Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Holy Shit Hit The Fan!

I just finished reading the book “Sua Santità. Le carte segrete di Benedetto XVI” by Gianluigi Nuzzi or what it’s better known as the Vatileaks.

Ever since the book came out in September of 2012, I have been after it. I read it in Italian but couldn’t understand every word reason why I contacted the writer and offered my services as a translator, free of charge, to have the book translated into English and Spanish. Mr. Nuzzi informed me that the publisher already had the translators. Now the Spanish version, translated by Juan Carlos Gentile Vitale, obviously an Italian even when they tried to make his name into Spanish instead of Giancarlo as it should be, has been published and I bought it. The translation is not fluid and contains quite a few errors, but it’s good enough to understand it.

I expected much more from this book. The book is full of transcripts of events that involved the Vatican but it is obvious that Mr. Nuzzi desperately tries to blame the people around the pope for everything that happened, anyone except the pope.  I am sorry, but if a leader of a State, which is what the pope really is, is so disconnected as to what is happening at all levels of his administration – in this case apparently completely unaware of the corruptions at the spiritual and moral levels, the corruptions at the financial level and the corruptions at the ethical level, then that person should not be the leader of that or any other State. I can understand that no leader can be fully aware of all the intricacies that take place within the State they are governing but, completely and utterly unaware? I doubt it.

The book is not easy to follow and it’s, quite honestly, boring; it lacks that spark that keeps you from putting a book down.  Given the subject, I was not expecting it to be this boring but it was.

According to this book, and to the many letters and documentations from the Vatican attached at the end of the book, the crimes that take place behind the walls of the Vatican are beyond what many of us could imagine and in my opinion the reason why Benedict XVI – formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger – is resigning: The holy shit has hit the proverbial fan.

Through this book, the reader finds out that the Catholic Church received rents from brothels and from pornographic publications for years; they have covered murders (most of us knew that), they've ignored pleas to help Christians in other countries if those pleas interfered in any way, shape or form with the political agenda of the Church. Money and money laundering, as well as almost every type of crime you can think of, has been committed by the Catholic Church and the book provides you with copies of the Vatican’s communications and their incessant efforts to hide the truth from the public eye.

But it is towards the end of the book where I find something very telling, in a letter written by Gott Tedeschi, president of The Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank, (IOR, Instituto per le Opere de Religione) dated June 2011 about the global economic crisis.

Following is a translation of this letter.
“The ongoing economic crisis (that has not ended yet, rather it's just beginning) and the unbalanced consequences of the globalization process that has accelerated the relocation of many productive activities, has transformed the world into two economic areas: the West (U.S. and European) into consumers who are producing increasingly less and the Eastern countries (Asia and India) balanced producers but not yet consumers. This process has created, therefore, a conflict between the three economies and the Western men roles: that of workers and income producers, consumers of convenient goods, the savers and investors of whatever they can find greater prospects for gain. The apparent paradox is that the Western man still produces income by working in domestic companies, but is less and less competitive and therefore at risk of instability. They buy more competitive goods produced elsewhere. Invest in non-domestic companies, in countries where the economy grows because it produces. In practice, strengthens businesses that create employment elsewhere and even compete with the businesses where they work, until that man is without work, and not able to consume and even less to save.

This conflict it’s not being managed and is causing a structural crisis in the economy of the Western world, which was once wealthy. But the Western world is also one whose roots are Christian (Europe and USA), which is evangelized and so far it has sustained the Church with its economic resources. In practice, due to the relocation process, wealth is being transferred from the Christian West to the East not Christianized. Specifically, for the West, this means:

- Less developed (or even negative), lower income, lower savings, lower investment returns, unsustainable higher costs for the aging population, etc.

- Therefore a greater involvement of the state in the economy, increased government spending and higher costs. Demand for higher taxes, fewer privileges and exemptions, greater risks.

Because of the globalization and the economic crisis, the world that is to be Christianized is the one that is becoming "wealthy" and the already Christianized, who was once wealthy, is becoming poor, with consequences on the economic resources of the Church. The end result is that the resources that have traditionally contributed to the needs of the Church (donations, rentals, etc.) may decrease while the necessary requirements should grow for evangelization. In addition, the "secularism" could be harnessed to create a second "Roman Persecution" of attacks on church property (through taxation, retirement privileges and exaggerated increase of controls, etc.). The "Roman Persecution" of the XXI century will not be in the expropriation of the property of the Church, but the loss of their value by lower contributions, by impoverishment of the Christian world, in order of the greatest privileges and predictable rate on goods.”
The only thing that concerns the Catholic Church is not the impoverishing of the Western man and the tribulations they will go through, but the lack of funds that will stop funneling to the Church’s bank accounts. However, I find it very telling that what Mr. Tedeschi described is what we, on the Left, have been saying for years and the Right ignores and even mocks: the economic crisis in our country is due to the continuous outsourcing of American jobs, the carte blanche given to Walmart to inundate our market with cheap products, all sporting the labels “Made in Taiwan," “Made in India,” “Made in Mexico” or whatever other country except “Made in the USA.” And because we have less and less money, we flock to Walmart like moths to the light. Blinded by the prices without thinking, not even once, that the more we buy from them, the deeper we are digging our own graves.

The Catholic Church is not worried about us, their worry is the money that will not be going to the Vatican’s vault. Their concern is not how are we are going to make ends meet, their worry is that governments around the world will start taxing them to compensate for the lack of funds. I would be extremely happy if our country could lead the way, since for the last 30 years the religious institutions (not only the Catholic Church) have decided to get involved in politics, to politically influence their parishioners thus rendering their tax exemption null.

I am glad to see this pope go, perhaps what the book said it’s true and he was unaware of everything that transpired in the Catholic Church, I seriously doubt it, but if it is true then he was useless and should go.  If on the other hand he was aware of the corruption, then he was a son of a bitch whose only concern was money (the main concern of most religious leaders) and he won’t be missed, at least not by me... but then again, I've never missed any of them!

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