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Friday, September 21, 2018

How an Obscure Italian Hospital Became the Eye of a Global Storm

This is the story of an Italian hospital, controlled by the Vatican, and its history of corruption, graft, and bankruptcy.  Keep in mind as you read this shocking story that the Peronist on the Chair of  St. Peter has all sorts of ideas about the ills of capitalism and how capitalist countries need to follow his prescriptions for financial reform.

The Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, or IDI. (Credit: Associated Press.)
ROME - In February 2013, in his last official act as pope, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI appointed a commissioner for a small, seemingly insignificant hospital in Rome, the Immaculate Dermatological Institute (IDI).

Two years later, that same hospital was at the center of a tug-of-war between Australian Cardinal George Pell and the Vatican’s Secretary of State. Today, IDI is deepening the rift that threatens to tear apart the Church in the U.S., and to poison its relationship with Rome.
To understand what makes this hospital such a lightning rod, one needs to look at the path that led what was once a symbol of excellence in Catholic healthcare to the brink of ruin and almost $1 billion in debt.

In just three years, IDI has received three major infusions of cash from the Vatican and the Italian government, amounting to well over $70 million, and each time opinions were split between those who wished to save the institution and those ready to pull the plug.

What was once a Roman story drew global attention when the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, charged with financing the pope’s charitable initiatives, was asked by Pope Francis to help IDI with a $25 million payment. The request divided the foundation, with mostly clerics on one side supporting the pope and mostly lay people on the other skeptical of an institute many see as a poor investment at best, corrupt at worst.

Read more at Crux >>

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