Revisiting the Follieri Group

Revisiting the Follieri Group

Last year, I put up a brief blog entry about a company called the Follieri Group, whose apparent mission is buying and selling real estate of the Catholic Church being discarded by dioceses. I also noted that the group claims to have excellent connections in the Vatican and that one of the principles is a nephew of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State and number two man at the Holy See.

Since then I have received many emails, mainly from reporters looking for more information on this group. It looks like Joe Feuerherd of the National Catholic Reporter has beaten the rest of them to the punch with a lengthy investigation into the company and its goals and practices. He even quotes my blog entry, although the quote doesn’t add anything of substance to the story.

How well wired is the Follieri Group? In early 2005, Catholic blogger Domenico Bettinelli, editor of the Catholic World Report, summed it up: “Unless [Andrea Sodano’s] name was Wojtyla, you couldn’t get a better connection.”

I think it’s a good line, but maybe if you quote the editor of the “far right-wing” Catholic World Report you can show that there’s no conservative-liberal dividing line on this, or something.

Regardless, it seems that Follieri is making the most of its connections.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
3 comments
  • In my experience with Church real estate, there is a competitve market to purchase Church properties.  There really isn’t much exclusion from the bidding process, other than lack of funds.

    Here is a list of Chicago area Church real estate For Sale or Lease, and you don’t have to be the nephew of the Vatican Secretary of State to pick up the phone and lease what you need.

    http://www.archchicago.org/departments/financial_services/pdf/r_estate/available_for_lease.pdf

    JBP

  • Nothing unethical? If this business endeavor involved Donald Trump and not Princes of the Church, words like influence peddling, arm-twisting and kick-backs would be bandied about. 

    What’s even more abominable is the part of the article describing the “Catholic Path to Peace Foundation’ not only hobnobbing with the reprobates of the UN, (of which the Church is now a permanent observer), but giving awards to the chief con man and scammer, Kofi Annan.  Christ is the Path to Peace – not that bunch of self-promoting thieves in the UN.

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