Priest Robs Hospital of $5 Million; Vatican Shrugs

How could you not trust a religious order that is run by men of the cloth and named “the Congregation for the Children of the Immaculate Conception”? Any suspicions would be especially foolish when the padres in question are in the business of healing — that is, running a hospital.

Well, funny story, courtesy of the Guardian:

Italian police on Thursday arrested a priest accused of pocketing €4m ($5.2 million) from a Catholic hospital he ran, and helping run up €600m ($776 million) in debts that forced it into bankruptcy.

The Rev. Franco Decaminada [photo], who until 2011 was the chief executive of the IDI dermatological hospital in Rome, was placed under house arrest by Italy’s financial police. They also detained two other people while seizing a Tuscan villa that police say Decaminada built with stolen money.


PM News cites police sources as saying that investigators

…had found daily operations in which the priest took money from the hospital as “reimbursement of costs” without justification. The hospital has not paid its 1,500 employees, including 300 doctors, for several months.

You might have expected the combination of the Vatican’s fabulous wealth and its professed insistence on helping the poor and downtrodden to result in a bailout of some sort — a Godly rescue mission if you will. No dice.

The plight of 1,500 IDI workers who haven’t received paychecks for months had prompted Benedict XVI in one of his last acts as pope to name a delegate in February to take over the religious order that owns the hospital to try to bring it back to financial health. But in the end the Vatican refused to provide any financial assistance [emphasis added] and last week a Rome court certified the hospital as insolvent.

[image via PM News]