Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Review: ‘God’s Bankers,’ by Gerald Posner

By Damon Linker

Ask a devout, theologically literate ­Roman Catholic to describe the institution of the church, and you’re likely to be told that it was founded by Jesus Christ at the moment he gave his disciple ­Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” and vowed that “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” “God’s Bankers” provides an exhaustive history of financial machinations at the center of the church in Rome, from the final decades of the 19th century down to Pope Francis’ sincere but as yet inconclusive efforts to reform the church’s labyrinthine bureaucracy (the Curia) and the Vatican Bank (named Istituto per le Opere di Religione, or Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as the I.O.R.). [link]

A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
By Gerald Posner
Illustrated. 732 pp. Simon & Schuster. $32.