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Cocaine Found in Raid at Vatican Apartment is the Latest Scandal to Rock the Vatican

3 comments

It is no secret that the Vatican has been sweeping the issue of pedophilia under the rug for many years. As many of my readers know, I provide a vivid, albeit fictional, account of the Church’s ‘conspiracy of silence’ in my recent clergy abuse legal thriller, “Betrayal of Faith.” But, fact can often mirror fiction- in 2014, the UN issued a scathing report, blasting the Vatican for protecting pedophiles.

On the heels of Cardinal George Pell being charged with child sex abuse, another scandal has been uncovered in Rome.

According to reports, Vatican police raided an apartment owned by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and discovered that a drug-fueled homosexual orgy was taking place. The CDF is the branch that reviews appeals from clergy found guilty of sexual abuse of minors.

Police became suspicious after neighbors (all high prelates of the Church) in the building complained repeatedly about “a steady stream of young men” and loud parties during all hours of the night. Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, one of Pope Francis’ key advisors, was arrested in the raid. At the time, Capozzi was allegedly so high on cocaine that he was hospitalized for detoxification. Prior to the raid, Capozzi was slated to become a bishop at Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s recommendation.

There are several unexplained facts about the scandal:

  • Reports state that the middle-of-the-night raid happened nearly two months prior, yet not a word was said by Vatican officials. The Italian media broke the story last week after receiving inside information.
  • Msgr. Capozzi had an apartment that is officially for use by top officials of the Roman Curia. According to an Italian newspaper, the Monsieur also had access to a car with Vatican plates. Those plates made him virtually exempt from searches by the Italian police; could the vehicle have facilitated the transportation of illegal drugs?
  • Despite Capozzi’s arrest months ago, he is still listed as an active staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts.
  • After being released from the hospital, Capozzi was taken to an undisclosed monastery outside Rome for a spiritual retreat.
  •  There is speculation that Cardinal Coccopalmerio knew about the orgies and did nothing about them.

Some reports state the late-night activities had been going on as far back as the Lenten season (March 1 – April 13, 2017). Given a “zero tolerance” policy by the Vatican, what took so long for the Vatican police to take action? Here is a priest who appears to be a hard drug user, and there has been no statement whatsoever by the Vatican condemning this behavior. Does non-disclosure suggest another cover-up? Were there other members, potential top church officials, involved with “Cocaine” Capozzi? Are they being protected by the Vatican, and if so, why?

When Pope Francis came to lead the Catholic Church, he promised to be more serious than his predecessors about rooting out sex abusers and demanding accountability. He said he would “create a more inclusive church and clean up an ossified Vatican.” While reports state that when the news of Capozzi reached Pope Francis, he became “enraged,” is the Pope moving too slowly in acting on his promises?

Have cover-ups within the church become the norm? Necessary change can only come from within the Church. Church officials can foster change by developing a better relationship with truth, transparency and aggressive action when dealing with these issues. Pope Francis has miles to go if he is to begin the process of fulfilling the promises he made to rid the church of the clergy abuse scandal once and for all. If this latest event serves any purpose, one must hope and pray that the negative publicity will motivate swift and decisive action in the future.

We will continue to watch and report.

Mark Bello has practiced law for 40 years. He is currently the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company, and the author of the clergy abuse legal thriller “Betrayal of Faith” available on major online book store sites.  Please watch for Mark’s new novel, “Betrayal of Justice”, scheduled for release in late summer, early fall.

3 Comments

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  1. Rondre says:
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    Mark I’m not making excuses for their actions but;

    Catholic Church is now one of the safest organizations. The UN report was headed by members of countries that have many abuses in their society.

    I have only spoken to a few victims but they all said they wanted an apology and no monetary settlement. It was the lawyers who wanted them to pursue the settlements. Think that is an abuse in the legal profession? Lawyers have really cashed in with the abuse in the Catholic Church. Was it all to help the victim? Many wonder.

  2. Patti says:
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    Forgive my bluntness Rondre, but I think your friends seem a bit soft in the head, or they are pulling your leg or, you are being very gullible. Do you mean to tell me a Roman Catholic priest mauls and molests an innocent child and all they want is an apology, it is either utter nonsense or as previously stated they are quite mad!

  3. Mark Bello says:
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    Rondre: With all due respect, what you are saying is nonsense. Attorneys are employees of their clients; they are retained, “hired” by the client. They give advice, not commands; they don’t order their clients to do it this way or that way. Clients ultimately decide how they want to proceed, not attorneys. Many of the clients I represented demanded apologies that never came. They asked for and were promised psychological counseling that was never provided. The reaction of the church was, typically, “this was the behavior of one rogue priest and we knew nothing about it until it was exposed to us”. The formal litigation discovery process (investigation, depositions, testimony, affidavits, etc.) demonstrated otherwise and demonstrated that there was a vast conspiracy to cover up these acts and transfer offending priests to new parishes. The excuse I kept hearing was that there was a “shortage of priests”. Why a “shortage” would be an excuse to retain a criminal pedophile is beyond comprehension, but their actions speak louder than their words. I KNOW that that is exactly what they did on at least 3 occasions with a certain pedophile priest. Was I paid for my service to my clients? Yes. Was I fairly compensated for the vast amount of hours that I devoted to these cases? Probably not, but the clients wanted to accept the resolutions offered and I gave them advice and allowed them to decide what they wanted to do. On a side note, had the church offered these “apologies” you speak of and the treatment I speak of instead of declaring war against the victims, covering up the crimes of its clergymen, repeatedly lying under oath, retaining silk stocking law firms at huge legal expense deny justice, delay the process, confuse judges and juries, shame the victims, and combat litigation, it would have been far better off financially. It could have spent billions on ridding the church of predators, creating programs to educate and train replacements, developed systems to investigate applicants to assure that they were not predators, etc., etc., etc. They preferred to bury their heads in the sand, deny everything, cover it up, and defend all litigation vigorously. That was THEIR choice, not the plaintiffs’ and not the plaintiffs’ attorneys. This behavior has led to the proliferation of these scandals and has made church officials’ promises of “action” on these scandals illusory.

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