(The Street) Feeling guilty about investing in "sin" stocks, like makers of guns, cigarettes and alcohol products? Don't. Over the course of its history of investing, the Catholic Church has done much worse.
In the 1960s, Italian media uncovered evidence that the Vatican had invested in entities that conflict directly with the church's holy mission, including Istituto Farmacologico Serono, a pharmaceutical company that made birth control pills, and Udine, a military weapons manufacturer. There have also been unconfirmed rumor of church money in firearms manufacturer Beretta and companies with activities in gambling and pornography. It has been linked to dealings with Nazi gold during World War II as well.
The Catholic Church has a history of corruption, and it is a notoriously opaque institution. Sexual abuse accusations (and the consequent cover-ups) have put it in the headlines most recently, but it has been at the center of numerous scandals over the years, ranging from accusations of ties to the mafia in Rome to allegations of stealing babies in Chile and Spain.
Advertisement - story continues below