Archbishop Gilday is a fictional character in the film The Godfather Part III. He is portrayed by Donal Donnelly. His character is based on Paul Marcinkus.
Gilday is an Irish archbishop in the Roman Catholic Church, and also the head of the Vatican Bank. At the outset of the film, he bestowed one of the Church's highest honours, the Order of St. Sebastian, on Michael Corleone. Later, at a meeting with Michael and B.J. Harrison, he convinced Michael to deposit $600 million in the Vatican Bank in exchange for majority control over International Immobiliare, a European real estate company in which the Church owned a quarter interest. However, it was all a scam: Gilday, along with the Bank's chief accountant Frederick Keinszig and Don Licio Lucchesi, had conspired to swindle Michael out of the money and give it to pezzi da novanta (bigshots) in high political places. He even backed Michael when his ownership of Immobiliare was threatened by other shareholders, in order to give Michael the impression that he was his ally, but constantly brought up the ill health of Pope Paul VI (whose approval was needed to ratify the deal) in order to stall the deal and highlight his own supposed powerlessness in the situation.
However, when his scam was about to be exposed by Cardinal Lamberto (the new Pope John Paul I), Gilday conspired with Lucchesi and Keinszig to poison the Pontiff's tea. After Vincent Mancini-Corleone succeeded Michael as head of the Corleone family, he ordered the deaths of Gilday, Keinszig, and Lucchesi in revenge for the swindling of Michael. Accordingly, Al Neri stole into the Vatican at night and hid in the shadows, then emerged and shot Gilday as the latter was climbing a set of circular stairs. Neri then threw the Archbishop's corpse down the gap between the circular stairs.
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