WASHINGTON (CNS): Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus, often regarded as the most powerful American in the Vatican during his 18 years as president of the Vatican bank, died on February 20 in the United States, apparently of natural causes.
He was 84 years old.
The US-born archbishop, who spent 38 years in Vatican service before his retirement in 1990, headed the Vatican bank from 1971-89 and was head of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State from 1981-90.
Under his watch the bank was involved – unwittingly, he and the Vatican always maintained – in a major 1980s Italian banking scandal.
He also served as advance man for the global travels of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II from 1964-82 and paid special attention to security arrangements at all papal visit sites.
Following his 1990 retirement and return to the United States, Archbishop Marcinkus moved to a retirement community near Phoenix, Arizona.