ITALIAN authorities have frozen $30 million from the Vatican bank, officially known as the Istituto per le Opere di Religione, or, The Institute for Works of Religion, and are investigating bank Chairman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi and director-general Paolo Cipriani after the Guardia di Finanza spotted two suspicious transfers – one to the Frankfurt office of JPMorgan and one to Banca del Fucino.
This is not the first time the Vatican has gotten wrapped up in a shady financial deal. In 1982, Roberto Calvi, known as “God’s Banker” – wait, we thought that was Lloyd Blankfein – for his close ties to the Holy See, was found hanged from London’s Blackfriars Bridge after being implicated as part of the fraudulent bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano, where he served as president.
According to NPR, Gotti Tedeschi, who was named chairman of the Istituto last year, “has taught financial ethics at Milan’s Catholic University and frequently speaks out on the need for more morality in financing.”
When I mentioned this piece of news to a co-worker just now, his response was apt: “Jesus.”