Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gross Fraud Erodes Franciscan Order's Finances; American Head of Order Says Situation Is "Grave"

The Franciscan Order founded by Saint Francis of Assisi -- who advocated a life of poverty -- is in deep financial trouble following the discovery of massive fraud, and is appealing for help, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (December 21, 2014).

Italy's Panorama magazine said the 800-year-old order had invested tens of millions of euros in suspect firms currently under investigation in Switzerland for dodgy practices.

The Italian press has also questioned the order's financial wisdom in spending millions of euros on renovating Il Cantico, a luxury hotel it owns in Rome.

In a rare open letter, the American head of the order, Michael Perry, admitted the situation was "grave."

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