In the Vatican there’s a German pope, a German bank president with connections to German aristocratic families as well as a German military connection. Is history repeating itself?
ATICAN CITY — The Vatican was drawn into a new controversy Friday after acknowledging that its bank’s new president is also chairman of a shipbuilder making warships — a significant conflict for an institution that has long shunned ties to military manufacturing.
The Vatican announced to great fanfare that Pope Benedict XVI had signed off on one of the last major appointments of his papacy, approving Ernst von Freyberg as president of the Vatican’s bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works.
The Vatican spokesman was caught off-guard, though, when a journalist noted that the German shipbuilder von Freyberg chairs, Blohm + Voss, is known for its military ship construction. Continue reading