Holy Money investigates the financial scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church and the efforts of the new Pope Francis to clean up its multi-billion-dollar business dealings amid allegations of money laundering, corruption and embezzlement of funds.

Today, the Pope leads not only a church with more than one billion Catholics, but also a business empire of global dimensions. The Catholic Church is the world’s richest religious institution with vast real estate holdings and its own Vatican Bank.

Pope Francis has made it his mission to get the Vatican’s financial house in order, but there are stumbling blocks on the road to his new reforms and the stakes are high for everyone involved.

Led by University College London historian John Dickie, a leading expert in Italian history, the documentary deconstructs the mechanisms by which the Church uses its money. It reveals the inner workings of the Vatican Bank, and tells the story of a priest known as "Father 500 Euros", charged in January, 2014 with money laundering millions of Euros through Vatican Bank accounts. 

In the documentary, a U.S. economist reveals that his study found embezzlement within the church is a significant problem. ”We found that 85 per cent of the dioceses had experienced an embezzlement in recent years, many more than one,” says Charles Zech, Professor of Economics at Villanova University. “No one would think that a priest would embezzle from the Church. No one would think that a lay worker would embezzle from the Church. So they don’t put the kind of internal financial controls that are commonplace in the business world.”

In the United States, Prof. Dickie also explores the financial implications of the sexual abuse scandals and allegations of a financial cover-up in the Milwaukee Archdiocese to avoid paying compensation to victims.

In Italy and beyond, he interviews lawyers, prosecutors, investigative reporters, economists and historians to get to the heart of the Catholic Church’s finances, and the internal pressures shaping efforts at reform.

“Pope Francis is trying to put his house in order,” says Prof. Dickie. “He has opened the Vatican’s accounts to scrutiny. He’s cracking down on greed, avarice and ostentation. But the road ahead could be rocky.”

“If these reforms are going to take place, the Pope is going to need support,” adds Robert Mickens, a journalist at The Tablet, a Catholic news weekly. “It’s not real clear that there is a strong body of support behind him right now. He’s thrown off a lot of people, not only at the Vatican.”

Holy Money was directed by Jesus Garces Lambert for GA&A Productions and ZDF Arte. John Dickie is the author of "Cosa Nostra, A History of the Sicilian Mafia” and "Blood Brotherhoods: The Rise of the Italian Mafias”.

Credits (Click to expand)

Presented

by John Dickie

 

Written

by

Bettina

Hatami and Lucio Mollica

 

Directed

by

Jesus

Garces Lambert

 

Executive

Producer

Bettina

Hatami and Gioia Avvantaggiato

 

For Arte

Sabine

Bubeck Paaz

 

For Al

Jazeera

Kate O'Brian

Shannon High

Bassalik

Kathy Davidov

Cynthia Kane

 

Editing

Matteo

Parisini

Enzo

Pompeo

 

Photography

Filippo

Genovese

 

Additional

Photography

Sabrina

Varani

Charles

Pitt

 

Sound

Angelo

Marotta

 

Archive

research

Alessia

Petitto

 

Research

Ernesto

Pagano

Melik

Boudemagh

 

Junior

research assistant

Erminia

Chiodo

 

Colour

correction and Graphics

Mauro

Vicentini

 

Animations

mBanga

Studio (logo)

Pietro

Ciccotti

Harald

Pizzini

 

Head of Production

Gioia

Marchetti

 

Production

manager

Raffaella

Milazzo

 

Production

coordinator

Mariachiara

De chiara

 

Production

Assistant

Cecilia

Toni

Edoardo Peri

 

Administration

Massimo

Peri

Monica

Coppa

 

Sound

Post production and Mix

Alessandro

Nardoni

 

Music

Audio

Network

 

Stock

Footage

AP

Archive

CTV –

Centro Televisivo Vaticano

Above All

Photo

Jeff

Anderson & Associates PA

Footage

Farm

GDF –

Guardia Di Finanza

Hangar

TV

Helivideo

Istituto

Luce

Istock

La7

National

Archives London

RTVSLO

Archive

Shutterstock

Skyworks

Sky News

Chris

Wawro/Aero-Fotografik

Maurizio

Carta

Alberto

D’Onofrio

Mario

Mele

Premio

Teramo che lavora

David

Sipos

 

Photos

 

AP

Images

Contrasto

Marc A.

Hermann, NY Daily News

Tadej Regent

– Delo

Tano Press

 

With

Special thanks to

John Allen

Adam Block

Giulia Segreti

 

With thanks to

National Round Table on Church Management

Kerry Robinson

Michael O’Laughlin

 

Survivors Network of those Abused by

Priests

David Clohessy

Peter Isely

 

And

Tina Beattie

Andrew Bushell

Maria Antonietta Calabrò

Romeo Ciminello

Don Luigi Ciotti

Don Patrizio Coppola

Francesco Clementi

Antonio Di Pietro

Thomas Farrell

Emiliano Fittipaldi

Gianni Gennari

Padre Ariel Levi di Gualdo

Sandro Magister

Father James Martin

Duff McDonald

Todd Nielson

Susan Raymond

Michael Ryan

Ivan Štuhec

Simon Zdolsek

 

Stefano

Bari

Jessica

Benhamou

Silvia

Bonucci

Brigitte

Capou

Craig

Ferriman

Kenneth

Hujer

Ranka

Ivelja

Vasja

Jager

Tracy

Kellett

Haykel

Krifa

Diego

Mele

Flaminia

Mezzi

Jovica

Nonkovic

Francesca

Romana Orlando

Ranieri

Razzante

Michele

Scotto d'Abbusco

Matthew

Valencia

 

A

coproduction

GA&A

Productions / ZDF Arte / Al Jazeera America

 

With the

participation of

CBC

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

SRC

Société Radio Canada

SVT

Sveriges Television

DR

Denmarks Radio

NRK

Norske Rikskringkasting

RTS

Radio Télévision Suisse

VRT

Vlaamse Radio en Televisieomroep

 

GA&A

Interviews and comments, opinions and ideas expressed by interviewees

are personal and they do not necessarily reflect opinions and ideas of GA&A

Productions and its employees.

© MMXIV

GA&A Productions srl

 

 

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