Peruvian Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani’s personal investments are tied with one of the country’s largest construction companies, a local investigation revealed on Monday.
Journalist Laura Grados released a second article in her investigation series, published in the local Diario 16, on the leader of Opus Dei and prominent Catholic figure.
For decades, the cardinal has used his position in the Catholic Church to openly criticize social movements and protests against extractive industries in the country.
Under his leadership the Archdiocese of Lima became an investor in the stocks of one of the most controversial mining companies, Yanacocha, which sparked the mobilization of large-scale environmental social movement in the country.
"Does (the Church) pay taxes with those for-profit investments? Because on the (fax identification form) the archdiocese appears as a religious association,” Grados said after publishing her investigation, which featured documents highlighting the Church’s for-profit activities.
“The activities that we have shown are not religious at all. Then, how is the treatment of the state towards the Catholic Church?"
Cipriani’s ventures with for-profit industries is sharply contrasted with the current turn that the Vatican is taking under the leadership of Pope Francis who is instead embracing the more frugal aspects of Catholicism.
"Cardinal Cirpriani has always sided with businesses and the government in office,” said anthropologist and Director of Noticias SER, Javier Torres Seoane.”We have never heard him defending a community that is confronting a mine or a company for pollution. His voice is not on the side of indigenous peoples or farming communities."
Cipriani has been one of the most prominent figures in Peru that defends conservative values, and neoliberalism. Seoane and others believe that the Pope will not be visiting Peru because of the differences he has with Cipriani.
Cipriani was a staunch supporter of former head of state Alberto Fujimori, who is currently serving in prison for crimes against humanity. He has a record of condemning LGBT, women and environmental activists.