VATICAN CITY (RNS) A sting inside Vatican City aimed at nabbing the mystery buyer of more than $55,000 in cocaine that was hidden inside 14 condoms was foiled, leaving law enforcement officials searching for the source of a leak.

St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Rome (Feb., 2014). RNS photo by David Gibson

St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome in February 2014. RNS photo by David Gibson


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The shipment of 340 grams (around 12 ounces) of liquid cocaine was hidden inside a shipment of cushions from an unspecified South American country to the Vatican via Germany, authorities said.

Customs officials at the airport in Leipzig, Germany, discovered the drugs hidden inside the package addressed to the Vatican Post Office. The package did not specify a recipient, meaning any of the city-state’s 800 residents could have picked it up on request.

Police said the cocaine in the shipment would have a street value of about 40,000 euros ($55,000).

Germany alerted Vatican officials who set up the sting operation to arrest whoever claimed the package, but nobody claimed it. German officials said they believed the buyer was tipped off, though there was no indication whether the tip came from Germany, within the Vatican, or elsewhere.

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that law enforcement officials at the Vatican cooperated with German police, but did not comment further. The investigation remains open.

KRE/AMB END LYMAN

36 Comments

      • Yes it is in bad taste and yes its amusing.

        Then again so is narcotics trafficking in the Vatican. I am not sure which people are more upset over: the cocaine or the condoms.

    • the devil is after every soul. Jesus is with us to save our souls and live in peace. It is up to every unique soul to choose the rite and narrow path, for you will one day be in eternity, and you dont know when, you will choose heaven or hell. This is a set up to mock the church, The Bride of Christ, …every one should see that, its a no brainer. SO are you going with God or against Him?
      Please do not focus on the evil, its is everywhere, focus on your salvation!

      • You talk about people you can’t see or hear as if they existed and affirm dogma created precisely to cruelly decieve gullible and feeble minded people. The fact that you don’t want to focus on the evil going on and are concerned with saving your soul is a perfect example of how these teachings have affected you. The devil is responsible for all the evil in the world and you can’t do anything about that. All you can do is worry about saving your own soul. Saving your soul from what? Oh yes, from the crap load of lies to make you scared out of you mind (judgement and the afterlife) which brings mental illness and renders you useless to help others or to confront those that are doing evil. These self-serving doctrines exploit human frailty and ignorance. The sooner we get rid of legitimized criminal institution like these the less evil we’ll see in this world.

  1. This is nothing to joke about.
    The Catholic Church says we would have “no morality” without God!
    Never again will I put up with such nonsense.

    The Vatican is a cesspool of corruption and evil. Cocaine is shipped in for hypocritical priests who throw wild parties to express their deeply repressed sexuality.***

    Last year’s report card of the Vatican Bank operations was a disgraceful expose of wide money laundering network and mishandling of millions of dollars.*

    This “Christian Business” is operating as if it is above all the laws of human decency – and why not? It is granted this immunity by a world of fools who think it is in fact operating on a higher HEAVENLY BLESSED level.

    Every Catholic who puts money in a Sunday basket is an accomplice to bigotry, repression, money laundering, drug smuggling, and pedophile rings unimpeded by any outside rule of law. For shame already!

    *http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/12/vatican-finance-report-card_n_4433039.html

    ***http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/24/catholic-church-gay-priests-exposed

    • Max. Come on. You sound like a Pharisee and the Sanhedrin. You’re filled with hate, and proclaim to be so far above all of us lowly fools. How are you any different than any of the bruises in any organization overseen by man?
      God is within the individual and Christ is the way, the truth, and the life! Plain and simple. Catholics are not the robots you so badly wish us to be!

      • You’re a good little Catholic aren’t you? When confronted by verifiable facts about the church’s dirty deeds you call yourself a lowly fool and use words like hate to dismiss any charges against it. You’re right you’re not a robot, they are at least programmed to function with artificial intelligence.

    • Money that goes into the collection basket, goes for the support of the priests and parish staffs of each parish. Special collection, once a year would go to the Vatican.

    • Customs officials at Leipzig airport don’t seem to think so.

      But then again whenever there is some kind of criminal scandal involving clergy, the knee-jerk response is to deny deny deny.

  2. Max It is true that true morality comes from God. Hence His 10 Commandments.
    Since you call yourself an atheist, skip the first 3 and tell me what is wrong with the other seven.
    And if you are a true atheist why do you care about what goes on in the Vatican?
    The rant you expressed at the package of cocaine, money laundering and probably pedophile priests is noted. However if some serious research is done the correct analysis is not always what you think or what the media reports. A lot of the media is directed by the devil and he hates God ya know.
    True there is some corruption here because it is a human run organization, but it along with all of Christ’s teachings is still here after 2000 years….that’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
    Be careful to place a blanket judgement on all Priests as corrupt, I will tell you some (very few) are, most are not.
    Same goes when someone is stopped for speeding and cited. All of a sudden all cops are corrupt. Same thing goes with Doctors, Teachers, Government officials, etc. Some are….most are not.
    And Max………..take a Crucifix, not a cross, hold it in your hands. Contemplate that the corruption of mankind did this to the guy there. We all had a hand in it, we are all corrupt in one sense of the word or other, yet you will never find in all creation anyone who would accept this kind of death for their people who are as corrupt as you and I.

    • Actually skip 7 and leave the 3 which would exist in any form whether you believed in a Biblical god or not. All organizations are human run. We don’t see God sitting on management boards or thrones. People can send correspondence to God, but he doesn’t usually answer his mail or take calls.

      Morality does not come from God. If you have to be constrained by rules set from on high as to moral behavior, people should run like hell to get away from you. Its merely admitting one is a psychopath on a spiritual self-interested leash. Without God over your shoulder, you would act like a piece of human garbage. How comforting.

      • It always bothered me that theists don’t know any better and have to turn to outdated sources in search of morals. Generally the book is riddled with inconsistent and conflicting messages.(A glaring example would be the commandment to not kill while stoning is deemed an appropriate punishment.(When was the last time someone got stoned anyways?)) The Bible, for example, has nothing written that would condemn slavery. Is this what is meant by “the attack on traditional values”? I look elsewhere to build a moral compass, and not just one place. The Bible is a great place to begin, but it should not be the only source for one’s wisdom.

        • Yeah. When was the last time someone was stoned? Exactly. No “theist” that believes in the bible is saying its okay to stone or have slaves…weak examples. All people have been slaves, it happens. In some way we are ALL slaves, and yes it sucks but its true. Do we condone it? NO, but it is reality. The fact is Christ is the way enslavement is revealed and the bondage is broken! That is the point, not the superficial understanding you present to master. Don’t be a fool. Catholics believe that all of the bible is true, but not all truth is biblical. Be careful how you stereotype theists you start to sound hypocritical…telling people not to lump while you lump them.

          • Are you done bearing false witness?

            No theist believes its OK to have slaves? Maybe you should go back to your history lessons. Slavery was very much supported as having a religious basis back in the day.

            The Bible also does not consider rape to be a major crime either. It is a crime against the property of the rape victim’s father. Punishable by restitution payments to the father and marrying the victim.

            Taking women as war prizes was also Biblically supported as is polygamy and executing people who worship a God or two besides your own. The thing about a lot of Biblical provisions are they are incompatible to a peaceful, sane modern existence.

          • Wow.
            I’m barely reading any of this but, if you don’t think ppl are getting stoned to death (even to this day), then you need to get up to date.
            That’s all.

        • Mike, When I read these responses It sounds as though everyone has read and understood all scripture in it’s entirety, as though they are all scripture scholars. And I know that is not true. If it were the negative and hateful bashing of one another would be missing.
          You bring up the stoning and the 5th commandment. Basically the commandment given to Moses does read “Thou shalt not kill”, but if you consider all biblical contexts in light of killing you realize that it means so much more. It can mean the killing of one’s spirit, etc. The need to dive below the surface is very important. Those who Know all scripture know that. Most Catholic Priests have studied and know that.
          Withe stoning issue did you ever hear the scrtipture from the New Testament where a group of towns people drug a woman out of her home and were prepared to stone her for adultery. Jesus was there in the group and said ” let the one without sin cast the first stone” The crowd all dropped their stones and left the area. Jesus asked the woman, Where are your accusers”? “They’ve gone”, in which Jesus said Then neither do I accuse you”.
          This is the church given us by Jesus. One doesn’t have to follow it if they don’t want to. that freedom is intact. But basic morality is the same as it has always been. Some who hate this morality do things in the darkness to hide their deeds because morality is knitted into one’s conscience by God when they were in their mother’s womb..

      • you are misled. without God looking over our shoulder we would have no REASON to behave in a particular way. It does not mean we would it just means that not breaking the rules if we won’t get caught no longer makes sense, because the rules no longer make sense away from there foundation in Christ. This is largely why the west is in crisis just now. It is coming away from the historical christian foundation that created it. The rules no longer make sense for many people. Without God there is no reason not to break them if they can “get away” with it. So corruption becomes large and common. Its not rocket science mate. Why do you think the Pope is so hard of priests who are in it for a job and not for Christ. These are the people who will be corrupted. It is not even a matter of if only of when.

        • slaves we a different thing back in the day. Slaves got paid and were taught trades back in the day. Slaves also we released with skills at predetermined dates back in the day. This is the fallacy of non equivocation. Slavery no longer means what it meant to them in there day. But how would you know that? Are you a historian? An ancient history scholar? A biblical scholar who studied the basis of the culture the word in the holy books were written from and speaking to. I would guess not but I may be mistaken. I would guess you are a guy who read a book in English that was translated 4-5 times from various languages, often without recourse to the original, who thinks he can really understand anything the author is saying without bothering to understand the context from which the author is speaking. Epic fail mate.

  3. Doesn’t anyone realize that it could have been sent to the Vatican by someone who opposes the Catholic church and is trying to make them look bad or hypocritical?

    • Could have, but there is no proof behind such assertions, or does it seem at all likely.

      12 oz of liquid cocaine is a lot of liquid cocaine. It has a very high street value. It would be a very expensive hoax requiring a good deal of resources at hand.Cocaine is only produced in the Americas. Shipping it to Europe is a bit more difficult than to “El Norte”.

      So you are engaging in wishful thinking here. Nice try. But not plausible.

      • Oh boy. Max called in Larry his “open-minded” alter ego. He likes to impose “reality” on everyone here in the exact same way that he that he feels the “terrible” Christians oppressively do to him and everyone else. He talks out of both sides of his mouth, because, little does he know, he has much faith and much fear – just in something other than God.

        • I will take the compliment. I like being called open minded. But you are letting your prejudices cloud your thinking here and simply being silly.
          Seriously, from a rational, evidence based POV the idea of a hoax is really magical thinking.

          The amount of liquid cocaine sent to the Vatican as according to various news sources has a street value of at least $50,000. Added to the fact the difficulties of transporting it from South America, across the Atlantic, bypassing the West African/Mediterranean smuggling routes to end up at a German airport.

          That is a lot of effort, money and time to spend trying to make the Vatican look bad. If people wanted to embarrass the Vatican all they would have to do is ask the tech support people who work there to disclose what is on the hard drives of the residents. :)

          • Again… no one can claim conspiracy except Larry. That my friend is silly. Your problem is lack of empathy and narcissism. Your fear is not knowing, which forces you to bully others and often makes you look like a jerk. You once hated that about yourself but all too often felt powerless to change so you fed into your ego that you were equivalent to God that way there is no need to be accountable for how you affect others, which is the root of your disdain for Christians – we are searching for a way around the issue that rules you and will ultimitely be your end. The answer is Christ, surrender Larry and truly live.

          • Do you not know how to read?

            Anita and Janice Brown specifically called the incident a hoax to embarrass the Vatican.

            I am saying the very opposite. That the story is probably legit. You know based on credible evidence. Something many Christians like to ignore, if it doesn’t suit their needs.

            ” Your fear is not….”

            Typical passive aggressive nonsense on your part. I must be a hateful liar somehow because I am critical of the some idiocy and canned bullcrap people calling themselves Christians like to fling around.

            I will soothe your fear. I bear no malice towards Christians. I just don’t take what they say seriously, most of the times. Especially when they seem rather ignorant and lack original thoughts.

            That hand is used mostly for facepalming in response, not shaking a fist. Feel free to pray for my immortal soul. It can be yours on Ebay for .99 plus shipping.

      • America? shipped from America? IS this the same country that just spent 5 billion over throwing a small country half way around the world and blamed there political enemy for violating the peace when they tried to defend themselves? Unlikely? Unlikely that the Obama admin. would spend millions vilifying there perceived enemy to get laws passed in countries in africa who are passing laws Obama does not agree with? Oh shoot I’m sorry Obama did do that. So this all of a sudden might be plausible with no apparent facts to support it however.

    • How is that a reason to rule it out? If anything it makes it more likely.

      It means more people not necessarily connected to the priesthood, protection of the Pope or administration of Papal assets who are present.

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