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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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The superior general of the Camillians (the Order of the Ministers of the Sick) has been arrested for his alleged part in the wrongful detention of two confrères whose vote might have prevented his re-election.
Rome’s anti-Mafia squad on 6 November arrested Fr Renato Salvatore, and five business associates on the charge of sequestering of persons. But the authorities have since widened their investigation and are looking at financial impropriety connected to a hospital the Camillians operate in southern Italy. Among those arrested was Paolo Oliverio, a financier who has been the subject of several police financial investigations in the past.
Fr Salvatore, 58, was first elected to a five-year term as head of the Camillians in 2007. He was re-elected at the order’s general chapter outside of Rome on 13 May, the same day his two confrère- electors were detained by police. It is believed their votes would have led to the election of Fr Frank Monks, a former head of the order. However, the order’s vicar general, Fr Paolo Guarise, denied that. In an interview published on Wednesday in the Catholic paper Avvenire, he said Fr Salvatore was elected by a margin of three votes.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has again denounced church people who are corrupt. “We all know how much harm they do to the Church!” he said at his morning Mass on Monday.