Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How the Vatican Bank is Justifying Opening Its Books to US Tax Authorities

The Vatican bank will automatically report information about American holders of its accounts to US tax authorities under an agreement signed on Wednesday that the American ambassador to the Holy See said was a “very significant step” to combating tax evasion, reports The Guardian.

You guessed it, it's Pope Francis behind it. The Guardian notes:
Pope Francis has also put financial reform at the top of his agenda, and the bank has spent millions of euros on consultants, including US advisory firm Promontory Financial Group, in its effort to implement a modern compliance programme and weed out problematic accounts.

 Under the terms of Wednesday’s agreement, the Vatican will be party to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act in the US, which was passed in 2010 to target non-compliance with US tax obligations.

In a signing ceremony at the Vatican, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for relations at the Holy See, emphasized the importance of paying taxes as a matter of charity and justice. “As Pope Francis frequently reminds us, evading just taxes is stealing both from the state and from the poor,” he said.

There you have it, the Vatican under this Pope, again sees government coercion as somehow a charitable effort.



  1. The real takeaway here is the quote. Evading "just" taxes is stealing. This is based on ordinary Catholic doctrine. Unjust taxes, or taxes by an illegitimate authority, are not morally binding.

    Why does the Pope assume the US government is a legitimate authority that issues just taxes? How many do they have to maim, bomb and kill before he realizes they are not legitimate, and thus their commands are not morally binding? Why is tyranny of the majority legitimate?

    The truth is that, Catholic doctrine cannot define this, by design. It isn't part of revealed truths by itself. It's more a logical deduction from real facts.

    Rothbard rewrote the book on political legitimacy (standing on the shoulders of other giants of course), and it is clear that legitimacy requires (1) actual consent, or (2) actual ownership of the governed land in question, thereby governance being an extension of property rights. Anything less is illegitimate. Augustine was coming to understand this, but couldn't quite see it. Aquinas, a personal favorite, was a little too blind on this issue.

    I like this Pope on war and some of the culture war, but his economics and environmentalism is a huge naive blind spot for him. There is nothing brave about picking on the right these days. Nothing. You win nothing but Kudos from the "world" by taking PC positions. I say "world" because to Catholics, the "world" is the known domain of Satan. So the approval of the world is actually a bad sign, not a good one.

  2. Yeah, after the bastards looted my family inheritance with the Franklin National Bank / P2 criminal enterprise.
    Man, I love Lew Rockwell but by God, I hate the Catholic Church!!