On March 8th, 2012, Hilary Clinton released a list of 190 countries which the United States is concerned might be involved in “money laundering” schemes. The report was entitled “2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report “. The Vatican was included on that list because, the State Department said, “it was considered vulnerable to money-laundering and had recently established programmes to prevent it”.
The report was released almost a month to the day after Kathleen Sebelius first announced on February 10th, 2012, a new Department of Health and Human Services mandate which would require all employers to provide insurance coverage of abortion, birth control, and elective sterilizations. The Catholic Church has been outspoken in its demands for the rejection of this mandate and its refusal to implement those measures, with bishops all over the country rising up and speaking out against Obama and his administration’s plan.
Just 12 days after the Obama administration released the 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, JP Morgan Chase has announced that they are closing the Vatican’s bank accounts because of concerns over money-laundering, claiming that the Vatican has failed to provide sufficient evidence that they have taken measures to prevent money-laundering. This is in spite of the well-publicized facts that the Vatican has not only changed its rules regarding how funds are handled, but appointed a council to specifically monitor all banking transactions, and has been fully cooperative with the Italian government in working to remedy potential problems.
It cannot be helped but noted that JP Morgan Chase was a recipient of TARP bailout funds, and as a condition of receiving those funds gave partial ownership to the United States government. The timing, therefore, can be construed as an attempt by the Federal Government to use this as a means of attempting to intimidate the Catholic Church into compliance by threatening to cut off its funding if the Catholic Church continues to be an obstruction to the plans of the government. This is especially the case since JP Morgan Chase has not seen fit to go after any of the other 190 countries – including the United States – which are listed on that report.
So what is a faithful Catholic to do? Close all JP Morgan Chase bank accounts, cancel all Chase credit card accounts, and STOP DOING BUSINESS with them. There are plenty of other banks for Catholics to use, we don’t have to put our money behind one that allows itself to be a tool of the government in trying to force us to change our beliefs. I imagine that the threat of a large number of account holders closing their accounts and withdrawing their funds might be enough to get JP Morgan Chase to change its mind.