Conspiracy Theories

Does a freemasonic lodge named “P2,” which existed in Italy in the 1970s and was at that time linked to theVatican bank scandal involving Archbishop Marcinkus, still exist? The American Catholic writer Michael Brown has written a passionate editorial on his popular “Spirit Daily” website suggesting this may be so, and asking the Pope to clarify the situation, if he can…

By Robert Moynihan

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday the news broke that the Vatican was under investigation by Italian authorities for “money laundering.”

Today, many are discussing this story, and trying to understand what is happening.

One interesting reflection is by Michael Brown, an old friend, who runs an interesting website which is visited by thousands every day, called “Spirit Daily.” He provides important links to unusual and sometimes bizarre but generally interesting stories from around the world, and writes an occasional column of his own.

Here is the link to his reflection (click on the title of the story at the top of the page):


By Michael Brown

With the trip to England, the Pope has stepped fully into the papacy.

There were no major setbacks and he presented the Church as still the most dignified representative of humanity — and did so in the secular heart of the secular continent (stepping into the belly of the beast, so to speak, and leaving unwounded; indeed, with new and well-deserved respect).

Thus far it is the high point of Benedict XVI’s pontificate, coming at a time when Church credibility in Europe is in crisis and to a region that has been of special cause to him.

The British media admitted that Pope Benedict “succeeded in presenting himself as a lovable, elderly figure,” as one news service stated. “What the visit accomplished above all was to unify Catholics and humanize a pope who has so often been perceived as cold, aloof and authoritarian,” wrote Catherine Pepinster, editor of a Catholic newspaper called The Tablet.

It was a huge victory, the product of courage, which means it was the product of faith. A Crucifix he held even seemed to radiate.

“This was a much more successful visit than the Roman Catholic hierarchy had dared to hope,” said the Daily Mail newspaper. “The crowds were larger than had been forecast, if not as big as they were when the charismatic Pope John Paul II came to this country 28 years ago.” The Sun added: “The pontiff’s visit proved much more substantial than anticipated.”

Upon his return, the Pope was met by what may or may not turn out to be another scandal — an investigation by Italian authorities of the Vatican bank’s chief and the impounding of $30 million of Vatican assets.

It is too early to tell if there is merit to the investigation or whether the Italian authorities and media are playing it up as a little taste of persecution (perhaps the devil’s response to the success in England).

The bank chief, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, says it was all caused by an error in procedure: money transfers from one account to another that were not “money-laundering,” which is what authorities ostensibly are guarding against.

It was also a mistake and inexperience that some believe caused the indictment nearly thirty years ago of the late Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, an American who headed the Vatican bank who was charged as an accessory to fraudulent bankruptcy in a scandal over the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano in the 1980s in one of Italy’s largest fraud cases.

Roberto Calvi, the head of Banco Ambrosiano, was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982 in circumstances that still remain mysterious and some believe had the earmarks of a Masonic “hit” (P2 Masonic Lodge).

(In 1990, Archbishop Marcinkus told Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican, “Before I die, come talk to me. I will tell you things that will curl your hair.” “He then retired toSun City, Arizona,” says Moynihan. “Early in 2006, I phoned him there. ‘Would it be the right time now for me to come talk to you?’ I asked him. He said, ‘Not yet.’ A week later, I called a second time — I felt it was about time to see him, as 16 years had passed since our last meeting. ‘Not yet, but soon,’ he told me. A few days later, he died.”)

London investigators first ruled that Calvi committed suicide, but his family pressed for further investigation. Eventually murder charges were filed against five defendants, including a major Mafia figure, and they were tried in Rome and acquitted in 2007, notes an

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