In today’s issue, The Guardian is reporting on a sweetheart deal between Benito Mussolini and the Catholic Church that is still yielding the Vatican millions in ill-gotten gains. It seems that in 1929 the Italian dictator offered the sum of $92 million in today’s money to Pope Pius XI in order to gain the Pontiff’s blessing for the new fascist regime. Sad to say, the Pope took the bait, leading to years of misery for Italians and other peoples, along with generations of windfalls for what under normal conditions should have been a dying religious cult. This deal was a feature of the Lateran Treaty, in which the Mussolini government granted the Pope his own sovereign country within Italian territory: Vatican City.
The Vatican’s bankers soon transformed the Duce’s investment into prime real estate in London, Paris, and various venues in Switzerland, amounting to a cool $800 million today. And it’s not as if the Pope is just dying to enlighten us all about this pact with Satan. As Guardian journalist David Leigh tells us, “The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions.” Well, let’s just say that this news is more surprising to some of us than to others.
So if you’ve been wondering why the Catholic Church continues to thrive despite all the common sense arguments against it, look no further. For the dreary details, check out the original article here.
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