The Gambling Kingpin Who's Hawking Vatican Giftware

John Connelly's deal gives him rights to goods now only in Vatican shops

It was a quiet lunch last spring in the Vatican apartment of Cardinal Rosalio Jose Castillo Lara, right next to St. Peter's. The cardinal was eating with his good friend John E. Connelly, a riverboat-gambling entrepreneur from Pittsburgh. Lara was talking about the Vatican's priceless art collection, the masterpieces housed in 13 museums and the Sistine Chapel. Then, as Connelly recalls, the cardinal popped a surprising question. "How would you like to market it?"

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