Denver, Colo., Apr 22, 2013 / 12:07 pm (CNA).- A mistakenly-published article erroneously announcing the death of George Soros described the atheist billionaire as a successful “Hungarian-American financier” who has donated huge sums of money to liberal causes.
“George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions,” said the article, written by Reuters.
The April 18 article was a pre-written obituary, with X’s for dates and ages that would need to be filled in before the story ran. It was published mistakenly, as Soros is still alive.
Reuters quickly removed the story and issued an apology, explaining that it had been published in error.
Born in Hungary, Soros emigrated to Great Britain and eventually became one of richest men in the world. He is a well-known liberal philanthropist and has been associated with groups that have drawn criticism for undermining Church teaching.
The Reuters article said Soros is known as “the man who broke the Bank of England” for “selling short the British pound in 1992,” a move that devalued the pound while earning him more than $1 billion.
It also noted that he was “widely blamed for helping trigger the Asian financial crisis of 1997, by selling short” certain Asian currencies. Soros has called this charge “a wholly unfounded accusation.”
The article also acknowledged the controversy that surrounded Soros, calling him “an enigma, wrapped in intellect, contradiction and money.”
Soros was convicted on charges of insider trading – which he denied – but was required to pay only a small penalty, the obituary observed.
It also noted his donations to legalize marijuana and his vocal support of assisted suicide, which he offered to help his own mother commit.
Through the Open Society Institute and the Soros Foundations, both of which he founded, Soros has pumped billions of dollars into liberal causes. In addition to promoting more open societies in emerging nations, the financier has promoted various progressive causes in the United States. Some of these endeavors have been labeled as contentious and anti-Catholic by those who oppose them.
“In a bid to stop Bush's re-election, Soros donated $23.5 million to more than 500 liberal and progressive groups during the 2003-2004 U.S. election cycle,” Reuters explained.
Tax records show that the Open Society Institute gave at least $150,000 to Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a group that has been accused by both lay and bishop leaders of misleading Catholics about the natural priorities of the Church’s social teaching.
Through the Open Society Institute, Soros has also funded Faith in Public Life, a group that was criticized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last summer after it sent a memo to media groups with instructions on how to trap the Church with questions about the bishops’ allegedly false religious freedom concerns.
In recent years, several charges have also been made regarding a connection between Soros and Catholics United, an organization that has sparked controversy numerous times over accusations of left-leaning political activism rather than a true representation of Church teachings. Catholics United has denied any connection with Soros.