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Remember when the pope came to the United States? How he chided us for not showing mercy? That we should give away what we have to the poor? We are such a wealthy nation. And then remember the great earthquake that took place in 1980 over in Italy? I remember when the pope came in to this ruined area, walked up to the bedside of some poor little wounded Italian man and the pope so benevolently laid his hand on his head and made the sign of the cross, blessed the man and walked off.
And the newscasters were telling of the devastation. And then we cut back to the United States and Senator Kennedy looked at the camera with sorrowful eyes and said, "Oh, we Americans, out of mercy we should send at least 45 million dollars to this devastated village so we can reconstruct it." Remember that? Now let me read something out of THE VATICAN BILLIONS by Avro Manhattan, and I think you're going to get as mad as I am right now. I want to bring to your attention the fact that this information was published 10 years ago, and the figures are probably even more startling today.
"The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.
"In a statement published in connection with a bond prospectus, the Boston archdiocese listed its assets at Six Hundred and Thirty-five Million ($635,891,004), which is 9.9 times its liabilities. This leaves a net worth of Five Hundred and Seventy-one million dollars ($571,704,953). It is not difficult to discover the truly astonishing wealth of the church, once we add the riches of the twenty-eight archdioceses and 122 dioceses of the U.S.A., some of which are even wealthier than that of Boston.
"Some idea of the real estate and other forms of wealth controlled by the Catholic church may be gathered by the remark of a member of the New York Catholic Conference, namely 'that his church probably ranks second only to the United States Government in total annual purchase.' Another statement, made by a nationally syndicated Catholic priest, perhaps is even more telling. 'The Catholic church,' he said, 'must be the biggest corporation in the United States. We have a branch office in every neighborhood. Our assets and real estate holdings must exceed those of Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined. And our roster of dues-paying members must be second only to the tax rolls of the United States Government.'
"The Catholic church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The Vatican, independently of each successive pope, has been increasingly orientated towards the U.S. The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican's financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.
"The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.
"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."
And I think back about how the pope, the wealthiest man on this planet, walked up to that poor little Italian man lying in that rubble, put his hand on his head, and said, "Bless you," and then walked away and just left him there. That has got to be the height of hypocrisy. And then Sen. Kennedy, the pope's boy over in the United States makes the big pitch to the U.S. people to foot the bill to repair that devastated village, right in the pope's backyard. What a set-up!