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ROME, April 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Holy See’s investment management and real estate office (APSA) invested for 20 years in pharmaceutical companies that produced the abortifacient morning-after pill, an investigation by an Italian news outlet found.
Libero Milone, who served as the first auditor general of the Vatican Curia from 2015 to 2017, told Italian broadcaster Rai 3 in an April 26 interview (read transcript of interview here in Italian) that APSA had made investments that “did not correspond to the social doctrine of the Church.”
Rai 3 discovered in its investigation that involved numerous Vatican players that APSA held shares “for a value of about 20 million euros” in two Swiss pharmaceutical companies, Novartis and Roche, that produced the morning-after pill.
Milone said that his office alerted superiors at the Vatican to the “risky” character of the investments and the Novartis shares were sold in 2016.
So-called emergency contraception, also known as Plan B, contains hormones that prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and preventing the union of sperm and egg if an egg is released. As a final resort, if fertilization does occur, “Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Catholic Church teaches that human life “must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” that is, the moment of fertilization. The Church calls abortion, that is the killing of new life in the womb at any stage of development, a “moral evil” that is “gravely contrary to the moral law.”
Milone, who was appointed by Pope Francis to his position of auditor general, was forced to resign in 2017 — along with his deputy Ferruccio Pannicco — after Cardinal Angelo Becciu, then “sostituto” of the Secretariat of State, accused them of spying on him.
The Vatican has been rocked in recent years by a number of financial scandals, including but not limited to its involvement in financing “Rocketman,” the pro-homosexual biographical musical film based on the life of Sir Elton John, its involvement in the messy London real estate deal, and its misuse of “Peter’s Pence.”
News of the investment comes at the same time as news of Pope Francis signing a new anti-corruption law for the Vatican that, among other things, prohibits employees from using tax havens that invest in companies that go against Church teaching.