An Illinois-based Catholic activist who in the late 1990s was largely responsible for the “resignation” of a corrupt and wicked bishop – and whose past priest-adviser was brutally murdered in 1998 in a still-unsolved case – has uncovered even more corruption in the Church.
In a recent speech at the Bishops: Enough is Enough! conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Stephen G. Brady, founder and president of The Roman Catholic Faithful, announced that he has discovered documents which provide strong evidence that the practice of money laundering is deeply embedded in the Catholic Church.
Brady announced that what is now being uncovered by RCF ‘will likely rock the Church and the culture as much, if not more, than the sex abuse crisis.’
Brady described multiple investigations, one of which involves the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which is the Catholic Episcopal See for Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, and the Palestine territories. Its authority emanates from the Vatican in Rome. The Patriarchate is the custodian of the most holy places for Christian believers worldwide.
Brady’s investigation revealed the heartbreaking story of a loyal son of the Church who, out of love for the Church and trust in its leaders, risked and may have even sacrificed the financial well-being of his family in order to help the Patriarch of the Jerusalem Patriarchy, which had lost tens of millions of dollars purportedly in setting up the American University of Madaba, Jordan (AUM).
As discovered in court documents, Jordanian-born Benjamin S. Seryani, now living in the U.S., used approximately $7 million of his own and his family’s funds with the personal assurance of His Beatitude Fuad Twal, former Patriarch of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, that Seryani and other project debtors would soon receive reimbursement monies amounting to some $20 million. ‘The Magi are coming with the money,’ documents indicated the patriarch told Seryani. The funds were allegedly never repaid.
Detailed court documents – hundreds of pages – describe a complicated web of interactions that went, according to Brady, ‘to the very top.’ In one instance, after court documents revealed that Seriyani refused to be pressured to secure a loan for $50 million when he required only $7 million, he was called to Rome for a meeting with Pierbatista Pizzaballa, a Franciscan priest, who was then-acting Apostolic Administrator of AUM, and who stated that he was working closely with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. (Pizzaballa since October 2020 has served as the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem).
According to documents, Pizzaballa told Seryani not to speak of any of the deals Twal or Jordanian Archbishop Maroun Lahham had asked him to make. After a failed attempt to secure Seryani’s agreement, Pizzaballa ordered all contracts between Seryani and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and AUM to be breached, which left Seryani unpaid. Seryani reportedly has since been subject to slander and defamation on Jordanian social media and has been prevented from accessing his money and other assets in Jordan.
In 2016 Seryani filed a lawsuit against the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem seeking payment for his claim of what he was owed and compelling the Patriarchy to admit the wrongs they had allegedly done. Father Emil Salayta, the president of the Latin Patriarchate Ecclesiastical Court, was asked by the patriarch to look into Seryani’s charges. In his report, Salayta concluded that the charges were legitimate and that the patriarch owed Seryani recompense.
Another document uncovered by RCF was of an American businessman who proposed a plan for depositing money with the Patriarchy precisely in order to circumvent legislation designed to prevent fraud. There is testimony that shows that individuals working with Parolin of the Office of the Secretary of State were closely involved in the financial machinations surrounding the American University in Jordan.
RCF has only begun to reveal the full extent of the corruption Seryani experienced while working for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. There will be more to come.
In another investigation, Brady has discovered evidence of what seems to be a front organization for laundering money set up by some bishops the U.S. in an arrangement that enables them to avoid filing reports of financial transactions. Brady has been working extensively on this with a retired FBI international fraud investigator.
Brady lamented, ‘If cardinals and bishops are engaged in financial corruption, it is another reason to doubt whether it is their faith in Jesus and His Church that drives their actions. Can they really be concerned with their own souls and the souls of others if morality and legality are not important to them? The Church will not be cleansed of corruption until the full truth comes to light.’
Further details will be forthcoming.
Brady also mentioned toward the end of his speech that he uncovered two illegal gambling operations connected to and operating in the Archdiocese of Chicago; and that certain people in power have been aware of it for some time, but, for whatever reason, haven’t yet acted on it.
© Matt C. Abbott