Prologue: This article was published on December 28, 2013. In 2014, Chicago experienced a record number of shootings, many of them were not fatal. Sadly, many young children were shot, and some of those shootings were fatal. On the night of December 19, 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s son was the victim of a strong armed robbery just steps from the mayor’s family home. According to the Sun Times‘ review of the report: one assailant got the mayor’s son in a chokehold. The other punched the 17-year-old in the face, chipping a tooth and knocking him to the ground. They rifled his pockets and forced him to give them the pass code to his cell phone. Continue reading Chicago Crime Statistics Seem a Fiction Story (Update)
In November 2012, I published a fiction mystery/thriller, Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits, about an attempt by the Jesuits to take over the Vatican and its bank. The book is well researched and was published before Pope Benedict XVI resigned and before Pope Francis I became the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Catholic Church.
In one of the subplots, the Jesuit leadership insists that all priests—whether heterosexual or homosexual—renew their vows of chastity and celibacy. One of the fictional priests mentions (he does not describe) a past affair with a murdered priest. He explains that they long ago ended the affair and both renewed their vows. Continue reading Pope Francis: “Gays Should Not Be Marginalized.”
Catholics are aware that some priests have affairs with adult women. Even Popes have had mistresses. The popular television series, The Borgias, is historical fiction about the intrigues and love affairs of Pope Alexander VI. Catholics are also painfully aware of cases of sexual exploitation of children by priests. Lawsuits in the United States have been well-publicized. In Ireland, Father Brendan Smyth, an alleged pedophile, was the center of a scandal–spanning 40 years and allegedly involving 90 raped and abused children–that helped collapse the Irish government’s Fianna Fail Labor coalition in the 1990’s. Continue reading Brief History of Gays In the Catholic Church
Pope Francis I is following through on his promise of reform within the Vatican. A web of intrigue involving private planes, burn cell phones, powerful families, money laundering, and tax evasion is as thrilling as fiction. Continue reading Facts Follow Fiction: Money Laundering and Tax Evasion
When I earned my MBA in finance, questions were welcomed. When I got a degree in chemical engineering, questions were encouraged. But before that, I attended an all-female Catholic high school, and a “wrong” question could land you in the principal’s office.
According to Catholic teaching, Gabriel, a winged angel, visited a virgin named Mary and told her she was pregnant with a child she should name Jesus. When Mary’s time on earth ended, her body and spirit were assumed into heaven. Questions about the story of the Immaculate Conception were deflected as a “mystery of faith.” Continue reading God and Mary: Illegal in the USA?
On March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected Pope. He’s the first pope from the Americas. He’s the first Pope Francis. He’s the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Catholic Church. This is all the more extraordinary, because the Jesuits have been held in suspicion by many past popes.
The events that felled Cardinal Bergoglio’s competitors prior to the election are as shocking as my fictional conspiracies. The timing of those events couldn’t have been more perfect if they had been intentionally orchestrated. Continue reading Life Imitates Art Again: For the First Time, A Jesuit Pope
The Vatican is the smallest independent city-state in the world, an oligarchy surrounded by Rome and ruled by the Pope. The authority of the Pope provides a law unto itself for the global Roman Catholic Church. Continue reading Life Imitates Art: The Pope Resigns, the First since 1415
Those who believe we don’t need smart and effective crime-stopping financial regulation have only to look at the smallest independent city-state in the world, Vatican City. The tiny oligarchy is surrounded by Italy and ruled by the Pope. It also has its own bank. If you can’t trust the Vatican Bank, whom can you trust? The answer is no one. At least not without proper controls and consequences for wrongdoing in this lifetime. Continue reading If You Can’t Trust the Vatican Bank, Whom Can You Trust?