Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929."When he said 'recognition' we thought he just meant a shout out at the Knights of Columbus luncheon," said papal nuncio, archbishop Antonio Mennini. "By the time we figured it out, we'd already thrown in with Adolf so the pope figured what the heck, one fascist is as good as another."
The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions. The St James's Square office block was bought by a company called British Grolux Investments Ltd, which also holds the other UK properties. Published registers at Companies House do not disclose the company's true ownership, nor make any mention of the Vatican."Well that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Mussolini," archbishop Mennini told reporters. "It's just that we plan on having several special collections throughout the year for charity stuff and if the general congregation realized we're sitting on enough dough to buy up high end properties all over the world, it could affect their commitment to the poor if you get my drift."
Companies House files disclose that British Grolux Investments inherited its entire property portfolio after a reorganisation in 1999 from two predecessor companies called British Grolux Ltd and Cheylesmore Estates. The shares of those firms were in turn held by a company based at the address of the JP Morgan bank in New York. Ultimate control is recorded as being exercised by a Swiss company, Profima SA.British wartime records from the National Archives in Kew complete the picture. They confirm Profima SA as the Vatican's own holding company."OK, you got us there," archbishop Mennini said. "Look, given the current pope's background, he really didn't have an issue taking money from fascists but when he found out we were in bed with JP Morgan, now that really upset him."
Sure, sure padre. Next you'll be telling us that it was them that got you into drugs.
Monsignor Kevin Wallin was arrested on federal drug charges this month for allegedly having methamphetamine mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and making more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his apartment in Waterbury, Connecticut in the second half of last year.We're not up on the latest policies and procedures in the drug business, but we're thinking having methamphetamine mailed to your house probably isn't in the manual. On the plus side, we'd bet it made those weekend retreats with the Marriage Encounter couples a lot more interesting.
Along the way, authorities said, he bought a small adult video and sex toy shop in the nearby town of North Haven named "Land of Oz & Dorothy's Place," apparently to launder all the money he was making.Well, at least he earned his money for real estate, and didn't take it off some fascist dictator. Also too, he never used JP Morgan, proving even meth guys have some scruples.