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Jason Berry Investigates The Secret Life Of Money In The Catholic Church24:00
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Pope Benedict XVI holds his pastoral staff during the "Urbi et Orbi" message from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the end of the Easter Mass in April. (AP)
Pope Benedict XVI holds his pastoral staff during the "Urbi et Orbi" message from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the end of the Easter Mass in April. (AP)

When it comes to understanding the truth about political institutions, power and corruption, the best advice was famously offered during the Watergate investigation: follow the money. That's precisely what journalist and author Jason Berry did in his latest book, "Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life Of Money In The Catholic Church."

Berry is well known for his work, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation," which chronicled the devastating clergy sex abuse cases and the pattern of cover-up by church leaders. Now he has turned his investigative lens on to the shady world of church finances.

"Render Unto Rome" by Jason Berry

With more than a billion members, the Roman Catholic Church is the world's largest organization. And it's one of the richest — thanks to donations every Sunday. The Vatican has never revealed its true worth, yet each week the faithful turn over tens of millions of dollars to the church with no public oversight and no questions asked.

So, after they drop their dollars into the basket, where does the money go? How much gets siphoned off by local priests and Bishops? How much goes to Rome? And how is the complete lack of transparency about Vatican finances affecting faith and membership in the Catholic church?

These are just some of the questions that Berry explores in his new book.

Guest:

  • Jason Berry, author of "Render Unto Rome: The Secret Live Of Money In The Catholic Church"

More:

This program aired on June 9, 2011.

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