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Côte d'Ivoire

A concordat was made especially for “the basilica in the bush”. This pink marble church is modelled on the pope's own cathedral, St. Peter's, but was planned to top it. The funds for  the upkeep of the huge and empty basilica are guaranteed by a concordat with the Vatican, thus taking money from a land where most people don't reach the age of fifty. Despite this, in 2008 the Vatican floated seven more “mortal sins”, including “contributing to widening the divide between rich and poor”, piling up “excessive wealth” and “creating poverty”....

In 2012 it was announced that another concordat was pending, but no indication was given as to what it was about. 

Ivorian President “did a deal with God” — by way of the Vatican Bank

Realising that taking money from the dictator of a poor country was a “delicate matter”, a clever way was found to divert attention. In 1990, with great ceremony, the Pope laid the cornerstone of a hospital, a stone which sat alone in the field for more than twenty years.

Agreement concerning the “International Foundation, Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro” (1992): text

This concordat, enacted with no legislative assent, guarantees that the massive funds for the cathedral, (claimed to be from the President's private fortune), be kept tax-free, secret, able to be sent abroad and remain beyond the reach of the law. See also The Rights of Man reach an Ivorian village


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