By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Two years ago, the Vatican
bank invested 15 million euros in an Italian television company
that makes family movies, including films about popes and a
series about a bike-riding country priest who helps police solve
crimes.

The Vatican's then Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone
ordered the investment in Lux Vide SpA, which he said shares the
Holy See's "lofty goal of evangelisation".

Bertone, who was the second-in-command to former Pope
Benedict, pushed the deal through despite objections from the
bank's director and board members, who thought the expense was
too big and not justified for the bank, according to current and
former bank executives.

Last month, the Vatican booked a loss for the entire amount
spent, as part of a wider review of Vatican finances that has
also led to the closure of hundreds of accounts at the Institute
for Religious Works, or IOR by its Italian acronym, as the bank
is called.