In 2017, Cdl. George Pell was at the center of serious reform of Vatican finances, only to be abruptly let go to stand trial for historic sex abuse offenses in Australia.
Some say his removal was convenient — just as he was exposing financial corruption in the Vatican.
While Pell sits in an Australian prison appealing his conviction, it's a worthy reminder that it was his veto in 2015 that led to the blocking of a 50 million-euro loan from the Vatican bank to a scandal-ridden Rome Hospital, indicted in 2016 for money laundering, embezzlement and tax fraud to the tune of nearly 1 billion euros.
The loan was eventually granted — but through the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), the arm of the Vatican that oversees its real estate.
The problem? The loan was contrary to APSA's mission, which disallows the group from spending on business investments.
Another problem: The struggling hospital was unable to repay the loan. It was that failed loan that led to the single largest debt the Vatican suffered last year, leading APSA to turn to America for help.
The Papal Foundation, a U.S.-based charity founded by homosexual predator Theodore McCarrick, agreed to give the Vatican $25 million for the hospital, leading to an internal uprising among members who objected to the questionable loan.
To this day, Papal Foundation members wonder when — if ever — their loan will be repaid, while the one man who would've ensured such financial misdealings never would've seen the light of day is spending his days out of the light in an Australian prison cell.