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David Yallop
Monday, 4th Apr 2011

The ever growing legacy of Pope John Paul II

The Vatican has now made public many of the details connected with the beatification
of Pope John Paul II. The vigil on the evening of Saturday April 30th.The beatification ceremony the following day in St Peter's Square. The veneration of the remains of new blessed. The Mass of thanksgiving. The internment in the Vatican Basilica within the chapel of Saint Sebastian. Every aspect
is covered except one. The evergrowing legacy of the late Pope.
This legacy includes  the continuing investigation by a papal commission into the gross activities of the 
sexual degenerate Father Marcial Maciel one of a number of sexual abusers who enjoyed the late Pope's
The commission are currently confronting the harrowing task of listening in Rome to testimony from a number of Maciel's victims.
 This particular Papal legacy is not confined to any one country the late Pope's continuing refusal to   confront the global cancer that is clerical sexual abuse continues to be demonstrated.For example in Philadelphia a recent grand jury report has asserted that within the diocese as many as thirty seven priests who have perpetrated sexual abuse remain in active ministry.
And finally there is the Vatican Bank,there is always the Vatican Bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works,this money laundering organisation staggers from one scandal to the next with 
impressive regularity.  By far the biggest of these scandals occurred under the Papacy of the late Pope. It has been announced that "tough new standards governing all financial transactions by Vatican 
agencies came into effect on April 1st . Sometimes life is wonderfully written. The date that this brave new financial child first saw the l;ight of day, happens of course to be April Fools day. 

Best wishes

David A. Yallop      
Wednesday, 8th Dec 2010



The other side of the conundrum of how did we lose is how did Russia win? How could a nation which has yet to build thirteen of the sixteen stadiums required, convince the FIFA committee  to green light their bid ? A day before the result Russia had been labelled by U.S. diplomats as a “mafia State”.

The leaked cables painted a picture of a rogue State replete with arms trafficking,money laundering ,protection rackets  and kickbacks

that included suitcases full of bank notes shipped to Cyprus and then deposited in the local banks.

The corruption within Russia even extends to local football matches, between twenty and forty per cent of games being subjected to pre-match fixing, with the scores determined by organised crime.

Against that background to come out as winners is the clearest indication of a fix. This morning one FIFA source  insisted to me that for some of the committee who were attracted to the Russian bid the answer lay  in a bung ,sometimes cash, sometimes payment in kind an expensive months holiday for two ,or three if they were planning to take their mistress as well.
 These form of "payments" are traditional for some members of FIFA, others prefer
expensive jewellery.

The movement of match tickets for World Cup games is another way of laundering the bung. One of the greatest exponents of this particular device 
is Jack Warner.President of the Concaf Federation,often referred to as
"Three votes Jack" that being the number of votes he controls. Though in moments of great excitement Warner has exceeded the quantity that he can actually deliver. 





Tuesday, 7th Dec 2010

How Did We Get It So Wrong ?

                             How Did We Get It So Wrong?


As an application to hold the 2018 World Cup in England the bid had everything. The infrastructure was judged by the FIFA Committee to be far and away the best of all the bidding countries.

 The stadiums, the transport, the facilities, the legacy. It scored straight tens wherever one looked. Every box got a tick.

 A P.R. charm offensive headed by the charismatic double act of David Beckham and Prince William with additional input from Prime Minister Cameron.  Surely his political antenna would have kept him well away from Zurich if there had been the slightest hint of failure ?

With the news that Vladimir Putin had stayed sulking in Russia muttering darkly about hostile plots designed to scupper his country’s bid, many believed it was a done deal. Indeed it was but not for England.

In truth the question as to who would win the right to host the World Cups for 2018 and 2022 had been resolved long before the delegates gathered this week in Zurich. The first indication I received from FIFA insiders that the winners were Russia and Qatar respectively, came in October. That was followed in early November with a firm confirmation of the results, some five weeks before the vote charade took place, and well before the Sunday Times and Panorama came to the party. Their contributions had not the slightest affect upon the result but they did present Blatter, the FIFA voting committee and those in search of scapegoats with some useful whipping boys.

To ask, as many now are doing “Was foul play at work in Zurich this week?” is on a par with the hoary question “Is the Pope a Catholic?”

Consider Qatar,  one of the very few countries to emerge from Fifa’s evaluation reports with their chances of success in tatters. Putting aside the various recent scandals that had damaged their bid, there was the location and the weather to consider. World class football matches do not usually take place in temperatures approaching forty to fifty degrees Celsius.

 For Qatar to succeed would in theory be against all the odds. Why then, well before the vote were bookmakers William Hill quoting odds of four to nine on for Qatar to be awarded the 2022 World Cup?  Perhaps they had access to my FIFA contacts? Or perhaps they had chanced to read my book How They Stole the Game? The book is an investigation of the life and times of FIFA President Dr Joao Havelange and the election of his successor Sep Blatter who attempted unsuccessfully in a number of countries to have the book banned.

What follows illustrates why this week the English bid never for a moment stood a chance of succeeding. We can continue to do the decent thing and compete fairly and honestly to hold the World Cup Competition in England. We can cling to the remnants of another era where the game was the thing and playing by the rules was all important or we can take a different, darker, course of action. 


The book records various aspects of Blatter’s 1998 campaign for election to Presidency as the Paris Congress of June 98 grew nearer. Blatter had only declared his candidacy a mere four months before the election. On the face of he had a formidable mountain to climb. By early 1998 the only other contender Lennart Johansson of Sweden had developed a momentum that was unstoppable.

.He had a clear run of the electoral field and had impressed many with his policies, his vision and perhaps most of all, with his quite obvious transparent honesty. He was not seen as particularly charismatic, indeed some saw him as dull, but after twenty four years of the charismatic Havelange, this was not necessarily a disadvantage.

In December 1997, months before Blatter’s declaration that he was a contender he made a secret visit to Qatar where he had a meeting with the ruler of the country Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifaal-Than. When the meeting concluded the General Secretary of FIFA had an additional wealthy backer whose generosity included putting his personal aeroplane at Blatter’s disposal. The Emir also ordered his relations who controlled and ran Qatar’s Football Association to do everything in their power to assist Blatter’s election.

What follows is taken verbatim from my book.

“It developed into a two-pronged infiltration. They began to pick up votes both from the African Confederation and from Asia. Qatar’s FIFA delegate Mohamad Bin Hammam, who sits on the key FIFA Finance Committee, had an additional task. As the country’sdelegate to Paris he could mix freely with the other delegates without attracting undue attention.

That weekend, Paris was full of rumours - of deals being cut, of favours being called in. Arenas like this are the real power-centres where the ultimate vote is decided.    

Blatter had a junior suite in the Meridien Hotel in Paris It was also where a great many of the delegates were staying. In the days leading up to the FIFA Congress Hammam functioned as procurer for Blatter.

Positioning himself down in the lobby of the hotel, Hammam collared the delegates as they came and went. He extolled the virtues of Sepp Blatter. If he felt the delegates’ attention was wandering, Hammam talked of money. Allegedly he talked of offering $50,000 per vote. The fatigue of the day lifted and the delegates began to move towards the bar with a spring in their step.

Some of Blatter’s supporters had begun to panic on the Saturday prior to the Monday vote. They were convinced that Lennart Johansson still held the majority. According to the rumours it was at this stage that money and very little else was discussed. A number of delegates remained sceptical. How did they know that Hammam could be trusted? Under the circumstances, an appropriate question.  

 An undertaking was given that if Blatter was duly elected, courtesy of the Emir a plane would immediately leave Qatar with $1 million onboard. First stop Paris. The delegates were assured that they could then go to Hammam and collect their fifty thousand. The figure of one million is not without significance. Between fifteen and twenty delegates were persuaded to exchange the white envelope containing their vote for another containing $50,000. If all of the Emir’s million dollars went in this manner, then the missing twenty votes from Lenhart Johansson’s tally were accounted for.

Blatter himself would later assert that he knew nothing whatsoever about these arrangements. He has always vigorously and indeed furiously denied any knowledge of these various activities. The newly elected President Blatter confirmed that money had indeed changed hands, but the only payments that he was aware of concerned arrangements made earlier that year in which financial

Assistance had been offered to a wide variety of national Associations. The monies in question were designated for a variety of uses - to buy cars, to purchase computers, to finance competitions and other official activities… Quite an extraordinary situation appears to have occurred that weekend in Paris. Simultaneously with FIFA funds being officially handed out to delegates, other payments were being made to directly influence votes. The evidence that this latter activity took place has come to me from a variety of sources, including individuals within UEFA and others within the African Football Association.

This tactic, plus the political channels that were activated, swung it for Blatter. Thus the power of Asian and African Confederations was neutered and democracy was prostituted in the pursuit of the FIFA Presidency. Nothing has changed since the early 1970’s when Joao Havelange bought himself the most powerful position in the world of football."

 The above is an example of the darker side of FIFA that many have embraced. I would rather that England and other countries who continue to reject such methods resign from the filth that is awash within FIFA.

In 2009 yet another meeting between the Emir of Qatar,Sepp Blatter and Mohamad Bin Hamman took place. Blatter wished to ensure that he did not face Hammam in a contest for the Presidency in 2011.  A deal was cut. Hammam promised not to stand and Blatter promised he would deliver the 2022 World Cup to Quatar. Earlier this week President Blatter delivered.


©                David Yallop 4th December 2010








Tuesday, 26th Oct 2010

I have been here before Part Three.

Current events oblige me to confront them before resuming earlier parts of the same story.
We left the current head of the Vatican Bank, President Tedeschi on 29th September complaining that "A procedural error has been used as an excuse to attack the Institute,its President,and more generally,the Vatican." 
The procedural error, we were assured, would be recitified "immediately." Clearly that word has a different meaning in the Vatican. One month later to the day is an appropiate time to review the situation.

The "procedural error" concerned the small matter of a Vatican account with Credito Artigano SpA containing some $31 million dollars. We are asked to believe Tedeschi and his colleagues at the Vatican Bank  were unaware that this account had been frozen since April with that sum of money sitting in it.The account had
been frozen by the Italian authorities because of "alleged violation of money laundering laws."
One would have thought that if every senior official within the Vatican bank was suffering from amnesia,
then surely someone at Credito Aritgano would have picked up a phone,particularly as the Chairman of that bank,Giovanni De Censi is also an "advisor" to the Vatican Bank. Presumably advising his customer that they have $31 million dollars  of frozen cash with a large question mark over it, is not part of his brief.
The Vatican continued to insist  that it was "all a big misunderstanding." 

Senor Tedeschi has subsequently been subjected to a four hour interrogation  which has somehow failed 
to satisfy the Italian investigators. On the 2Oth of October,the Vatican which historically has never gone into a Foreign court to defend itself,broke with that precedent and requested that their account be unfrozen.
The Rome magistrates were unimpressed with the Vatican's arguements and rejected the request.
It has since been revealed that the Italian team of investigators have widened their examination. They are now looking into the source of cheques for 300,000 euros deposited in an IOR (Vatican Bank) account
at a branch of Uni Credit and a withdrawal of 600,000 euros from an account with Intesa San Paolo.
The Italian team are fully aware that the Vatican Bank regularly features in the global top ten of money laundries with an estimated $50 billion laundered annually.
 Vatican Bank Chairman Tedeschi indicated earlier this week that his level of acute paranoia had reached meltdown. He described the Italian investigation as part of a "Fierce attack on the Church's credibility.
First it was an attack on the pope,then the pedophillia-related facts,and now it carries on with the case that involves me."
Time to take gardening leave Senor Tedeschi.

David A. Yallop   
Thursday, 30th Sep 2010

I have been here before Part Two

Note. The following is extracted from my book In God's Name.

Two months later during May 1973, Luciani found himself playing
host yet again to a visitor from Rome, Cardinal Giovanni Benelli the number two in the Secretariat of State In general Benelli had come to assure him that the problems they had discussed
the previous year had not been forgotten. In particular he had an
extraordinary story to tell about the American Mafia, nearly one
billion dollars’ worth of counterfeit securities and Paul Marcinkus.

On April 25th, 1973, Benelli had received some very unusual guests
in his offices at the Secretariat of State in Vatican City: William
Lynch, Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering section of the
US Department of Justice, and William Aronwald, Assistant Chief of
the Strike Force in the Southern District of New York. Two members
of the FBI had accompanied them.

‘Having met these gentlemen from the United States,’ Benelli told
me, ‘I made my apologies and left them in the capable hands of three
of my staff. They of course subsequently reported to me exactly what
had taken place.’

The secret FBI report that I acquired many months after my conversation with Cardinal Benelli confirmed that his account was very

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accurate. It also told a story which reads like an outline for a
Hollywood movie.

Monsignors Edward Martinez, Carl Rauber and Justin Rigali
listened while William Lynch told of a police investigation that had
begun in the world of the New York Mafia and had led inexorably to
the Vatican. He told the priests that a package of 14.5 million dollars’
worth* of American counterfeit bonds had been carefully and painstakingly created by a network of members of the Mafia in the USA.
The package had been delivered to Rome in July 1971 and there was
substantial evidence to establish that the ultimate destination of those
bonds was the Vatican Bank.

Lynch advised them that much of the evidence, from separate
sources, strongly indicated that someone with financial authority
within the Vatican had ordered the fake bonds. He pointed out that
other evidence also indicated the 14.5 million dollars was merely a
down payment, and that the total of counterfeit bonds ordered was 950
million dollars’ worth.

The attorney then revealed the name of the ‘someone with financial
authority’ who had master-minded the illegal transaction. On the basis
of the evidence in Lynch’s hands, it was Bishop Paul Marcinkus.

Displaying remarkable self-control the three priests listened as the
two US attorneys outlined the evidence.

At this stage of the investigation a number of the conspirators had
already been arrested. One of them who had felt the desire to unburden
himself was Mario Foligni, self-styled Count of San Francisco with an
honorary doctorate in Theology. A first-class conman, Foligni had on
more than one occasion narrowly avoided prison. When he was
suspected of having manipulated the fraudulent bankruptcy of a
company he controlled, a Rome magistrate had issued a search warrant
to the finance police. Opening Foligni’s safe, the police had
discovered a signed blessing from Pope Paul VI. They had apologized
for the intrusion and departed.

Subsequently others had been equally impressed with Foligni’s
Vatican connections. He had opened the Vatican doors to an Austrian
named Leopold Ledl. It was Ledl who had put the Vatican deal
together – the purchase of 950 million dollars’ worth of counterfeit
bonds, the purchase price to be 635 million dollars. ‘Commission’ of
150 million dollars would be paid back by the gang to the Vatican,
leaving the Mafia with 485 million dollars and the Vatican with bonds
that had a face value of nearly one billion dollars.

*Here and throughout, monetary figures are expressed in values at the time in question.

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The American Mafia had been sceptical about the deal until Ledl
produced a letter from the Vatican. Written under the letter-heading of
the Sacra Congregazione Dei Religiosi it was confirmation that the
Vatican wished to ‘buy the complete stock of the merchandise up to
the sum of 950 million dollars’.

Foligni had told the American investigators that Marcinkus, ever
prudent, had requested that a trial deposit of one-and-a-half million
dollars’ worth of the bonds be made at Handelsbank in Zürich.
According to Foligni, Marcinkus had wanted to satisfy himself that the
bonds would pass as genuine. Late in July the ‘trial’ deposit was duly
made by Foligni. He nominated Vatican cleric Monsignor Mario
Fornasari as the beneficiary of the account he opened.

A second ‘trial’ deposit of two-and-a-half million dollars’ worth
had been made at the Banco di Roma in September 1971. On both
occasions the bonds had passed bank scrutiny, a tribute to Mafia skill.
Regrettably for the conspirators, both banks had sent samples to New
York for physical examination. The Bankers Association in New York
ascertained that the bonds were false. Hence the unusual presence of
American attorneys and men from the FBI within the Vatican walls.

Apart from a desire to recover the balance of 10 million dollars’
worth of the initial delivery, Lynch and his colleagues were anxious to
bring all the participants in the crime to justice.

Foligni had told the investigators that the reason the Vatican
required the fake bonds was to enable Marcinkus and Italian banker
and businessman Michele Sindona to buy Bastogi, a giant Italian
company with wide interests including property, mining and
chemicals. Bastogi’s headquarters were in Milan; so were Sindona’s. It
was in this city that the then Archbishop Montini, later Pope Paul VI,
had met Sindona. When Montini had become Pope, the Vatican gained
a new heir to Peter and the Vatican Bank gained a new lay financial
adviser, Michele Sindona.

William Lynch, himself a devout Catholic, continued his story.
Mario Foligni, it transpired, had fired a series of accusations at Bishop
Marcinkus during the US Department of Justice interrogations. Apart
from the allegation that Sindona and Marcinkus had planned to buy
Bastogi with fake bonds, Foligni also asserted that with Sindona’s
assistance, the Bishop had several secret numbered bank accounts in
the Bahamas for his personal use.

Under interrogation Mario Foligni had claimed that he had been
working personally with Benelli’s office, the Secretariat of State, and
that as a direct result of his cooperation ‘the Secretary of State had

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caused stringent administrative action to be taken against Bishop
Marcinkus, which severely restricted the Bishop’s enormous financial
power within the Vatican.’ Foligni had insisted that he had told the
Secretariat of State of the trial deposits he had made in Switzerland
and Rome and that this information was used by Benelli’s office
against Marcinkus. He had also advised the Justice Department that he
was under orders from the Secretary of State’s office not to give the
investigators any further details concerning the swindle.

Having put this evidence forward the Americans sat back and
waited for a response. As William Lynch and William Aronwald made
clear when I interviewed them, this first meeting at the Vatican was
not seen by either side as an interrogation. It was informal, an opportunity to lay before members of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State some
very serious allegations.

The Justice Department was aware that the central thrust of the
allegations stemmed from two expert con-men but there was also
powerful internal evidence to support the validity of the statements of
Foligni and Ledl.

It was because of that evidence that William Aronwald had
contacted Cardinal Cooke of New York via the US attorney for the
southern district of that city. The Cardinal had been most co-operative
and via the Papal delegation in Washington this extraordinary meeting
had been arranged. Its real object was not merely to lay information,
but ultimately to confront Marcinkus.

While more coffee was served the three monsignors remained silent
but thoughtful. Eventually Monsignor Martinez, Assessor of the
Secretary of State’s office, responded. He assured the Americans that
he and Monsignor Rauber had complete knowledge of all the affairs of
Archbishop Benelli and categorically denied that Foligni had turned
over any evidence to Benelli’s office. As for the counterfeit bonds and
the trial deposits this was the first time that anyone on the Secretariat
of State had heard about the affair. Taking a classic Curial position he
remarked that, ‘It is not the intention of the Vatican to collaborate with
the United States officials in their investigation at this point, since this
is considered to be an informal meeting, and our purpose at the present
time is only to listen.’

What Lynch and his colleagues were confronted with was a
mentality that has defeated many better minds than theirs – that of the
Curia, a body of men that gives absolutely nothing away; a
Government machine that holds the Roman Catholic Church in a vice-
like grip. Lynch reminded the monsignors that to date only four

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In God’s Name

million dollars’ worth of the fake bonds had been recovered and
continued: ‘Since all evidence strongly indicates that the eventual
destination for all of the bonds was the Vatican Bank and in view of
the fact that the total amount ordered is worth 950 million dollars
perhaps I can give you a list of the types of bonds?’

Martinez merely swayed out of the path of that punch. Lynch
persisted. ‘That way the records of the Istituto per le Opere di
Religione can be checked to determine if any of the counterfeit stocks
have been “inadvertently” received on deposit at that bank.’

The style of Martinez in the ring was really most impressive.

‘I, of course, have no idea if any of these American counterfeit
bonds have been received by our bank. I cannot, however, take a list
from you to check. That would be the function of Bishop Marcinkus.
He handles such matters. Perhaps if you have difficulty in contacting
the Bishop you might send a list with a formal letter to the Papal
Nuncio in Washington.’

It was obviously time for a change of tactics.

The US attorneys produced a document they had taken from
Leopold Ledl after his arrest. The Vatican seal was on the letterhead
below which was printed, ‘Sacra Congregazione Dei Religiosi’. It was
the Vatican order for nearly one billion dollars’ worth of counterfeit
securities. It had convinced the Mafia. The monsignors examined it
carefully. There was much staring and holding up to the light.

Martinez rubbed his chin thoughtfully. The Americans leaned
forward eagerly. Perhaps they had finally got one past the redoubtable

‘The letterhead appears to be identical to the letterhead of one of our
sacred congregations which is located here in the Vatican.’

There was a pause. Just time for the Americans to enjoy the
moment. Then Martinez continued:

‘However, I would note that while the letterhead appears to be
legitimate that particular congregation changed its name in 1968 and
that as of the date of this letter, June 29th, 1971, the name shown on
the letterhead would be incorrect. The new name is Sacra
Congregazione per i Religiosi e gli Istituti Secolari.’

The American investigators had, however, succeeded in their main
objective. It was agreed that they could see Bishop Paul Marcinkus
face to face the following day. This in itself was an extraordinary
achievement, for Vatican City fiercely guards its independent statehood.

During my interview with Cardinal Benelli he confirmed that he had

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indeed received information about the whole affair from Mario Foligni
before the Vatican visit of the American investigators. It had seemed
to the Cardinal to be a self-serving effort by Foligni, who by that time
knew the game was up. As to the validity of the information, Benelli
confined himself to the observation that he found the information
‘very interesting and useful’.

On the morning of April 26th, 1973, the two American attorneys
and the two FBI men were shown into the private office of Bishop
Paul Marcinkus. Lynch and Aronwald repeated the story they had told
the previous day while Marcinkus puffed on a large cigar. In the light
of some of his subsequent omissions his initial remark is of particular

‘I am very disturbed by the seriousness of the allegations. In view
of them I’ll answer each and every question to the best of my ability.’
He began with Michele Sindona.

‘Michele and I are very good friends. We’ve known each other for
several years. My financial dealings with him, however, have only been
very limited. He is, you know, one of the wealthiest industrialists in Italy.
He is well ahead of his time as far as financial matters are concerned.’

He extolled the virtues and talents of Michele Sindona at some
considerable length. Then, placing the Vatican Bank on a par with the
confessional, Marcinkus remarked:

‘I would prefer to withhold names in many of the instances I intend
to give because although the charges that Foligni makes against me are
extremely serious they are so wild that I do not believe it necessary to
break banking secrecy laws in order to defend myself.’

While the previous day’s meeting had been largely of an informal
nature, this confrontation with Marcinkus was an interrogation. On
the evidence that the US Department of Justice had carefully and
painstakingly acquired over more than two years, Lynch and
Aronwald and FBI agents Biamonte and Tammaro had before them
the man who had master-minded one of the world’s greatest swindles.
If the evidence was correct then the Chicago suburb of Cicero’s claim
for world notoriety would in future be shared by Al Capone and Paul
Marcinkus. But as Mrs Beeton observed, ‘first catch your hare’.

William Lynch raised the temperature a little.

‘If it becomes necessary at some future date will you make yourself
available for a face to face confrontation with Mario Foligni?’

‘Yes, I will.’

‘If it becomes necessary are you also prepared to testify in a United
States court?’

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In God’s Name

‘Well, yes, if it’s absolutely necessary. I hope it won’t be though.’


‘Well the only people who would gain anything if I appeared in
court would be the Italian Press.’

‘How’s that?’

‘They frequently relish the opportunity to write inflammatory
material concerning the Vatican, whether it’s true or not.’

Lynch and Aronwald showed a total lack of concern at the Vatican’s
sensitivity towards the Italian Press.

‘Do you have a private numbered account in the Bahamas?’


‘Do you have an ordinary account in the Bahamas?’

‘No, I don’t.’

‘Are you quite certain, Bishop?’

‘The Vatican does have a financial interest in the Bahamas but it’s
strictly a business transaction similar to many controlled by the
Vatican. It’s not for any one person’s private financial gain.’

‘No, we are interested in personal accounts that you have.’

‘I don’t have any private or public account in the Bahamas or
anywhere else.’

How Marcinkus constantly carried his salary and expenses around in
cash was not explored. Neither did Marcinkus reveal that he was in fact
on the board of directors of Banco Ambrosiano Overseas in Nassau and
had been since 1971. He had been invited on to the board by the two men
who had set up this Bahamas operation, Michele Sindona and Roberto
Calvi. Both men used the Bishop’s name frequently in their business
deals. Sindona put it bluntly to Marcinkus on one occasion: ‘I’ve put you
on the board because your name helps me to raise money.’

Sindona and Calvi showed their gratitude by giving Marcinkus and
the Vatican Bank 2.5 per cent of the Nassau Bank’s stock. This
eventually rose to 8 per cent. Marcinkus frequently attended board
meetings and took holidays in the Bahamas. It must have been irksome
constantly having to change the large amounts of currency that,
according to the statements he made to the American investigators, he
would have been obliged to carry – the first President of a Bank in the
world’s history without a personal bank account.

At this point in the interrogation Bishop Marcinkus observed: ‘You
know my position within the Vatican is unique.’

One of the world’s great understatements was followed by: ‘I’m in
charge of what many people commonly refer to as the Vatican Bank.
As such I have complete control of Vatican financial affairs. One of

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the things that makes my position completely unique is that I am
answerable only to the Pope as to how I handle those financial affairs.
In theory my operations are directed by a group of cardinals who meet
from time to time and generally act as overseers to the Bank. In reality,
however, I virtually have a sole hand in directing the financial affairs
of the Vatican.’

The personal testimony did not impress the Bishop’s listeners.

‘What’s the point you’re trying to make?’

‘Well, this position that I hold has led to, shall we say, certain hard
feelings by other men in responsible positions within the Vatican.’


‘Oh yes, it’s just part of the job I’m afraid. I am the first American
ever to have risen to such a position of power within the Vatican and
I’m sure that this has also caused a certain amount of hard feelings.’

Whether he was guilty or not of being the mastermind behind this
enormous swindle, Paul Marcinkus undoubtedly spoke the truth when
he talked about ‘certain hard feelings’ held by other senior men within
the Vatican, and not only there. In Venice, Cardinal Albino Luciani
was another whose feelings towards Marcinkus grew somewhat more
than ‘hard’ as Benelli told him of this latest episode in the Marcinkus
saga. Ironically what Benelli did not know was that, during that private
interview with the American investigators, Paul Marcinkus had
attempted to entangle him in the swindle.

To read the statement Marcinkus made, it is clear that in his eyes
everyone but himself merited investigation. Of Father Mario
Fornasari, who was allegedly deeply involved in the affair, Marcinkus

‘Some of the people who work for me at the Bank have pointed
Fornasari out to me as an individual to avoid. I’m sure you know that
Fornasari was denounced some time ago for writing libellous letters.’

‘Really, what happened?’

‘I believe the charges were dropped.’

Marcinkus conceded that he had been involved with Mario Foligni,
without doubt one of the principal figures in the billion dollar swindle,
on at least two business ventures. The first concerned a 100 million
dollar investment scheme that did not come to fruition. The second
was a 300 million dollar deal involving Foligni and the Italian industrialist Carlo Pesenti. That too had aborted, but as Marcinkus told his
convoluted tale he was at pains to drag in Benelli’s name. Apart from
demonstrating that his ego had been bruised because Benelli had asked
Pope Paul to consider the 300 million dollar deal and Marcinkus

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clearly believed that no one should talk to the Pope about money but
him, Marcinkus also attempted to link Benelli and Foligni, presumably
working on the law of guilt by association. In view of the subsequent
activities of Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi, both close friends of
Marcinkus, it would be interesting to know if Marcinkus still holds to
this dubious legal tenet.

What Marcinkus neglected to explain, perhaps because he was not
asked to, was why he was even prepared to consider the 300 million
dollar deal involving Foligni, some eight months after Foligni had
unloaded 1.5 million dollars’ worth of fake securities in a Swiss Bank
and some six months after he had unloaded 2.5 million dollars’ worth
of phoney bonds in the Banco di Roma. As President of the Vatican
Bank it is inconceivable that Marcinkus was the only head of a bank
in Europe not to know of these criminal activities.

At the end of a long interrogation, Marcinkus maintained total
innocence and disclaimed all knowledge. He happily accepted a list of
the counterfeit bonds and said he would keep his eye open for them.

A variety of people were eventually found guilty of involvement
in the billion dollar swindle. With regard to the allegations that
Bishop Paul Marcinkus was involved, Attorney William Aronwald
told me:

The most that could be said is that we were satisfied that the
investigation had not disclosed sufficiently credible evidence to
prove or disprove the allegation. Consequently since we were not
morally satisfied ourselves that there was anything wrong, or that
Marcinkus or anyone else in the Vatican had done anything
wrong, it would have been improper of us to try to grab some

It is abundantly clear that what seriously restricted this investigation
was not the lack of will of the United States investigators. They tried
hard, very hard. It would later be alleged that they were themselves
part of a giant coverup,* that they had merely gone through the
motions of an enquiry. This is nonsense and shows total ignorance of
the very real problems that are posed when an investigation which
begins in one country has to be continued inside another. The Vatican
City is an independent State. That Lynch and Aronwald and the men
from the FBI got inside the Vatican gates at all is a tribute to their
tenacity. One cannot go rushing over the Tiber like a TV New York
*Richard Hamer, The Vatican Connection, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1982.

In God’s Name-pages 18/1/07 10:55 am Page 41
The Road to Rome


cop, armed with a .45 gun, search warrants, authority to hold and
question witnesses and the many other legal devices that can be used
within the United States.

If Vatican City were part of the United States then doubtless all
members of the Curia working in the Sacra Congregazione Dei
Religiosi would have been interrogated in depth. Fingerprints would
have been taken. Forensic tests on all typewriters within the
Congregation would have been made. If all that could have been done
the question of Bishop Marcinkus’s guilt or innocence might have
been resolved. The fact that the United States Government took the
evidence seriously enough to risk a very delicate political situation is
illuminating in itself. As William Aronwald said to me, ‘We were not
about to waste that amount of taxpayers’ money unless we took the
evidence very seriously indeed. At the end of the investigation the case
against Marcinkus had to be filed for lack of evidence that might have
convinced a jury.’

The question therefore remains unanswered. Who was the customer
who ordered the counterfeit bonds? Based on all the available official
evidence it is possible to draw only two conclusions. Each is bizarre.
Leopold Ledl and Mario Foligni were planning to steal from the
American Mafia a huge fortune in counterfeit bonds, having first
conned the Mafia into going to the very considerable expense of creating the bonds. This particular section of the Mafia had a number of
members who killed or maimed people who they merely imagined had
insulted them. If this is the real reason then Ledl and Foligni were
seeking an unusual form of suicide. The other conclusion is that the
950 million dollars’ worth of counterfeit bonds were destined for the

To be continued.


Wednesday, 29th Sep 2010

I have been here before. Part one..

"The Vatican bank is under investigation for money-laundering."
So ran the headlines in the newspapers, on the radio and on T.V.
It was very familiar as was the Vatican's protestations of innocence.
The current president of the Instituto per le Opere di Religione or the I.O.R.
to give the Bank its correct title strongly denied allegations of wrong doing.
President Ettore Gotti Tedeschi,  a "father of five,a devout Catholic and a member of
Opus Dei who teaches financial ethics at a Catholic universtiy in Milan" was outraged
"A procedural error has been used as an excuse to attack the Institute,its president and,more generally,the Vatican."

Oh yes,I have definitely been here before .

To be continued.   
Wednesday, 15th Sep 2010

It would seem that we have the scandal that Damien Thompson feared.I

In the Preface to Beyond Belief,the reader will read how impressed I had been to learn  
that the Catholic Church in England and Wales had embraced more than fifty recommendations made by the Nolan report,to ensure that potential victims would have maximum protection. One key recommendation was that any priest sentenced to imprisonment for a year or more for sexual abuse should be stripped of their priesthood.
Currently at least fourteen of the twenty two priests who fall into that category are still members of the clergy. At least one of them is living in the diocese of Westminster run by Archbishop  Vincent Nichols
the most senior Catholic in England and a man who played a key role in developing the child protection
policies,that this morning I praised on
 Try explaining this one away to the pope tomorrow Archbishop.

David Yallop

September 15th 2010.
Monday, 6th Sep 2010

We live in curious times.

Towards the end of August the news media was full of stories based upon an official 
investigation into the 1972 IRA bombings in Claudy,Co Londonderry. The attacks resulted in nine deaths in the Northern Ireland village. No one has ever stood trial for these murders.The recently published conclusions established that at the very heart of the bombings was the Roman Catholic priest Father James Chesney. The report also established that a conspiracy involving the The Catholic Church, the Northern Ireland Police Force and the British Government ensured that Chesney was protected and moved over the border to Co Donegal. These various facts presented in the news media as stunning revelations are contained within my previous book The Power and The Glory first published more than three years ago in 2007. 

At much the same time as the "Revelations" above were being trumpeted, Daily Telegraph writer Damien  Thompson was sharing his anxieties regarding the imminent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to these shores. Much frequently appears to alarm Thompson on this occasion his concerns centered around "The plot to derail the papal visit with sex abuse headlines.....What makes the situation alarming as well as embarrassing is that sections of the media are preparing to mark the Pope's arrival with some sort of Catholic sex scandal. " 

During the Second World War Noel Coward with a delightful irony penned and sang "Don't let's be beastly to the Germans"  The irony went right over the heads  of some who succeeded in getting the song banned by the B.B.C .Thompson is far too limp wristed to be indulging in irony he seriously means it and talks of the "plot" as being "breathtakingly cynical"

The possibility that the victims of appalling clerical sexual abuse should wish to meet and talk to the Holy Father is for Thompson,like the abuse itself, beyond belief.

As of today he can sleep easy. The Vatican entourage are doing all they can to ensure that the Pope is not subjected to that particular "embarrassing" reality.

David Yallop.

September 6th 2010
Tuesday, 24th Aug 2010

The cost.A reality check

Beyond Belief covers many aspects of the crime of clerical sexual abuse. These include  the history,the
lies and secret system of cover-up that reaches to the highest level . It implicated the late Pope John
Paul II. It implicates his successor Pope Benedict XVI. 

The financial cost to the United States Church alone since the conspiracy  began to unravel in 1983 is $6 billion and rising. The additional global cost over the same period is in excess of a further $4 billion.
The spiritual cost is far greater. Sexual abuse of any kind, by a priest is an act that both physically and 
spiritually is nothing less than the rape of the victim.

To be continued.

David A. Yallop.   
Monday, 23rd Aug 2010

As of now, many people across the world would not allow an unaccompanied child to enter a Roman Catholic Church

Those words initially appeared near the end of the Chapter, Beyond Belief contained in my last book The Power and the Glory. It was a chapter that above all others within the book continues to grab the attention of readers in numerous countries. The letters and emails are without exception, very positive and invariably contain very moving and powerful accounts of personal experiences. They also repeatedly ask me to return to this subject. That subject was clerical
sexual abuse.

Beyond Belief will be published by Constable & Robinson this Thursday.

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