Vatican Intrigue: Imagine This In Paperback!

I suspect many of my readers would pick up a paperback if the back jacket had this as a plot. I need to state the following are the actual underpinnings of a Vatican trial starting this week.

A cardinal who allegedly induced an underling to lie to prosecutors. Brokers and lawyers who pulled a fast one over the Vatican No. 2 to get him to approve a disastrous real estate deal. A self-styled intelligence analyst who bought Prada and Louis Vuitton items with the Vatican money that she was supposed to send to rebels holding a Catholic nun hostage.

Vatican prosecutors have alleged a jaw-dropping series of scandals in the biggest criminal trial in the Vatican’s modern history. The once-powerful cardinal and nine other people are accused of bleeding the Holy See of tens of millions of dollars in donations through bad investments, deals with shady money managers and apparent favors to friends and family.

But the prosecutors’ case also suggests that Pope Francis and his top lieutenants were not only aware of some of the key transactions, but in some cases explicitly authorized them, even without full documentation or understanding the details.

When it comes to intrigue and crimes the Vatican has always been a source of plots and strange characters making deals and mayhem. This trial is but the latest public example of that fact.