thousands of dollars in cash. “Every time there’s a whiff of scandal, all the papers dig out their files.”
Read the rest.