Vatican Suit Dropped

A federal court in Mississippi on Feb. 2 dismissed a 10-year-old lawsuit accusing the Vatican of complicity in a scheme to bilk insurance companies for more than $200 million. The state insurance commissioners of Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas had filed the lawsuit in 2002, charging the Vatican and Msgr. Emilio Colagiovanni of racketeering and fraud. The commissioners claimed that Monsignor Colagiovanni and the Holy See had aided financier Martin Frankel in purchasing small, ailing insurance companies, whose assets he then siphoned off, leaving them unable to pay claims. Jeffrey S. Lena, an attorney for the Holy See, said the dismissal “was not the result of any settlement agreement” and that the insurance commissioners had requested the court’s action “of their own accord.”

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Pope Francis listens to a question from Vera Shcherbakova of the Itar-Tass news agency while talking with journalists aboard his flight from Cairo to Rome April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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Pope Francis greets children dressed as pharaohs and in traditional dress as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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