Embezzlement expert finds hierarchy uninterested

National Catholic Reporter

by Robert McClory on Feb. 02, 2012 NCR Today

Recent reports concerning a high Vatican official who had saved the church millions of dollars by eliminating “corruption and dishonesty” in various Vatican agencies aroused worldwide interest. But no one found the stories about Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s reform efforts more fascinating than Michael W. Ryan, a retired U.S. Postal Service security specialist, who has been trying for about 20 years to save the American church the millions it reportedly continues to lose through the embezzlement of Sunday collections and other fund sources.

Their stories bear several similarities. Almost a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI removed Viganò from his post as chief financial officer for the Vatican city-state and sent him to the United States as the new papal nuncio, despite Viganò’s protest that the move could undo his clean-up campaign. Ryan’s attempt to help the church clean up the loose security policies that drain funds has met with such deep-seated disinterest that he has virtually despaired of getting anywhere. He has recently written a book titled Nonfeasance: The Remarkable Failure of the Catholic Church to Protect Its Primary Source of Income. (Nonfeasance is defined in the dictionary as a “failure to do what ought to be done.”)

Hearing of Viganò’s removal from his Vatican job, Ryan said, “Is it any wonder I’m not getting anywhere with the hierarchy?”

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