As the world’s Catholic bishops meet in Rome to waffle about the problems of indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin, events in their own tribe have taken a dramatic turn.
Last week, Vatican police raided the Church’s own money-laundering watchdog. Meanwhile, in a simultaneous raid on the Vatican Secretariat of State, prosecutors seized documents, computers, telephones and passports.
It seems to be a dirty business. According to the Italian press, police want to know more about a multi-million-pound real estate transaction in Mayfair. Significantly, all the seized documents reportedly relate to the years when Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a close papal ally, was running the Secretariat of State’s offices.
In this episode of Holy Smoke, I’m joined by Vatican-watcher Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith. We discuss what he calls Rome’s culture of ‘obsessive secrecy’, the unwillingness of the mainstream media to investigate Vatican scandals, and ask what John Henry Newman, who will be canonised this weekend, would have made of the cringe-making Amazon Synod…