Jeff Bezos
Source: Getty Images

Did Jeff Bezos Really Try to Buy the Catholic Church?

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Jun. 15 2021, Published 3:11 p.m. ET

Currently, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is doing a lot of things with his money, but trying to buy the Catholic Church doesn’t seem to be one of them.

We don’t know how the rumor got started, but a Twitter user recently tweeted, “Y’all ever think about how insane capitalism is? Like, Jeff Bezos tried to buy the Catholic Church.”

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A Tumblr user posted the same thing five days earlier, writing, “Jeff Bezos tried to buy the Catholic Church. Thoughts?”

But there hasn't been any word about the billionaire trying to buy the Catholic Church. At least, there hasn't been any word from a reputable source.

A HuffPost contributor joked about Bezos buying the Catholic Church.

Perhaps people were fooled by a 2017 post on the now-defunct HuffPost Contributor platform titled “Amazon to Buy Catholicism for $800 Billion,” written by writer and musician David Fagin.

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Hand with rosary
Source: Getty Images

Even though the article wasn’t posted on April Fools Day, and even though it certainly resembles a legitimate news story, the article has plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. “Proponents of the deal say having a company as well-structured as Amazon owning the world’s largest religion will make it a much more streamlined experience, i.e., On-Demand Hail Mary’s and same-day Rosary delivered right to your door without the need for a visit to an old, leaky, broken-down church.”

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HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen announced the end of the HuffPost Contributor platform in 2018, citing misinformation as one of the reasons for the change. 

“One of the biggest challenges we all face, in an era where everyone has a platform, is figuring out whom to listen to,” Polgreen wrote at the time. “Open platforms that once seemed radically democratizing now threaten, with the tsunami of false information we all face daily, to undermine democracy.”

It isn't clear what religious views Bezos has, if any.

Bezos hasn’t disclosed details about what religious faith he has—or whether he even subscribes to a religion—as Insider’s investigations editor J.K. Trotter noted in 2019. Trotter did a deep dive into Bezos’s past to solve the mystery and uncovered some clues.

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Source: YouTube

For example, Bezos’s adoptive father appears to have grown up in the Roman Catholic Church. His adoptive father emigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1962 as part of a Catholic priest’s Operation Peter Pan program.

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Then, there’s Bezos’s wedding to MacKenzie Scott, who’s now his ex-wife. Bezos and Scott were married in 1993 in Palm Beach Island, Fla., by a person identified as Rev. Richard Riccardi, according to a marriage record obtained by Insider. As Trotter uncovered, one Richard Sebastian Riccardi now serves as the Presiding Bishop of the Old Catholic Church of New Utrecht, which is based in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Those clues suggest that Bezos might be Catholic—or Catholic-adjacent, perhaps—but they’re hardly definitive proof. “The absence of a clear answer does not diminish its significance,” Trotter concluded. “What Jeff [Bezos] and MacKenzie [Scott] believe in, and how it affects their business decisions, is relevant to their customers, employees, shareholders, and clients.”

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