What’s the difference between the Vatican and the Mafia?

At least the Mafia doesn’t tolerate baby-rapers in its ranks.

Otherwise, though, they’re both shady organizations with very tightly closed ranks and a sense of privilege. It seems the Vatican is also suspected of criminal enterprises — it has its very own private, secretive bank that is accused of money laundering, and recently had about $30 million in assets seized.

I don’t think the Vatican has any ties to grisly gangland murders, though…oh, wait.

Calvi headed the Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in 1982 after the disappearance of $1.3 billion in loans made to dummy companies in Latin America. The Vatican had provided letters of credit for the loans.

Calvi was found a short time later hanging from scaffolding on Blackfriars Bridge, his pockets loaded with 11 pounds of bricks and $11,700 in various currencies. After an initial ruling of suicide, murder charges were filed against five people, including a major Mafia figure, but all were acquitted after trial.

While denying wrongdoing, the Vatican Bank paid $250 million to Ambrosiano’s creditors.