Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, 84,
Once Involved In The Massive Vatican
Bank Scandal, Found Dead At
His Home In Sun City, Arizona

By Greg Szymanski
Marcinkus always proclaimed he had nothing to do with the scandal, but was still sought by Italian authorities for questioning at the time of his death.
Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the head of the Vatican bank before a massive banking scandal forced him out in 1989, has died of natural causes, a spokeswoman for the Phoenix Catholic Diocese said.
After being dismissed from his important Vatican responsibilities, Marcinkus, 81, retired to Phoenix, but remained active in the Church, limiting his activities to saying Mass and other routine services.
Marcinkus was found dead at his Sun City home, a suburb of Phoenix, on Monday evening, said Mary Jo West, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
No further evidence or information was available regarding his death, according to diocese officials.
Marcinkus, who was 6 feet, 4 inches, had once acted as a bodyguard to Pope John Paul II during his early foreign travels before taking on the responsibilities as head of the Vatican bank.
Formally known as the Institute for Religious Works, Marcinkus headed the Vatican Bank for 20 years, but was removed when he became an intergral figure in the Italian investigation into the massive scandal.
In 1987, warrants for the arrest of Marcinkus and two lay Vatican bank officials were issued in after Italian prosecutors charged them with being accessories to the fraudulent bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano, Italy's largest private bank, which collapsed in 1982 with the disappearance of $1.3 billion *.* * * ** The missing money, never recovered, was in loans made to 10 dummy companies in Latin America controlled by the Vatican bank.
* *
Italy's Constitutional Court in 1982 ruled that a Vatican-Italian treaty precluded any interference by Italian authorities in the affairs of the Vatican, an independent city-state.
The case was never brought to trial, the Vatican settling out of court with Italian authorities for $241 million. Throughout the entire scandal and up until his death, Marcinkus insisted on his innocence.
At the time of his death, Rome prosecutors were still hoping to question Marcinkus, but he has been kept under protection in Phoenix, Arizona, still being under Vatican diplomatic immunity.
Marcinkus was also linked to the unsolved murder of Roberto Calvi, the former head of Banco Ambrosiano involved in the scandal, as the Vatican insisted Calvi pay back over $154 million in stolen Vtican money.
But the links to those involved in the scandal never were fully explored as investigators were refused permission to ever investigate Marcinkus.
Sources close to Vatican claim that Marcinkus taken to America to keep quiet since he was actually only an "innocent fall guy" for the real culprits pulling the strings behind the scandal.
Those sources close to Vatican contend the Black Pope and the Jesuit Order "in full control of P2 and the Grand Orient Lodges, used Calvi and Michele Sindona, another accomplice also thought murdered, to steal the money, then in Mafia-like fashion had both of them killed.
"Archbishop Marcinkus, being publicly responsible for the loss of the funds of Banco Ambrosiano, then agreed to take the fall, subsequently protecting his Jesuit masters from further investigation," said a source close to the Vatican who wished to remain anonymous.
"It is Jesuit Bishop Hnilica, the untouchable, who is really at the bottom of the scandal and fronting for the Black Pope. I believe Marcinkus was a patsy and that Hnilica is the real culprit and thus the Black Pope."
Sources close to Marcinkus also claim that "all along" he was innocent of any serious wrong doing, including having absolutely nothing to do with Calvi's murder or embezzlement of funds.
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