Archive for September, 2017

‘God Makes No Mistakes’: Christian Couple In Michigan Charged With Manslaughter After They Refused Jaundice Treatment For Their Newborn Daughter

September 29. 2017

 

 

Clearly, god just wanted the baby girl dead. Apparently innocence offends him.

 

At the time of her birth, Abigail appeared healthy and their were no concerns surrounding her well-being.
But when the midwife, who had helped deliver Rachel and Joshua’s two other kids, returned to the home the next day, she told the Rachel that Abigail appeared jaundiced, and encouraged Rachel to take her to the doctor.

‘She told Rachel the baby could suffer brain damage or die if not properly cared for,’ Lansing Police Detective Peter Scaccia said.

He continued to say that Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating ‘God makes no mistakes,’ and implied that the newborn was fine.

But the baby’s condition only worsened and on February 8, Abigail started to cough up blood.

And instead if taking the infant to the doctor, Rachel put her child ‘near a window wearing just a diaper utilizing a hair dryer to keep her warm,’ Detective Scaccia told the Lansing Journal.

At one point, Rachel told her mother, Rebecca Kerr, what the midwife said after Rebecca told her daughter that Abigail’s skin was not the right color. Rachel proceeded to go listen to sermons.

On the morning of February 9, the Rebecca and Rachel noticed blood coming out of Abigail’s nose and that she wasn’t eating or breathing well.
Rebecca wanted to call for help but Rachel didn’t allow it and around 11am the same day, Rachel found her daughter dead in her bouncy seat, according to the Lansing Journal.
Rachel told her husband, Joshua who attempted one rescue breath.

Detective Scaccia said that Joshua did not want to perform CPR because he didn’t know how to perform it on children.

After Rachel found her daughter dead, the two prayed for her instead of calling police.

He continued: ‘They then brought Abigail upstairs to pray for her. Joshua continued to massage Abigail, attempting to get her good air. Both Josh and Rachel reached out to friends and fellow church members to come to their home and pray for Abigail’s resurrection, but never called the police.’

Officers learned of the child’s death after Rachel’s brother called from California and told them of Abigail’s death.

When police arrived they discovered the dead infant and people praying over her body.

The baby was delivered via midwife at their home, one block east of the Lansing Country Club on February 6. Abigail’s body was also found there by police.

The autopsy later confirmed that Abigail died from unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus – conditions related to jaundice.

If treated, she would have more than likely survived the detective said.
Rachel and Joshua were each charged with a single count of involuntary manslaughter and released after posting $75,000 bond on September 21.

Their next hearing is scheduled for October 5 in Lansing’s District Court.
They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

 

Looks like god’s plan for you two is to rot in prison for a few decades.

“God’s Plan” For Defrauding The Government

September 26, 2017

 

“God wants you to defraud the government as long as it puts money in my pocket,” says Jane Whaley.

 

SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — When Randy Fields’ construction company faced potential ruin because of the cratering economy, he pleaded with his pastor at Word of Faith Fellowship church to reduce the amount of money he was required to tithe every week.

To his shock, Fields said church founder Jane Whaley proposed a divine plan that would allow him to continue tithing at least 10 percent of his income to the secretive evangelical church while helping his company survive: He would file fraudulent unemployment claims on behalf of his employees. She called it, he said, “God’s plan.”

Fields and 10 other former congregants told The Associated Press that they and dozens of employees who were church members filed bogus claims at Word of Faith Fellowship leaders’ direction, and said they had been interviewed at length about the false claims by investigators with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The End Of The World Has Been Rescheduled

September  2017

For all of you who were disappointed when the world didn’t end this past Saturday. take heart. The end of the world has been rescheduled for mid- October. This is the same bozo who said that the world was ending on Saturday but that he wouldn’t be available for interviews until the following week.

 

After Sept. 23 came and went without a rogue planet crashing into the Earth, some might think Christian numerologist David Meade would be out of the doomsday prediction business. But, lo and behold, the self-proclaimed “researcher” now says the end of the world is still on, it’s just been moved to October.

Meade predicted that a rogue planet named Nibiru would slam into the Earth on Sept. 23 and bring about a global apocalypse. NASA had publicly debunked the “Planet X” conspiracy theory in 2012, but it didn’t stop the self-published author from writing and speaking about the doomsday prediction.

Now that the fateful Saturday has passed, Meade has reportedly revised his schedule for the planet’s last day. The controversial doomsayer claims his Sept. 23 prediction was misinterpreted (Yeah, when he said the world was going to end on September 23 we thought he meant that the world was going to end on September 23.) and that the world will actually end at some point starting in October. Meade now believes the new date will begin a seven-year period of world-ending events.

“That’s when the action starts. Hold on and watch—wait until the middle of October and I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed,” he wrote on his website. The former student of astronomy at the University of Louisville says his predictions come from deciphering codes in the Bible as well as other ancient markers like the Great Pyramids.

Time will tell if Meade’s new ominous prediction for around Oct. 21 gets watered down like he did with his last one. The conspiracy theorist admitted days before his Sept. 23 claim that people would probably still wake up on Sept. 24. “The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending. A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October,” Meade confessed to the Washington Post.

 

It is rumored that his latest prediction is that “something will happen in 2018.” We will have to wait and see if anything happens next year. We are all trembling in anticipation.

 

Four Rabbis Arrested For Fraud In City Chief Rabbi Applicatins

September 20. 2017

 

Saul Kassin, lying and cheating his way to the top

 

If the allegations turn out to be true, it will not the first time that Chief Rabbinate qualifications have been fraudulently obtained for the purposes of career advancement.

Rabbi Saul Kassin (C), the chief rabbi of a synagogue in Brooklyn, N.Y.,is one of the more than 40 people to be arrested in a federal investigation of public corruption and international money laundering, in Newark, N.J..

Four rabbis were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust, falsifying documents, and impersonation, in connection to unlawful practices they allegedly employed in applying for municipal chief rabbi positions.

The Jerusalem Post has learned that the rabbis ran or are running for the chief rabbi jobs in the cities of Nesher, Pardess Hanna, Lod and Beit Shemesh. The police have not released the names of the rabbis who were arrested.

According to the police, the rabbis were arrested on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining qualification certificates that would enable them to stand for municipal chief rabbi positions.

Only rabbis who have passed ordination exams on a higher level and more exacting than the standard ordination tests are able to serve as municipal chief rabbis.

The police stated that the four rabbis in question are each suspected of one or some of the following offenses: obtaining an ordination certificate fraudulently, without having taken the exams; falsifying the registration of test scores; sending someone else to take the exams for them; making contact with the exam marker to try to persuade him to mark their papers more leniently.

Police personnel from the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit arrested the four men Tuesday morning and conducted searches of their homes for documents tying them to their alleged crimes.

The police emphasized that the Chief Rabbinate had cooperated throughout the investigation, and only the suspects themselves were under investigation.

 

 

Vatican Recalls Priest at Washington Embassy Amid Child Porn Investigation

September 20, 2017

 

VATICAN CITY — A high-ranking priest working in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington has been recalled after U.S. prosecutors asked for him to be charged there and face trial in a child pornography investigation, Vatican and U.S. officials said Friday.

The Vatican declined to identify the priest (because his rights are far more important than those of his victims), but said he was currently in Vatican City and that Vatican prosecutors had launched their own probe.

If the accusations pan out, the case would be a major embarrassment for the Vatican and Pope Francis, who has pledged “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse.

The diplomat would be the second from the Vatican’s diplomatic corps to face possible criminal charges for such crimes during Francis’ papacy. Any trial in the Vatican would come as Francis’ own financial czar, Cardinal George Pell, is on trial in his native Australia for alleged historic sex abuse cases.

The State Department said it had asked the Vatican to lift the official’s diplomatic immunity on Aug. 21. It said that request was denied three days later. Because that would cause inconvenience for a pedophile priest and we can’t have that, can we? For the State Department to make such a request, its lawyers would have needed to be convinced that there was reasonable cause for criminal prosecution.

The circumstances that prompted prosecutors to make the request, however, weren’t clear. The Justice Department, which would have brought any charges, did not immediately comment.

In a statement, the Vatican said the U.S. State Department had notified the Vatican on Aug. 21 of a “possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images” by one of its diplomats in Washington.

The Vatican said recalling the priest was consistent with diplomatic practice of sovereign states. In declining to identify him, the Vatican said the case was subject to confidentiality while still under investigation. It said the Vatican had asked for information about the case from the U.S; it wasn’t clear if any had been provided.

The Vatican has recalled envoys before — including its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who was recalled in 2013 after being accused of sexually abusing young boys on the Caribbean island.

Statue Of St. Junipero Serra Vandalized In California

SSeptember 15, 2017

One man’s saint is another man’s terrorist.

Another statue of St. Junipero Serra has been defaced in California. The founder of the California missions has been criticized for his treatment of native populations in the 18th century. However, when Pope Francis made him a saint, he said Serra “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it.”

California has been decapitated and splashed with red paint. The bronze statue was vandalized overnight between Sunday and Monday.

An 18th century Spanish Franciscan, Serra is remembered in Catholic circles as the missionary who brought the faith to the West Coast of the Americas, having founded nine missions himself from San Francisco to San Diego, and he inspired the creation of twelve others after his death in 1784. He’s formally known as the “Apostle of California.”

It is estimated that during his ministry, Serra baptized about 6,000 native people.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988, and canonized by Pope Francis during his trip to the United States in 2015.

When Pope Francis made Serra a saint, he said Serra “sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it.”

Critics, however, associate Serra with human rights violations and the destruction of native cultures, among other things charging that natives at his missions who refused to embrace Christianity were often mistreated, including imprisoning them to prevent them from leaving.

It is the latest vandalization of of a Serra monument over the past few years. In 2015 – shortly before Serra was canonized – the Carmel Mission was attacked, leaving several statues toppled to the ground and a headstone vandalized with the painted words ‘Saint of Genocide.’

White Christians Are Now A Minority In The US

September 6. 2017

 

We’re seeing a real trend. See our earlier post on the UK.

 

Going the way of the dodo?

 

The share of Americans who identify as white and Christian has dropped below 50 percent, a transformation fueled by immigration and by growing numbers of people who reject organized religion altogether, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

Christians overall remain a large majority in the U.S., at nearly 70 percent of Americans. However, white Christians, once predominant in the country’s religious life, now comprise only 43 percent of the population, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI, a polling organization based in Washington. Four decades ago, about eight in 10 Americans were white Christians.

The change has occurred across the spectrum of Christian traditions in the U.S., including sharp drops in membership in predominantly white mainline Protestant denominations such as Presbyterians and Lutherans; an increasing Latino presence in the Roman Catholic Church as some non-Hispanic white Catholics leave; and shrinking ranks of white evangelicals, who until recently had been viewed as immune to decline.

The trends identified in the survey are fueling anxiety about the place of Christians in society, especially among evangelicals, alarmed by support for gay marriage and by the increasing share of Americans – about one-quarter – who don’t identify with a faith group. President Donald Trump, who repeatedly promised to protect the religious liberty of Christians, drew 80 percent of votes by white evangelicals, a constituency that remains among his strongest supporters.

About 17 percent of Americans now identify as white evangelical, compared to 23 percent a decade ago, according to the survey. Membership in the conservative Southern Baptist Convention, the largest U.S. Protestant group, dropped to 15.2 million last year, its lowest number since 1990, according to an analysis by Chuck Kelley, president of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

“So often, white evangelicals have been pointing in judgment to white mainline groups, saying when you have liberal theology you decline,” said Robert Jones, chief executive of PRRI. “I think this data really does challenge that interpretation of linking theological conservatism and growth.”

The PRRI survey of more than 100,000 people was conducted from January 2016 to January of this year and has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.4 percentage points. Previous surveys had found that the Protestant majority that shaped the nation’s history had dropped below 50 percent sometime around 2008. The PRRI poll released Wednesday included a more in-depth focus on race and religion. Jones said growth among Latino Christians, and stability in the numbers of African-American Christians, had partly obscured the decline among white Christians.

The survey also found that more than a third of all Republicans say they are white evangelicals, and nearly three-quarter identify as white Christians. By comparison, white Christians have become a minority in the Democratic Party, shrinking from 50 percent a decade ago, to 29 percent now. Forty percent of Democrats say they have no religious affiliation.

Among American Catholics, 55 percent now identify as white, compared to 87 percent 25 years ago, amid the growing presence of Latino Catholics, according to the report. Over the last decade, the share of white Catholics in the U.S. population dropped from 16 percent to 11 percent. Over the same period, white mainline Protestants declined from 18 percent to 13 percent of all Americans.

Book By Hillary Clinton’s Pastor. Riddled With Plagiarism, Pulled From Shelves

September 6, 2017

 

Bill Shillady, plagiarist

 

Says that he ‘mistakenly’ did not attribute the work of other people. Yeah, right. All those stolen passages were mistakes. Imagine that, a pastor telling lies and ripping off the work of others. We’re shocked.

 

Hillary Clinton said that the email her spiritual adviser, the Rev. Bill Shillady, sent her on the morning after she lost the 2016 presidential election helped her heal from her devastating defeat.

It wasn’t until months later, when Shillady published that email in a book, that it came to light that he had plagiarized the words that so moved the candidate.

Now, less than a month after the book’s publication, the publishing house that printed it says it is pulling the book off the shelves because it’s riddled with plagiarism.

“Abingdon Press initiated an extensive review of the book and was alarmed to discover other content unattributed by the author. Abingdon Press has zero tolerance for plagiarism,” the Rev. Brian K. Milford, the president of the publishing company, said in a statement. “Consequently, we have discontinued sales, will remove existing copies from all sales outlets, and will have them destroyed along with our existing inventory.”

Shillady, who did not respond to a Washington Post reporter’s call on Tuesday evening, sent an emailed statement: “I deeply regret my actions. I was wrong and there is no excuse for it. I apologize to those whose work I mistakenly did not attribute. I apologize to those I have disappointed, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, Abingdon Press, and all the writers and others who have helped me publish and promote this book. I ask for everyone’s forgiveness.”

His book, “Strong for a Moment Like This,” compiled the emails that he and other pastors sent to Clinton every morning of her campaign. She read the morning emails, which contained a biblical passage, a short sermon and a prayer, throughout her grueling run for president.

Shortly before the book came out last month, CNN published the day-after email that Shillady sent on Nov. 9. Indiana pastor Matt Deuel recognized the words as nearly identical to his own and contacted CNN, which broke the news that the portion of the book was plagiarized on the day before it came out.

Clinton wrote the foreword for her pastor’s now-discredited book. Her own book about the campaign, “What Happened,” comes out next week.

 

Pastor Attempting To Walk On Water Like Jesus Is Eaten By Crocodiles In, I Kid You Not, ‘Crocodile River’

September 5, 2017

Three very disrespectful, but no longer hungry, crocodiles.

 

Jonathan Mthethwa was killed by three crocodiles as he carried out a religious demonstration in Zimbabwe. 

Shocked witnesses said the clergyman had “prayed the whole week” before the stunt went tragically wrong.

He had also fasted in the lead-up to the attempted miracle, which was inspired by a Biblical tale of Jesus walking on water during a storm.

Horrified members of the Saint of the Last Days Church said the pastor was completely devoured in a “couple of minutes”.

He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten.

He had waded around 30 metres into what was known locally as ‘Crocodile River’. At this point he had promised his congregation he would rise up above the water. Ah, Zimbabwe, the Mississippi of Africa.

Instead he was brutally attacked by a group of crocodiles who had been hidden in the deep water.

Deacon Nkosi said: “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.

“He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us.

“We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.”

No one can understand what could have gone wrong. The pastor waded into the ‘Crocodile River’ and got eaten by, of all things, crocodiles. Go figure. No one could have seen that coming. Right? 

 

Aspiring Pastor Accused Of Murdering Wife Blames It On Cough Syrup

September 5, 2017

 

Matthew James Phelps, blames cough syrup for murder of his wife because blaming the devil would have been too easy.

 

A man in Raleigh, North Carolina, said that after he awoke from “a dream” early Friday morning, he found his wife “dead on the floor” and, as he told a 911 dispatcher, “I think I did it.”

“I have blood all over me, and there’s a bloody knife on the bed. And I think I did it,” Matthew James Phelps, an aspiring pastor, told the dispatcher. “I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this.”

Phelps, who jail records list as 28 years old, blamed his alleged black out on cough syrup he took earlier in the evening to help him sleep.

“I took more medicine that I should have,” he said. “I took Coricidin Cough and Cold …  because I know it can make you feel good. A lot of times I can’t sleep at night.”

Officers came to the couple’s house and found Lauren Ashley-Nicole Phelps, 29, wounded but alive. The woman, who taught Sunday school, was taken to an area hospital where she died, according to the Associated Press.

Her husband of almost a year was taken to the Wake County Jail and charged with murder. He remains behind bars and will make his first appearance before a judge on Tuesday, according to court records.

On the 911 call, the dispatcher asked Matthew Phelps if he thought his wife “was beyond help” from her wounds. He replied: “I don’t know. I’m too scared to get close to her.”

Phelps worked for a lawn service company and was a graduate of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Kentucky, where he studied mission and evangelism, according to the Raleigh News & Observer, which cited his Facebook page. Oh, so he was an educated man. His degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College prepared him for a challenging career in lawn care.

Phelps may be blaming cough syrup for the alleged murder, but investigators will be looking for other reasons for the woman’s death, according to former FBI agent Brad Garrett.

The “this medicine made me do it” excuse is “not an uncommon way for people in his position to respond,” Garrett told the AP.

For The First Time, Most People In The UK Do Not Identify As Religious

September 5. 2017

 

The UK shows the way from superstition to rationality.

 

Last year 53% of people described themselves as having “no religion”, in a survey of 2,942 adults by the National Centre for Social Research.

Among those aged between 18 and 25, the proportion was higher at 71%.

The Bishop of Liverpool said God and the Church “remains relevant” and that saying “no religion was not the same as considered atheism”.

The figures, shown to BBC Radio 5 live, reveal a downward trend for religious belief in the UK.

When the national centre’s British Social Attitudes survey began in 1983, 31% of respondents said they had no religion.

A random sample of adults were involved in the latest survey and they were asked whether they regarded themselves as belonging to a particular religion.
Almost two in three 25 to 34 year olds said they were non-religious, while 75% of people aged 75 and over said they were religious.

Tamsin, a 26-year-old travel journalist, goes to the Sunday Assembly, a secular congregation that meets in London every fortnight.

Speaking to 5 live’s Rosanna Pound-Woods, she said: “I’m not religious at all. I like the fact that this is a way for community to come together, without having to be about religion.”

At times in her life where religion might be important traditionally, like deaths or weddings, she said: “I turn to my friends and just tend to celebrate or commiserate together.”

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Another member of the congregation, Mitsky, was raised as a Jain – an ancient Indian religion – but now considers himself more atheist.
“Most religions have good basic principles, but certain religions take them maybe in a different direction which I didn’t really tend to agree with,” the 38-year-old said.

“I was heavily involved in that community here in London and I do miss it, which is why I was looking for something else.”
The latest figures show that for people who were born into a religious household, four in 10 are no longer religious.

Some 15% of people in Britain considered themselves Anglican in 2016, half the proportion who said this in 2000, according to the survey.
Those identifying as Catholic has remained stable – at around one in 10 – over the past 30 years, while one in 20 people identify with non-Christian religions.

Roger Harding, from the National Centre for Social Research, said the figures should cause “all religious leaders to pause for thought”.
“With falling numbers, some faith leaders might wonder whether they should be doing more to take their congregation’s lead on adapting to how society is changing,” he added.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev Paul Bayes, said the figures bring a “continuing challenge to the churches” in “a sceptical and plural world”.
But he said people’s hearts and minds remained “open”.

“Saying ‘no religion’ is not the same as a considered atheism. People see the point of faith when they see the difference faith makes,” he said.

“We need to keep finding ways to show and tell those who say they have ‘no religion’ that faith – faith in the God who loves them still – can make that life-transforming difference for them and for the world.”
But the charity, Humanists UK, said the figures raise fresh questions about the place of churches in the running of state schools and their other state-funded privileges.

The charity’s chief executive, Andrew Copson, said: “More generally, how can the Church of England remain in any meaningful sense the national legally established church, when it caters for such a small portion of the population?”

Vatican Indicts Two Ex-Officials Of Children’s Hospital For Financial Crimes

Appropriately named Profiti (above) and his partner, Massimo Spina, screwed the Children’s Hospital under their supervision out of at least $850,000. The children probably didn’t need that much health care anyway, Right?

 

With the names Massimo and Profiti maybe someone should have seen this coming.

 

September 5, 2017

 

Two former officials of the papally-sponsored pediatric hospital Bambino Gesù have been charged by Vatican prosecutors with misappropriation of funds over an outlay of almost $500,000 to remodel a Vatican apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, former Secretary of State under Pope Benedict XVI, with the contract going to a company owned by a Bertone friend. Bertone himself does not face any charges.

In what may be seen as a step forward for Pope Francis’s press for financial reform, Vatican prosecutors on Thursday announced indictments under its criminal law against two former officials of the papally-sponsored pediatric hospital Bambino Gesù for misappropriation of funds.

The two Italian laymen charged, Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina, are both former members of a foundation that oversees the famed children’s hospital, located a stone’s throw away from the Vatican and immediately adjacent to the Pontifical North American College, the residence for American seminarians in Rome. Profiti was the president of the foundation, Spina its treasurer.

According to the information released Thursday by the Holy See Press Office, Profiti and Spina are charged with illicitly using funds meant for Bambino Gesù, and thus ultimately meant for the care of sick children, to profit a Rome-based construction company called Castelli Re, run at the time by another Italian financier named Gianantonio Bandera.

The alleged misappropriation took place in 2014, meaning the charge is effectively three years old.

 

Specifically, the indictment states that close to $500,000 of the foundation’s money was paid to Bandera’s company to perform upgrades on a Vatican apartment belonging to Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Secretary of State under emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and a long-standing friend of Bandera.

There’s no suggestion in the indictment, however, of charges against Bertone himself, now 82.

The Vatican also announced Thursday that the head of its criminal tribunal has empaneled a three-judge body to hear the case against Profiti and Spina, with its first hearing set for July 18 at 10:00 a.m. Rome time – and, if they fail to appear, the statement said both men will be tried in absentia. Their lawyers had been given until July 11 to submit defense materials to the court.

Because both Profiti and Spina are Italian citizens and not clergy, they could dispute the Vatican court’s jurisdiction. In July 2016, a similar court in the “Vatileaks 2.0” scandal acquitted two lay Italian journalists for lack of jurisdiction, although it did convict Italian lay woman Francesca Chaouqui, who had been a member of a papal advisory body on financial reform and was accused of leaking confidential documents.

This marks the first time the Vatican publicly has announced an indictment under new measures intended to fight financial money-laundering and financial crime, which began under Benedict XVI and have been strengthened under Francis.

The need to enforce those laws was a key point in the last evaluation of the Vatican performed by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering agency, which is set to update that assessment later this year. Getting a clean bill of health from Moneyval is seen as key to the Vatican’s ability to be on “white lists” of global actors playing by the financial rules, thus avoiding frozen accounts, suspended transactions, and higher transaction fees for perceived risk.

The details of the charges against Profiti and Spina were already well-known in Rome, as the expenditures on Bertone’s apartment have been public and the object of controversy for some time. In an interview last year, Profit defended the outlay, saying it was work that formed part of a “precise project of development.”

In effect, Profiti said, Bambino Gesù had intended to launch a major capital campaign and needed the expanded space in Bertone’s apartment in order to host fundraising receptions. He argued that in the year 2013, such events hosted by Bertone had boosted donations to the hospital from 3 to 5 million Euro annually, and called the remodeling a “marketing” investment.

“Not only was this a legitimate expense, but I’ll tell you, if I found myself in the same situation today, I’d make the same decision again,” Profiti said.
In the end, Bandera’s company not only was paid almost $500,000 by the Bambino Gesù foundation for work on Bertone’s apartment, but also submitted another set of bills for almost $350,000, which were paid by Bertone directly.

When the investigation that culminated in Thursday’s indictment was announced last year, Vatican Spokesman Greg Burke said Bertone himself was not facing review. Although Bertone has consistently denied any wrongdoing, he made a contribution of a little over $170,000 to Bambino Gesù after the publication of a book in late 2015 detailing the expenses for his residence.

Recently, Bambino Gesù was the subject of a reporting series by the Associated Press charging that during Profiti’s tenure, children’s health was put at risk in the pursuit of financial gain. Those accusations were denied by Burke, who called them “false and unjust.”

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