Sherman H. Skolnick
We have been holding the
following information for several months in anticipation of
publishing it in conjunction with our Front Page story for this
As was mentioned in a note within the Front Page story, remember the
superb 1984 Bantam Books volume by David A. Yallop, called
Name, which details the author's thorough and astonishing
investigation into the murder of Pope John Paul I (the Pope just
before the present one) on the night of September 28-29, 1978, after
John Paul I had been digging into the massive web of corruption
surrounding the Vatican Bank.
Considering the Jesuit-Vatican theme
of our Front Page story, one is inclined to speculate that, though
the Franciscan Order is principally implicated in this news item,
they could well be the "fall guy" to protect and mask a Jesuit "guiding hand" behind the scenes.
What is most important to note here is not the lawsuit itself - which
could have been "engineered" for any of a number of reasons not
apparent on the surface. Rather, pay attention to the seemingly
outrageous historical details of the accusations.
shenanigans very similar to those routinely described in our Front
Just a coincidence?
In apparently the first legal action of its kind, the Vatican Bank has
been sued by World War Two victims and their heirs and
Brought as a class action in the U.S. District Court
in San Francisco, the initial plaintiffs are Ukranians and ex-Soviet
citizens, but the affected class includes Serbians, Roma,
anti-Fascist Croatians, and Jews.
The suit seeks,
restitution, disgorgement, and to recover damages arising out of
defendant VATICAN BANK (hereinafter referred to as IOR (Instituto
Per Le Opere Di Religione, Institute for Religious Works), the
FRANCISCAN ORDER, and other banking institutions' and religious
orders' and organizations' participation in a common scheme and
course of conduct:
to profit from, both directly
and indirectly, the inhumane and genocidal system instituted by
the Nazi and Ustasha ideology
to obtain, accept, conceal, convert and profit from assets
looted by the Ustasha Regime and deposited in, or liquidated
through, the IOR, Defendant Banks, and Franciscan organization
during the ascendency of the Ustasha regime and following the
demise of the regime at the behest of former Ustasha and Nazi
leaders through the offices of the Franciscan Order
to retain and convert assets
deposited in their institutions by the Ustasha and the
The suit uses the definition:
'Ustasha Regime' is defined as the German puppet fascist government
of Croatia under the direction of its leader Ante Pavelic known as
the 'Poglavnik' (Leader).
The Ustasha regime operated under German
protectorate from 1941 through 1945 and included numerous members of
the Franciscan Order as both military and civil functionaries".
Court papers state:
"Among the top Nazi beneficiaries of
the Croatian-Vatican treasure was Adolph Eichmann who received a
new identity as a 'Croatian refugee' before being smuggled to
The suit points out,
"Evidence of the extent of the
defendant's participation in wrongdoing has only recently come
to light as a result of the disclosure and declassification of
archived documents in the United States, Great Britain, Germany,
and other countries, as well as from the reports of several
commissions and/or task forces created by the United States,
Germany, and elsewhere, and in particular the 1997 Supplemental
Report by the United States State Department, U.S. And
Allied Efforts To Recover And Restore Gold And Other Assets Stolen
Or Hidden By Germany During World War II, The Fate Of The Wartime Ustasha Treasury,
released under the auspices of Under Secretary of State Stuart
Among the fourteen pages of details in
the Court pleadings:
"Vatican Bank...has its principal place of
business and is incorporated in Vatican City but conducts business
and financial transactions worldwide on behalf of the Roman Catholic
Church including the United States and California with total assets
in excess of 3 billion dollars.
Defendant IOR engages in for-profit
merchant banking transactions in the United States, California,
and elsewhere through its investments and transactions with
Defendant Franciscan Order also
known as First Order of Franciscans (O.F.M.) includes and/or
included several Croatian Franciscan Orders in California, the
United States, Croatia, and Italy."
Other eye-opening details in the suit include:
assisted the German occupiers of Ukraine in their systematic
plundering and looting of Ukrainian resources and individual
property. In exchange for the Croatian assistance in Ukraine, the Ustasha were given a free hand in Croatia and Bosnia to loot,
plunder, and terrorize the non-Croatian populace.
The Croatian Treasury contained
plunder from Ukraine and assets seized from the Ustasha victims
Without the full support of Nazi
Germany for its loyal ally, the Ustasha, the Ustasha Treasury
would not have been permitted to retain the profits from Ustasha
atrocities; instead these funds would have been sent to
"Upon the demise of the Ustasha
government in 1945, assets valued at between 50 and 180 million
dollars were transferred from the capital, Zagreb.
The majority of these funds,
estimated at more than 80 million dollars, were transferred to
Vatican City with the assistance of Roman Catholic clergy, and
in particular members of the Franciscan Order, part of or
sympathetic to the Ustasha."
"Many officials of the Ustasha government, including the
war criminals like Pavelic, were secretly housed by the Franciscan
Order in Vatican City or Rome.
The Ustasha Treasury with the
assistance of IOR and Franciscans was used to resettle the Ustasha
fugitives in Spain, Argentina, the United States, and other
The Ustasha were also alleged to
have reaped profits in conjunction with their Franciscan and IOR
benefactors by black-market activities in postwar Italy, selling
Vatican and Red Cross documents to Nazi war criminals and by
acting as informants and provocateurs for various intelligence
As a class action, the suit raises common questions of fact and law,
"Did the defendant IOR knowingly or
otherwise carry out banking transactions that involved capital or
assets that included looted and plundered assets of victims of the
Nazi and Ustasha Regime deposited with the IOR by the remnants of
the Ustasha Regime or the Franciscan order?
"Did the Defendant Banks, IOR, or
Franciscan Order improperly retain or convert deposited assets of
the plaintiffs to/for their own or another's use?
"Did the defendants knowingly aid and profit from the concealment of
the Ustasha wartime Treasury?
"Did the defendants knowingly assist fugitive war criminals from the
Nazi and Ustasha regimes by making available and providing
international transfer of funds?" Among the pleadings "Facts
Specific To IOR And Roman Catholic Religious Orders":
"Many high officials of the Ustasha government were Roman Catholic
clergy and in particular Franciscans. The Vatican maintained an
'Apostolic visitor' in Zegreb, the Croatian capital from 1941
until the end of the War. Relations between the Vatican and the
Ustasha were cordial.
The Papal Legate in Croatia was Mgr.
Marcone, who openly blessed the Ustasha, publicly gave the
Fascist salute, and transmitted instructions from Rome to the
Croatian clergy and episcopacy, principally concerning the
forced conversions of the Eastern Orthodox Christians."
Among the many details of the complaint:
That the former Ustasha Treasury was used post-World War Two to
finance Nazi fugitives in exile.
That the Vatican Bank to date
"has refused to account for the Ustasha related transactions
despite numerous inquiries from other governments and the
London Conference on Nazi Gold."
Those close to the pending lawsuit advised us not to attract too
much attention to the lawsuit on TV in Chicago. Why?
The apparent reason is the large Pro-Vatican Croatian community in the Windy City as well as what some
contend is a large number of the Ustasha or their offspring who live
in Chicago. In the 1970s, there were many violent events between the
Croat and Serb communities in Chicago, including shootings and
bombings, not well reported outside of town.
A few years ago, when we taped a one hour cable TV show on the
subject of Bosnia and Serbia, one of the program guests threatened
to leave the studio if I raised the issue of Vatican complicity in
"ethnic cleansing" of Serbs from Croatia, by which many thousands of
Serbs were killed or injured. (Another guest did raise the issue.)
During the Kosovo War, Spring of 1999, the monopoly press said
almost nothing about the bloodshed in Croatia reportedly instigated,
at least in part, by the Vatican.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the Vatican Bank suit was brought
in San Francisco. Headquartered there is the Bank of America, owned
parent holding company, Bank America, has been reportedly largely
bought out by the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza. Most every bank in
California is reportedly owned by the Yakuza. Seldom mentioned by
the news fakers: the Yakuza is the main force in West Coast dope
A possible problem in the case getting a fair hearing and trial:
Most of the judges in the federal judiciary in California are
bankerjudges. Will they arbitrarily protect the Vatican Bank and
other banking institutions implicated in the case?
appeals court in San Francisco is riddled with banker-judges. This
is an unpublicized situation, by the way, throughout the U.S. and
throughout the history of the federal courts in the United States.
For some background, visit our
particular our stories:
HERE to read an updated version of