Its mission is "to help those in need around the world and of significance to the Holy Father are reviewed and approved through well-accepted philanthropic processes by the Board and its committees." It also boasts a stellar history of assisting the impoverished across the globe. To wit: Since its inception 3 decades ago, the Foundation's fund has grown to over $215 million and has granted $121M.
The majority of the Foundation's Board is comprised of U.S. bishops, including every U.S. Cardinal domiciled in the United States. The Foundation's Board Chair is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, DC, and the Foundation's President is the Most Reverend Michael Bransfield, Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.
Sounds, pretty good, no? Yep. Stellar.
Three leaked documents (here, here, and here) published by LifeSiteNews indicate the grant was for
a corruption-plagued, Church-owned dermatological hospital in Rome accused of money laundering. Records from the financial police indicate the hospital has liabilities over one billion USD--an amount larger than the national debt of some 20 nations.
Although some of the Foundation's lay stewards opposed making the grant, the Foundation's Board approved it. In December 2017, the Foundation made an $8M payment to the Holy See and, in January 2018, made another $5M payment.
Some of the Foundation's stewards protested what they considered a gross misuse of their funds and, then, after the payments were made, tendered their resignations.
One resignation is noteworthy: The steward who until January 6, 2018, served as Chair of the Foundation’s Audit Committee. Along with his resignation, the then-Chair of the Audit Committee submitted his report of the Committee’s grave objections to the grant. He wrote:
As head of the Audit Committee and a Trustee of the Foundation, I found this grant to be negligent in character, flawed in its diligence, and contrary to the spirit of the Foundation. Instead of helping the poor in a third-world country, the Board approved an unprecedented huge grant to a hospital that has a history of mismanagement, criminal indictments, and bankruptcy. Had we allowed such recklessness in our personal careers we would never have met the requirements to join The Papal Foundation in the first place.
So, why did Pope Francis ask for $25M? In a letter and reflection accompanying a “PF Stewards Report," Cardinal Wuerl explained that the $25M grant was requested
...in the larger context of the Holy Father’s commitment to confront and eliminate corruption and financial mismanagement both within the Vatican itself and in outside projects with which it was involved or sponsored.
Hmmm...there's more to this story that has yet to be exposed. The folks at LifeSiteNews have only scratched the surface.
Let the discussion begin...
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