NCR Today

Facing financial scandals, pope creates new Vatican watchdog


New law also criminalizes environmental pollution

Against a backdrop of criminal probes related to alleged financial misconduct both in the Vatican Bank and at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican’s wealthy missionary department better known as “Propaganda Fide”, Pope Benedict XVI today created a new in-house watchdog to promote compliance with international rules against financing terrorism, money-laundering, insider trading and market abuse.

Catholic faces at Mass


On Christmas Day, my family and I visiting relatives in the San Francisco Bay area attended Mass at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont. We have done so on previous Christmases. This is a nice suburban church partly reconstructed a few years ago so that Mass is celebrated in the round.

We sat in the new part looking toward the older part of the church. But what really impressed me on this visit was the significant ethnic diversity of this parish.

On this day: Wounded Knee


On this day, 120 years ago, the massacre at Wounded Knee took place.

"In the morning, to facilitate the disarming of the Indians, [Colonel James W.] Forsyth ordered that the Indian men be assembled on a council ground between the Indian camp on the south and the military camp to the north. Dismounted cavalry troopers surrounded the Indians on all sides, and mounted cavalry encircled the outer perimeter, which also included the Indian camp where the women and children remained. Following standard military field practice, a battery of four Hotchkiss guns were placed on a vantage point, Cemetery Hill, 200 yards to the west. Forsyth's command totaled about 500 soldiers armed with single-shot Remington rifles; some had Colt pistols as well."

--from At Standing Rock and Wounded Knee: The Journals and Papers of Father Francis M. Craft, 1888-1890, edited by Thomas W. Foley.

Parish books (said to have been) fiddled with


Brooklyn parish claims "someone" fudged books to justify parish closing

Parishioners at a Brooklyn church that defied both its bishop and a powerful politician over a local development scheme say someone exacted revenge on them by fudging their books to justify the diocese shutting the house of worship down.

Juan Ramos and other worshipers say the decision to shutter Our Lady of Montserrat Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant by the end of January and combine operations with nearby All Saints Church is "payback" by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio for crossing Brooklyn Democratic Boss Vito Lopez and publicly opposing the nearly 1,900-unit Broadway Triangle housing project Lopez is pushing.

Diocese of Brooklyn spokesman Shane Kavanaugh, however, said the Vernon Avenue church is being closed because it’s a money pit and "the decision wasn’t politically motivated" – despite DiMarzio and Lopez’s longtime alliance.

Digging out


Like many in the Northeast, here in the New York we are emerging from a night of 60 mph winds and a blizzard that brought between 20 and 30 inches of snow to the metropolitan area. Lightning and thunder even accompanied the squalls. The blizzard was the sixth largest snowfall in New York City history. Interestingly, four of our top six snowfalls occurred in the last fourteen years. The other two storms took place 1888 and 1947.

The Northeast isn’t alone in battling extreme weather. The Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed two weeks ago after the fifth largest snowfall in the Twin Cities’ history deflated its roof. Last week, Great Britain was crippled by unprecedented snowfall, while Russia has been plagued with a severe ice storm that has shut down electricity to its major airports. Thousands are stranded, many without food or water.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017