Friday, August 09, 2013
The Pope is tightening management of the Vatican bank to stop corruption there. One asks why there was a problem in the first place. The Vatican is perceived to be a moral leader in the world and a voice for ethics. When it comes to finances, the Vatican should be unimpeachable. But, it hasn't been, especially with a monsignor jailed for money laundering. The city-state has been put in the perilous position of "Do as I say, not as I do." No one can be blamed for being scandalized and for a negative perception of the doings at the headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope himself remains untouched by the scandal, which is good, but even his prestige might not be enough to overcome public concern for the Church in the modern world. Cynics will say the Vatican bank shows how churchmen are only too human and hardly believers in an afterlife of reward and punishment. Catholics are frustrated again by the Church's leadership. The Pope's emphasis on the poor and his desire to avoid the perks of his office might set a good example for all -- bishops, priests and laity. Corruption will never entirely disappear because humans are involved, but there is a chance that the Pope's public relations can eventually balance it.