New York - Five billion dollars of the Pope's private funds are about to go up in smoke after his Manhattan-based hedge fund, the Hellfire Bank, lost its Argentinian banking licence.
Along with His Holiness's five billion bucks.
Hellfire has been ordered by Manhattan federal court Judge Thomas Griesa to halt payment on some of Argentina's locally issued bonds held in a Vatican crow - uh, escrow! - account.
It's Buenos Aires foreign branch is said to house Argentina's biggest existing bullion vault stuffed to the brim with Pope Francis' retirement funds.
Compliance with Griesa's judgement means that His Holiness' stash is now part of the loop in a bitter battle being fought in NYC between a US hedge fund mogul called Paul Singer and the Republic of Argentina.
And it's brought stalemate about the payment of $3bn due on bonds that the country defaulted upon in 2001.
Commenting on the crisis a Vatican accountant said there'll be hell to pay for if Argentina seizes the Pontiff's secret nest egg.
President Cristina Kirchner is 69.