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Libero Milone, first auditor general of the Vatican Curia, in Rai 3's April 26, 2021 investigative report on Vatican financial scandals.Rai 3 / video screen grab

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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.

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A senior Church prelate is strongly opposing a new Vatican proposal to ban private Masses and restrict traditional rite Masses at the world's premier church, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the new directions, issued by Pope Francis’ Secretariat of State, should be "rescinded" since they are "contrary to" and in "direct violation of" universal Church law.

Therefore, we ask you to SIGN and SHARE this petition, which is directed to Pope Francis and the current and just retired Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica (Cardinals Mauro Gambetti and Angelo Comastri, respectively), and which asks them to rescind the new directive banning private Masses and restricting traditional rite Masses at St. Peter's.

On March 12th, the Vatican’s Secretariat of State circulated a note with details of new dispositions restricting all “individual” Masses in Saint Peter’s, with special, even more restrictive measures for the traditional rite.

The note, which was unsigned, stated among other things that "individual celebrations are suppressed."

In response, Cardinal Burke said the new rules cause the faithful, and above all, priests, the "deepest concerns."

In particular, he addresses the celebration of private or "individual" Masses at the Basilica, something that the new document appears to target, writing:

The document imposes concelebration upon priests who wish to offer the Holy Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, which is contrary to universal Church law and which unjustly conditions the primary duty of the individual priest to offer the Holy Mass daily for the salvation of the world (can. 902).

In what church more than in the Basilica of Saint Peter would a priest desire to offer the Holy Mass, which is the most perfect and fullest way in which he carries out his priestly mission? If an individual priest wishes to offer the Holy Mass in the Basilica, once the directives in question are in force, he will be constrained to concelebrate, in violation of his freedom to offer the Holy Mass individually.

Quoting from the Council of Trent, Burke then emphasized the fact that the whole Church benefits spiritually from every Mass that is said, whether with people attending or without, stating:

The holy council would certainly like the faithful present at every Mass to communicate in it not only by spiritual devotion but also by sacramental reception of the Eucharist, so that the fruits of this most holy sacrifice could be theirs more fully.

But, if this does not always happen, the council does not for that reason condemn as private and illicit Masses (can. 8) in which only the priest communicates. Rather, it approves and commends them, for they too should be considered truly communal Masses, partly because the people communicate spiritually in them and partly because they are celebrated by a public minister of the Church, not for his own good alone, but for all the faithful who belong to the body of Christ’ (Session XXII, Chapter 6).

Please SIGN now and support the call to Pope Francis and the current and just retired Archpriest of St. Peter's to rescind the new directives which would severely restrict priests from offering private and traditional rite Holy Masses at St. Peter's Basilica.


Cardinal Burke: Vatican’s ban on private Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica should be ‘rescinded’ -

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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.