EPILOGUE HOW MUCH BLOOD IS ON THE HANDS OF “GOD’S BANK?”
“Giorgio Ambrosoli?” asks a voice from behind. As Ambrosoli turns around, it’s just before midnight on July 11, 1979. Three men stand in front of him. “Yes?” confirms the lawyer— and realizes fractions of a second later that he has just signed his own death warrant. Four bullets strike his body, and Ambrosoli falls to the ground dead.
The Vatican Bank’s biggest scandal so far is like the end of a Shakespearean tragedy: Everyone dies. The two dark protagonists of this drama are Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi. While attempting to bend the laws of the financial world more and more, their greed triggers a crisis that plunges powerful banks into an abyss: banks through which numerous illegal transactions were executed, which had the Vatican Bank as their main shareholder.
Independent investigators are summoned to the scene— such as Giorgio Ambrosoli. He was appointed as a liquidator for one of the banks controlled by Michele Sindona and he discovered unusual payments there that had been handled through the Vatican Bank. He threatens to reveal what many had long suspected: the Mafia’s money laundering, the involvement of the Vatican Bank, and the role of Michele Sindona. After all, Sindona is the one who hires three killers. But their victim, Giorgio Ambrosoli, is just one of many deaths: Everyone who got too close to the secrets of the Vatican Bank was murdered— and even the protagonists themselves died in the end. Sindona was sentenced to 25 years in prison, where he died in 1986 of cyanide poisoning after announcing he’d give an interview about the Vatican Bank. Roberto Calvi had been found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982— he’d wanted to come clean as well. These two bankers made a deal with the devil— and finally paid the price for it.
The Vatican Bank has not changed much. The latest scandal was in 2014. Though Pope Francis urged the bank to be more transparent, even he won’t be able to open all the doors.