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God's Bankers

A History of Money and Power at the Vatican

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


A deeply reported, New York Times bestselling exposé of the money and the clerics-turned-financiers at the heart of the Vatican—the world’s biggest, most powerful religious institution—from an acclaimed journalist with “exhaustive research techniques” (The New York Times).

From a master chronicler of legal and financial misconduct, a magnificent investigation nine years in the making, God’s Bankers traces the political intrigue of the Catholic Church in “a meticulous work that cracks wide open the Vatican’s legendary, enabling secrecy” (Kirkus Reviews). Decidedly not about faith, belief in God, or religious doctrine, this book is about the church’s accumulation of wealth and its byzantine financial entanglements across the world. Told through 200 years of prelates, bishops, cardinals, and the Popes who oversee it all, Gerald Posner uncovers an eyebrow-raising account of money and power in one of the world’s most influential organizations.

God’s Bankers has it all: a revelatory and astounding saga marked by poisoned business titans, murdered prosecutors, and mysterious deaths written off as suicides; a carnival of characters from Popes and cardinals, financiers and mobsters, kings and prime ministers; and a set of moral and political circumstances that clarify not only the church’s aims and ambitions, but reflect the larger tensions of more recent history. And Posner even looks to the future to surmise if Pope Francis can succeed where all his predecessors failed: to overcome the resistance to change in the Vatican’s Machiavellian inner court and to rein in the excesses of its seemingly uncontrollable financial quagmire. “As exciting as a mystery thriller” (Providence Journal), this book reveals with extraordinary precision how the Vatican has evolved from a foundation of faith to a corporation of extreme wealth and power.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 22, 2014 – Posner (Miami Babylon) uses his superlative investigative skills to craft a fascinating and comprehensive look at the dark side of the Catholic Church, documenting "how money, and accumulating and fighting over it, has been a dominant theme in the history of the Catholic Church and its divine mission." He opens with the various spiritually creative methods the Church has used to make ends meet, such as the sale of indulgences and Pope Urban II's offer of full absolution to those who volunteered to fight in the Crusades. The bulk of the book focuses on the mid-20th century and includes the Papacy's accommodations to the Nazis. While this is familiar terrain, Posner convincingly buttresses his unusual position that money swayed Pope Pius XII "to remain silent in the face of overwhelming evidence of mass murder." And the author's access to previously undisclosed documents enables him to flesh out the Vatican Bank scandal, which reached its nadir with the mysterious hanging from London's Blackfriars Bridge of Italian banker and convicted fraudster Roberto Calvi. Accessible and well written, Posner's is the definitive history of the topic to date.

Customer Reviews

Superb research with a bit of sunlight at the end

Do not be put off by the length of the book. The last 40% is notes and references. This is an indication of how thoroughly researched and written this book is. Tracing the Vatican Bank from its inception to last year, the text details the scoundrels and thieves that have thrived within the bank as well as the well meaning stewards that have been caught in the morass. There are motivations for the behavior of popes that I was unaware of, especially from 1939 on. The good news is that there seems to be a somewhat positive ending that has not yet been fully written. A follow on dossier will come out some day but it will be a let down after this work.


This book is heavy with bias that shines through a book full of selectively picked and poorly researched information that is often taken out of context.


God's Bankers
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Christianity
  • Published: Feb 03, 2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Print Length: 752 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings