A reader writes:
I’m a grateful subscriber, so I thought you might enjoy a copy (pdf) of the first Annual Report issued by the Vatican Bank (IOR) in its 126-year history. This is a direct result of Pope Francis’s call for oversight and transparency. In June 2013, Pope Francis appointed a Papal commission to conduct an “exhaustive report” into the IOR’s juridical standing and activities. The goal of this Commission is “to better harmonize the work of the IOR with the mission of the Church and Apostolic See.” Of note is how small and profitable the IOR actually is: “total assets are approximately EUR 5 billion, while fiscal year 2012 registered a profit of EUR 87 million. Of this, EUR 50 million was given back to the Church for operating purposes.”
One of my Wall Street wizard brothers is working with the Commission. He confirms that even Rome is infused with startled enthusiasm for this Pope. Many of us have been more homesick for the Church than we realized. So thanks for your ongoing coverage. I’m sure you take some heat for it, and not only from Hitch’s spirit.
Oddly, not so much heat. The spirit of this Pope is so obviously sincere and so disarmingly Christ-like I find myself a Catholic cheered on by many atheists right now. Just not the theocons. Or Hitch, I’ll bet you a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black.