Religion: Question of Money

When Federico Cardinal Tedeschini, archpriest of St. Peter's and longtime friend of Pope Pius XII, died last year, he left his entire estate (more than $25,000) to his nephews. "No one criticized him for this,'' said a Vatican official; but the official spoke too soon. Last week, Italian Catholic magazines, bent on underscoring every priest's debt to his church—even in death—stirred up a ticklish controversy.

"Every Christian has an obligation to contribute to pious works," said Palestra del Clero, a fortnightly published for priests in Rovigo, near Venice. "For the clergy, this contribution is tantamount to a restitution, because no priest can...

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