Even though the Vatican is the world’s smallest country, and the headquarters of the world's largest and most powerful religion, and the home of the man who claims to be God on earth and Christ on earth, it has one of the highest per capita crime rates in the world!
The misdemeanour rate by head of population is more than twenty times higher than in neighbouring Italy! The most frequent offences are theft, embezzlement, fraud, and insults against police and civil servants.
It is true, of course, that although its resident population is very small fewer than 500 some 2700 people work there and some 10 million people visit each year; and so one might be tempted to think that it is not surprising it has such a high crime rate. However, one must keep in mind that all the residents and others who work there, and also the vast majority of tourists, are Roman Catholics themselves! Which proves that the vast majority of crimes are committed by Roman Catholics. There’s no getting around this fact. In fact, the most common type of theft in the non public areas of the Vatican is shoplifting in the Vatican supermarket, pharmacy or duty free shops – and what is significant about this is that these stores are not open to the general public, but only to Vatican residents, current and retired employees and their families, and some members of Roman Catholic religious orders! (The Southern Cross, Jan 22 to 28, 2003).
Interesting, too, is that in 1994 the pope actually decriminalised most petty crimes, which are now offences treated in a similar way to traffic or parking violations, with the imposition of a fine! Why would he do this? Could it be that in this way, the crime rate could be made to appear even lower than it actually is?
Actually, it has been statistically proven, over and over again, that Roman Catholics outnumber all others in many western prisons. For example, there are more Roman Catholics in prison in Scotland than anyone else. Almost a third of all prisoners in Scotland are Roman Catholic by religion, although they only comprise half that number of the wider population, and a government probe was initiated to try to find out the cause of this.
Why are there more Roman Catholics in prison than anyone else? It is because they are adherents of a religious system which makes light of sin, grants absolution for sin by merely confessing to a priest and performing some penance or other, and produces no true change of heart, no genuine conversion. It is a religious system that throughout the centuries of its existence has actually justified murder, lying, deceit, fraud, and a thousand other sins.
As far back as 1962, ex priest Emmett McLoughlin published a book entitled Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church (Lyle Stuart, New York). In it he made the following statements:
“Among its [the Roman Catholic institution’s] members crime and immorality are greater than among the unchurched or the members of other churches. Whatever else the Roman Catholic Church may be able to do... it cannot, it has not, and it does not make the majority of its members better and holier” (pg. 17). He went on: “this book will show the high rate of crime and sin among Roman Catholics everywhere .... this immorality is not in spite of Catholic education and training, but directly because of it .... It will show that the concept of venial sin leads to a breakdown of integrity, honesty and truthfulness, in society and in business” (pg.21). And indeed the author does show it, with solid facts and figures.
A final quotation: “...in France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy, as the Church [of Rome] gained in power and prestige after World War I, and priests and nuns took over more classrooms of those nations, the percentages of crime increased tremendously far more rapidly than the increase in the Protestant countries. This is true of murders, criminal assaults, sexual offences and the overall number of crimes and of convicted criminals” (pg.58).
Is it, then, at all surprising that the Vatican has such a high crime rate? Not at all. It makes perfect sense.