(DAILY BEAST) -- ROME–A few hours before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Vatican counterpart Pietro Parolin in Rome in early October, the Swiss Guard gendarmes raided a key office in Parolin’s department.
They were acting on orders from “up high,” and cleaned out the offices of the Holy See’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), which is essentially meant to be the watchdog agency set up to keep an eye out for any illicit activities at the Vatican Bank, which has been embroiled in dozens of scandals over the years. The gendarmes carted away computers, documents, and as many secret hard drives as they could find. Then they left and sealed the office.
Advertisement - story continues below
The investigators were looking into what may seem like just the latest scandal within the Vatican’s beleaguered financial system. But this time it touched Pope Francis personally with allegations that money meant for his beloved charities for the poor was actually going into pricey London property and seedy apartments alleged to be used for sinful activities.