They say the homosexual scenes in the new Elton John biopic are the most titillating ever in a mainstream movie. They make Brokeback Mountain look like Bringing Up Baby. Less discussed, perhaps, is the fact that ordinary Catholic pew-sitters paid for it via their Peter’s Pence donations to the Pope.

The cash came from a fairly small Malta-based investment fund called Centurion Global, which is run by Enrico Crasso, who has been much lauded by the Vatican Secretary of State and the Pope. It turns out the Vatican is by far the biggest investor in this fund which has been charged with all sorts of shenanigans….

It appears to some of us that this is nothing less than God’s money doing the devil’s work. Recently, the question was raised whether the devil’s money can do God’s work.

In October, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register reported that organizations connected to the Church in Brazil, which were involved in putting on the controversial Amazon synod, had received significant money from the Ford Foundation, one of the global financial engines of social radicalism. Over the years, the Ford Foundation has donated significant funds to the promotion of contraception, abortion, and the homosexual agenda….

Moreover, I’m not quite sure what to make of reports that the money of Salesforce chief Marc Benioff has gone to support Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and the Benedict XVI Institute in their work to promote the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

First, some caveats. I am a great admirer of the archbishop. He has been one of the few bishops to stand for traditional marriage in any meaningful sense. He even attended the various marches for marriage that Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage organized in Washington, D.C. This put a massive target on His Excellency’s back, especially since he is from the homosexual capital of the world.

I am also a huge admirer of the Benedict XVI Institute’s executive director, Maggie Gallagher, who has been one of the foremost defenders of traditional marriage. She was at the forefront of the fight, ahead of practically everyone. She is also my friend.

But Marc Benioff is a bad guy. He has used his vast fortune and his corporate muscle to threaten the livelihoods of Christians who do not want to serve homosexual marriages.

Four years ago, the legislature of the State of Indiana passed a religious freedom bill that would have allowed small businesses to decline customers who wanted their help in homosexual weddings. (Think of the baker who refused to bake the gay wedding cake.) The state offered protection to similar small businesses, and the law was signed by then-Governor Mike Pence.

Then came the typical lies about the bill. A Forbes columnist said that if you “hate Jews,” Mr. Pence and his allies in the legislature had just passed a law saying you didn’t need to serve them. Inevitably, leftists compared it to Kristallnacht. A raft of businesses criticized the bill, including NASCAR (oddly) and Apple (less so). However, Benioff went even further: he threatened to pull his companies out of Indiana altogether, thereby harming ordinary Indianans.

Within days, Pence caved to Marc Benioff and the other corporate bullies.

A few weeks ago, Benioff’s money helped put on a truly spectacular event at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C: the Mass of the Americas, celebrated in the Extraordinary Form. This new setting of the Mass was commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute and written by its composer-in-residence, Frank La Rocca. It was standing-room-only at the Basilica that day; everyone who attended said it was otherworldly, transporting, even life-changing. I’m sorry I missed it.

And this is the idea behind Ms. Gallagher and the Archbishop’s Benedict XVI Institute: to change the culture and hope that politics follow. This is perfectly admirable — and, while we sure miss Maggie’s generalship on the political hustings, the Mass of the Americas shows that she and her colleagues know what they’re doing.

But here’s a question, and I know it’s one they’ve pondered. What would happen to Benioff’s donation if Archbishop Cordileone (for instance) moves to close the radical gay parishes that operate openly in Benioff’s hometown of San Francisco—something the writer Joseph Sciambra has been reporting on and lamenting for years? I know this would be a remarkably hard thing to do, given how entrenched that culture is in San Francisco. It would mean going to war with the whole city. But what if Benioff would ask something of them that they could not give?…

The above comes from a Dec. 17 article in Crisis magazine by Austin Ruse.