Wednesday 17th July 2019

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Dispute Over Papal Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Approval Continues

April 19, 2019 Featured Today No Comments

By KEVIN JONES

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Scrutiny continues for the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, amid questions of whether some of its grant activity was motivated by a desire to secure leniency for disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The ongoing controversy surrounds the foundation’s decision to make an unprecedented grant to a leading Italian hospital whose former leadership had faced accusations of massive embezzlement and financial misconduct.
Donald Cardinal Wuerl, the outgoing archbishop of Washington, D.C., made “false and misleading” statements about the grantee to the foundation board, said Matthew B. O’Brien, a Philadelphia-based writer, in an April 12 essay for First Things. O’Brien cited several people involved with the Papal Foundation who spoke on background and provided copies of foundation meeting minutes and legal reviews.
“He painted a picture of a hospital that was experiencing momentary cash-flow problems, but was otherwise sound,” O’Brien charged. “Wuerl’s actions are especially questionable in light of what he knew at the time about then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s interest in securing the grant.”
“Wuerl was aware that McCarrick stood to win leniency in his sex abuse case if the Papal Foundation secured $25 million for the Vatican’s Secretary of State,” said O’Brien.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the Papal Foundation, challenged this interpretation. His statement, quoted in O’Brien’s essay, said there were “a variety of interpretations” of the financial condition of the grantee and its sponsoring entities.
“Clearly there were different readings of available information, but it is not correct to characterize the presentation of Cardinal Wuerl or other participants at the Board meeting as false or misleading,” Corallo said.
Since 1990, the foundation has given over $100 million to support projects and proposals recommended by the Holy See. American cardinals are ex officio leaders of the foundation, though it has a significant number of lay board members. Grants are made for needs that are particularly significant to the Pope, and often go to institutions and organizations in developing nations. The grants typically do not exceed $200,000 each.
The foundation’s approval of a $25 million grant to a financially and legally troubled Italian hospital became a major controversy among board members who argued the grant was approved without due diligence. This controversy drew media coverage in early 2018.
After the June 2018 exposure of sex abuse allegations against then-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a past Washington archbishop, further questions were raised about the possibility of further corruption, the use of funds for undue influence, and Donald Cardinal Wuerl’s knowledge of McCarrick’s abuse.
In December 2017, the foundation approved a $25 million grant to the Rome hospital Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI). According to O’Brien, this approval came in response to a request from Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Parolin, made on behalf of Pope Francis.
The hospital, which had been under the direct ownership of the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception, remains one of the leading dermatological hospitals in Italy.
In 2013, Italian authorities arrested a priest who was its chief executive through 2011 and two others for allegations dating back as far as 2005. They were convicted on charges relating to the embezzlement of 6 million euros in public money from the hospital and diversion of another 82 million euros. The hospital allegedly evaded taxes on 450 million euros. Its debt of over 800 million euros led to bankruptcy.
Financial reorganization led to the purchase of the hospital and its affiliates through a partnership between the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception and the Vatican Secretariat of State. This partnership owns and operates the IDI hospital and its affiliates through the nonprofit Fondazione Luigi Maria Monti and a limited liability subsidiary, Luigi Maria Monti, S.r.l.
At the Papal Foundation’s December 2017 meeting that approved the grant, O’Brien charged, Wuerl made two false statements recorded in the meeting minutes: He wrongly claimed that the religious congregation involved in the hospital during the time of fraud, embezzlement, and insolvency was no longer involved; and he understated the debt of the hospital and its affiliates after April 2015 insolvency proceedings.
Corallo, a Papal Foundation spokesman, said there were “a variety of interpretations” of the financial condition of the IDI and its sponsoring entities. The relationship of the religious congregation and the IDI was “still unclear,” he said, and all discussion was made difficult by “conflicting interpretations.” Wuerl’s December 2017 presentation used both publicly available information and information “provided by the Holy See.”
“Other interpretations were also offered,” said Corallo.
O’Brien countered that much information, including the $60 million debt and the continued involvement of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception, were available publicly. He argued that Wuerl “does not appear to have taken any steps to clarify the crucial information about the supposed beneficiary of the $25 million grant.”
Wuerl told the board that the IDI group owed $26 million in payables but did not mention a $60 million mortgage debt, O’Brien said. He added that Wuerl resisted lay board members’ requests for financial statements from the hospital.
McCarrick, Wuerl’s predecessor as archbishop of Washington, at the time was an ex officio member of the foundation board.
O’Brien said Wuerl knew that McCarrick could win leniency in the Vatican’s treatment of his sex abuse case if he were able to secure the grant for the hospital, at the request of the Vatican Secretary of State.
Wuerl also failed to disclose that a Vatican dicastery for which he is a board member, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), is apparently a creditor of the troubled IDI, O’Brien said. The APSA lent 50 million euros to the IDI as part of its reorganization.
O’Brien said it is still unknown whether the first part of the grant, worth $13 million, was delivered to the Fondazione Luigi Maria Monti. According to O’Brien, the Papal Foundation has not said whether it has sent the final part of the grant.
Cardinal Wuerl in a January 19, 2018 letter asked the Holy See to decline about half the grant. In February 2018, a Papal Foundation spokesman told the National Catholic Register it is not the foundation’s practice to comment on individual grant requests.
The Papal Foundation was launched in 1988 by John Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia, John Cardinal O’Connor of New York, and then-Archbishop of Newark Theodore McCarrick. McCarrick would go on to become a cardinal and archbishop of Washington and also president of the foundation.
The revelations that McCarrick had sexually abused minors and seminarians would lead to his resignation from the College of Cardinals and removal from the clerical state. The revelations would lead to many questions about his influence as a global diplomat and fundraiser and whether his abuse was known and covered up by prominent churchmen.
In a September 28, 2018 essay at First Things, O’Brien had criticized McCarrick’s “manifest and gross conflict of interest” because he stood to benefit personally if, by securing the grant, “he could win leniency in how [the Vatican] handled his sex abuse case.” O’Brien argued that under Pennsylvania law which governs the Papal Foundation, directors of nonprofits are obliged to disclose material conflicts of interest to the organization’s directors and officers, and recuse themselves from relevant board decisions.
O’Brien said foundation board members had told him that foundation grants had been audited in 2015 or 2016, finding a lack of records for many grants and other records indicating poor oversight on the part of the grant recipients or middlemen, who were sometimes papal nuncios.
A spokesman for the papal foundation, cited in O’Brien’s September 2018 essay, said it is making “every effort” to ensure grants are acknowledged and reported. He said the foundation is audited annually and it has been confirmed that the foundation’s procedures and operations are consistent with its bylaws and mission.
At the same time, O’Brien cited a December 2017 letter from the foundation’s attorneys noting an apparent failure to confirm that grant recipients operated in a way analogous to U.S. charities and an apparent failure to obtain meaningful audits or accountings of how the grants were spent.
In March 2018 the foundation said its executive committee and board made an inadequate effort to address and correct what it said was “anonymous, inaccurate, and misleading information related to the grant request” as well as “unsubstantiated claims that called into question the integrity of the request by the Holy See and of members of the board.”
The foundation said it would review its mission, its grant-making approach, and its relationship with the Holy See. This review comes after its “intensive, six-month review and approval of a special request by the Vatican for assistance with a three-year financial reform plan” for the IDI hospital.

An Expanded Board Of Trustees

In October 2018, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston was elected chairman of the Papal Foundation’s board of trustees. O’Malley had been a member of the board for 12 years previously. He succeeded Cardinal Wuerl, who had been chairman for eight years.
“The Papal Foundation remains committed to assisting our Holy Father in meeting needs that face the Church,” the Papal Foundation told Catholic News Agency (CNA) April 16, in a statement sent by its vice president for advancement James Coffey.
“To do this, we look to the future with an expanded Board of Trustees that will give an opportunity for greater collaboration for the laity and the clergy to work together for the benefit of the Church and many who face great needs.”

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

"If men only know what awaits them in eternity they would do everything in their power to change their lives."
St Jacinta of Fatima

Has The Church Been Infiltrated?… And If So, By Whom? @TaylorRMarshall https://t.co/wvpa2x3kD0

Load More...

Tucker Carlson: big business is now at war against your family

July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The first thing to note about Tucker Carlson is that when he’s on stage and riffing on his irritations, he is hilarious. He began his keynote speech at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday…Continue Reading

Teacher sues Catholic school for firing her over pro-abortion posts on social media

BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina, July 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A former teacher filed a wrongful termination suit against a South Carolina Catholic school that fired her for championing legal abortion on social media in violation of long-settled, well-known Catholic doctrine.…Continue Reading

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-made Climate Change Doesn’t Exist In Practice”

A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as…Continue Reading

Cineplex explains decision to screen Abby Johnson’s ‘Unplanned’ in Canada

July 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life film Unplanned, which tells the true story of pro-life activist Abby Johnson’s conversion from the abortion industry, will be shown in Canada after all thanks to a decision by film distributor Cineplex. Unplanned tells the…Continue Reading

Viganò criticizes Pope Francis’ handling of abuse allegations

Vatican City, Jul 5, 2019 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- Recently published remarks from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano take aim at two situations described by the former nuncio as “allegations of offenses against minors during Pope Francis’ tenure.” In fact, in…Continue Reading

U.S. Bishops Approve the Pope’s Capital Punishment Ban

Sæva indignatio. Few writers in the history of English letters could express “savage indignation” at human folly as did Jonathan Swift who wrote those words for his own epitaph. Our times give ample opportunity to empathize with him, and that is…Continue Reading

Due to backlash, Pell to live in ‘secure compound’ if appeal succeeds

Sydney, Australia, Jun 25, 2019 / 12:03 am (CNA).- While Cardinal George Pell of Australia is appealing his sexual abuse conviction in court, he and his supporters are making arrangements for a “safe hideaway” for the cleric, should his conviction…Continue Reading

Forced abortion decision overturned on appeal, according to reports

London, England, Jun 24, 2019 / 11:03 am (CNA).- A controversial UK court decision to force a disabled woman to have an abortion has been overturned on appeal. In a decision reportedly reached June 24, the English Court of Appeal, consisting…Continue Reading

Rosary Rally in Reparation for Homosexual and Transgender Grooming of Kids in “Drag Queen Story Hour” at Public Library in Md

A small group ranging from ten to 15 LGBTQ-obedient bots danced and played loud gay anthems like “YMCA” and “We are Family”, and holding a sign which read “Toleration is Godly”, sequestered behind yellow tape on one side of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Rosary Rally Sunday to Protest Maryland Drag Queen Story Time for Kids

Personhood Maryland is asking pro-life Christians to gather at the Lexington Park Library for a peaceful prayer vigil on Sunday, June 23rd from 3:30-5:30 pm Eastern to stand against the Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) and Drag 101 event scheduled…Continue Reading

Supreme Court rules WW1 Peace Cross memorial is here to stay

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 this morning in favor of a nearly 100-year-old World War I memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, known as the “Peace Cross,” allowing it to remain standing.…Continue Reading

Vatican’s doctrinal office expected to release document on gender theory

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s doctrinal office is preparing a document which will address Church teaching and the anthropology of the human person in the context of so-called gender theory, according to a Vatican…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Vatican’s former doctrine head criticizes Amazon synod working doc for ‘false teaching’

July 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The cardinal who was tasked by Pope Benedict with defending the doctrine of the Catholic Church has criticized the Pan-Amazon Synod’s working document (Instrumentum Laboris) for its “radical u-turn in the hermeneutics of Catholic theology” and for its “false teaching.” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), said the “main problem” with the working document is that “key terms are not being clarified.” His statement…Continue Reading

2 priests, 2 pro-life activists arrested trying to save babies inside New Jersey abortion center

MORRISTOWN, New Jersey, July 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Catholic priests and two lay pro-life activists were arrested this morning for entering and refusing to leave an abortion facility, offering red roses to the women inside and encouraging them to choose life. At least one woman turned away and didn’t go through with an abortion, Red Rose Rescue spokeswoman Lisa Hart told LifeSiteNews. The woman’s mother was forcing her to have the abortion.

Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, dies after 9 days without food and water

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vincent Lambert, the disabled man a court ordered to be starved to death in a French hospital, died this morning. After nine days without food and fluids, showing a remarkable will to live despite the cruel death of thirst that doctors had prepared for him, France’s Terri Schiavo departed from this earthly life at 8:24 a.m. on Thursday, July 11. He died of heart failure induced by the malfunction of his kidneys…Continue Reading

Cdl. Zen warns Pope Francis that Vatican directives for China church may lead to ‘death of true faith’

HONG KONG, July 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong has spoken out forcefully against the Vatican’s newest “pastoral document” for the Chinese Church which gives reasons for why priests should register with the communist government. Cardinal Joseph Zen presented nine criticisms to Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro

Archbishop Fulton Sheen to be beatified

Vatican City, Jul 6, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis approved the miracle attributed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen Friday, making possible the American television catechist’s beatification. The Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated the decree approving Sheen’s miracle on July 6. The miracle involves the unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield. He showed no…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Archbishop Sheen To Be Beatified

By COURTNEY GROGAN VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Pope Francis approved the miracle attributed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen on July 5, making possible the American television catechist’s beatification. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated the decree approving Sheen’s miracle on July 6. The miracle involves the unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born…Continue Reading

California Confessional Bill Withdrawn… Thanks To All For A Smashing Victory

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented July 9 on the final outcome of the California confessional bill.) + + + The seal of Confession is safe in California. The bill to bust it has been pulled. Yesterday, [July 8] on the eve of a scheduled hearing on SB 360, California…Continue Reading

Looking For Light In A World Of Shadows

By DONALD DeMARCO Nothing is random in the light of eternity and when viewed in this way, everything makes sense. To God, there are no accidents. Even forgetfulness can be an occasion of grace, a moment when we find light in a darkened world. There were distractions that might have made my forgetfulness explainable that…Continue Reading

Trump’s Patriotism Vs. The New Anti-Americanism

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Despite all the grousing and griping about his “politicizing” of the Fourth of July and “militarizing” America’s birthday, President Donald Trump turned the tables on his antagonists, and pulled it off. As master of ceremonies and keynote speaker at his “Salute to America” Independence Day event, Trump was a manifest success.…Continue Reading

Analysis . . . New Vatican Constitution To Centralize Power In State Secretariat

By ED CONDON VATICAN CITY (CNA) — At the end of June, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary of the Pope’s C6 Council of Cardinal Advisers, announced that the group hoped to present Francis with a final draft of a new Vatican constitution in September. Praedicate Evangelium, as the new governing document for the Roman Curia is…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Serve Others With Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Gen. 18:1-10a Col. 1:24-28 Luke 10:38-42 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Martha welcoming Jesus and serving Him. Martha became burdened with the task of serving and asked the Lord if He did not care that Mary, her sister who was sitting at the feet of…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Sexual Immorality Begins With Teaching Failures

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. “But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Answering a question in a recent column about the meaning of “Jesuitical,” we said that it can mean “dissembling or equivocating, in the manner associated with Jesuits.” We cited as an example of an attempt to skirt around some clear moral teaching of the Church a 2017 comment by the superior general of the Society of Jesus. When…Continue Reading

Before And After the Pill . . . Its Redefinition Of Human Sexuality And Impact On Society

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International. He travels around the world spreading the Gospel of Life. Fr. Boquet was ordained in 1993 and is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining HLI in August 2011. (This commentary first appeared July…Continue Reading

Love God And Love Neighbor

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Deut. 30:10-14 Col. 1:15-20 Luke 10:25-37 Toward the end of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses pleads with the people of Israel: “If only you would heed the voice of the Lord your God….” It was the failure of the people to follow the Commandments of the Lord that…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Sts. Louis And Azelie-Marie Guerin Martin

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Lord sends the Church the men and women who are needed to keep her holy in times of trouble. Among these are: St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Faustina, and the first married couple ever to be canonized together: Louis and Azelie-Marie (Zelie) Martin. Their feast day is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Nazaria March y Mesa

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the 2,000-year history of the Church, there have been periods of great conversions followed by a waning of the faith among future generations. After the initial persecution of the Church during the few hundred years following Christ’s crucifixion and death, the Church grew rapidly. In Latin America, the Catholic Church expanded rapidly after the appearance of…Continue Reading