Did the Vatican Fund Two Huge Hollywood Movies?

Every year, Catholics send money to the Pope to be used for charitable purposes; this is known as Peter’s Pence. A 2019 investigation by Corriere Della Sera revealed that the majority of the money isn’t actually used for its intended purpose and is instead used for other investments, such as administrative loopholes and various other financial schemes.

One such investment was in the Centurion Global Fund, based in Malta. The fund was said to be worth around $83m, with roughly two-thirds of that coming from the Vatican. This fund would later partly finance two films. One was the Hollywood blockbuster Men in Black: International, the fourth instalment of the Men in Black series, and the other was the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

The latter is particularly ironic. As many, including Sir Elton John himself, have pointed out, despite the Catholic Church’s doctrine being mostly opposed to homosexuality and even though the Catholic Church still forbids gay marriage, the Vatican partly funded this true-life story of a guy musician coming to terms with who he really is. Rocketman also ended up being the first major studio film to depict a gay male sex scene on-screen.

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