THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN
May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

FATIMA SHRINE ADMITS HAVING NAZI GOLD IN 1970's, 80's

    LISBON (CWNews.com) - The head of Portugal's Fatima shrine this week acknowledged that the shrine, during the 1970s and 1980s, had been in possession of what once was Nazi gold, after a report in a weekly magazine in March.

    Monsignor Luciano Guerra, rector of the shrine, said on Tuesday they had believed at the time that the gold had been bought and circulated by the Bank of Portugal. The four swastika-inscribed gold bars were sold off between 1982 and 1986 to cover building programs.

    Portugal was neutral during World War II and traded with the Allies and Germany, accepting gold from Germany as payment. In 1944, Portugal stopped taking the Nazi gold after the Allies warned Germany was raiding the central banks of countries it overran.

    The shrine itself has at times in 80 year history held gold bars in bank accounts, made from the melted-down offerings of pilgrims. When the offerings were placed in the Bank of Portugal, the bars could have been swapped for gold of equal weight rather than melting the offerings down.

    Monsignor Guerra said the shrine had done nothing wrong in holding possession of the gold, but added that if they still owned the bars they would seek to discover the origin of the gold or, failing that, preserve it "as a memorial of that horrible period in the history of mankind."

    Pope John Paul II will visit Fatima next week to beatify two of the small children who were visited by the Virgin Mary in 1917.

          

May 4-7, 2000
volume 11, no. 87
NEWS & VIEWS

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