The Institute for Works of Religion was founded by Pope Pius XII in 1942. The institution is run like an Investment Bank for the Pope, and is commonly known as the Vatican Bank.
The Pontiff lost the Papal states in Italy in 1870. To be able to raise funds to the exiled Roman Catholic Church, the Pope in 1887 formed an Catholic institution named «Administration of the Works of Religion».
The first major contributor to the Papal fund was the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Funds were pumped into the the Popes accounts as a part of the Lateran Pacts of 1929.
This Catholic institution was not organized as a bank before 1942. Pope Pius XII was already in 1946 accused by the American Intelligence for laundering money and gold for the defeated Nazis.
«The Bigelow Report» was declassified in 1997. It was a peace time Top Secret report from US Treasury Agent Emerson Bigelow. The agent accused the Vatican Bank for laundering money and gold coins for the Nazis who ruled Croatia.
Bigelow alerted his superior that Croatian officials had sent 350 million confiscated Swiss francs (CHF) to the Vatican Bank «for safekeeping».
On the way some CHF150 million were allegedly seized by British authorities at the border between Austria and Switzerland, which brought the secret transfer into the open.
The US never investigated the transactions towards a final conclusion. The matter was kept a secret up to 1997. Because the Vatican is a statehood, US courts have refused to entertain law suits against the Vatican Bank, whose leadership can hide behind diplomatic immunity.
«There is no basis in reality to the report», said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, as reported in Time magazine.
The Institute for Works of Religion is commonly known as Vatican Bank, and is located inside the Vatican City. It is run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope.
The Vatican Bank is said to be a successful and profitable bank. By the 1990s, the Bank had invested somewhere over USD 10 billion in foreign companies.
In 1968 Vatican authorities hired Michele Sindona as a financial advisor, despite Sindona’s questionable past. It was Sindona who was chiefly responsible for the massive influx of money when he began laundering the Gambino crime family’s heroin monies (taking a 50 per cent cut) through a shell corporation «Mabusi». This laundering was accomplished with the help of another banker, Roberto Calvi, who managed the Banco Ambrosiano. Both Calvi and Sindona were members of the P2 Lodge.
When Pope John Paul I became Pope in 1978 he was informed about the allegations of wrongdoing at the Vatican Bank.
The pope instructed Jean-Marie Villot, Cardinal Secretary of State and head of the papal Curia, to investigate the matter thoroughly.
Pope John Paul I died after only 33 days in office, leading to claims that he had been murdered as a result of discovering a scandal.
Read more about Pius XII and the Fascist state of Croatia: Click here:
First published: 02.01.2010.
Written by Ivar