If U.S. feds can seize priest's real estate, can't Pope Francis seize cardinal's real estate?

One would think the answer would be "yes." In a New York minute.

The Detroit Free Press reports on the Michigan priest:

"The Rev. Edward Belczak fraudulently used $109,570.80 from a parish bank account to put a down payment on a swanky Palm Beach, Fla., condo, the FBI asserted in a federal court request Monday to seize the property.

The forfeiture request says the six-figure down payment came from parish money diverted to the priest’s private accounts.

Despite Monday’s court filing, Belczak, the suspended Catholic pastor of St. Thomas More parish in Troy, has not been formally charged with a crime."

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

Now to the Vatican.  

Cardinal Bertone has undertaken a major renovation project that combines two apartments into a 6,500 square foot lavish Vatican apartment, which has room for three nuns, who apparently serve the former Vatican Secretary of State's domestic needs (whatever they may be), as reported by The Telegraph citing the Italian daily La Republica.  

Apparently, Pope Francis was outraged.

What can Pope Francis do about “Cardinal Donald Trump” without seizing his property?

The Top Ten Steps Pope Francis Can Take to Send Cardinal Bertone to a Life of Penance and Prayer and to Close Down the 6,500 Square Foot Private, Vatican Retirement Home:

10.  Leave to Cardinal Bertone’s prudential judgment the decision to downsize to a two-room suite next door to the pope.

9.   Send Cardinal Bertone a deodorizer for his luxurious apartment that emits an odor of sheep.

8.   Petition the Missionaries of Charity Fathers to accept Cardinal Bertone into their seminary in Tijuana, Mexico.

7.    Make Cardinal Bertone spend the rest of his life in Legionaries of Christ’s Founder Father Marcial Maciel Degollado’s house in Jacksonville, Florida. 

6.    Cause Cardinal Bertone to resign from his religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco, and join the Legionaries of Christ just so that he’ll “blend.”

5.   Commence a Vatican tribunal to investigate Cardinal Bertone’s taste in curtains and bed linens.

4.   Ask former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi if he has room at one of his villas for Cardinal Bertone.

3.   Make Cardinal Bertone give daily tours of his massive Vatican apartment to tourists.

2.   Reduce Cardinal Bertone’s rank to that of a simple priest and return him to his religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco, to spend the rest of his life in prayer and penance.

1.   Make Cardinal Bertone move in with Boston’s former archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.