Posts Tagged Vatican bank
Untraceable cash transfers and a culture of secrecy made the Vatican bank one of the world’s most notorious financial institutions. But Pope Francis’ attempts at reform are meeting ferocious resistance—At 6.30 on the morning of 28 June 2013–just three months into the reign of Pope Francis–officials of the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian law enforcement agency for financial crime, pulled up in front of a rectory in Palidoro, a quiet seaside town west of Rome. When they rang the bell, the cleric who came sleepily to the door was informed that he was under arrest. A few hours later, wearing a well-cut grey suit, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was shown into a cell in the Regina Coeli, Rome’s most overcrowded prison.”
By Paul Vallely, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Catholic priesthood is aging at an alarming rate, and thousands of U.S. diocesan priests are expected to retire within the next few years. With most diocesan priest pension plans significantly underfunded, questions over where the money comes from to support them may point to a major crisis in the making …
“Half of all priests currently in active ministry also expect to retire by 2019, and most of them expect to receive the pension payments they’ve been promised. Church leaders have known for decades about the looming priest shortage and its implications for sustaining Catholic parishes as Eucharistic communities. Another, more hidden crisis lurks in diocesan pension reserves that are underfunded, many of them seriously …
“The hierarchy must admit that changes are needed in financial management. At the same time, priests and laity must demand more financial transparency and accountability. Pell (Cardinal George Pell, Prefect for the Secretariat for the Economy), referring to anticipated changes in the Vatican bank said, ‘There need to be changes in the economic area — not just with the so-called Vatican bank — but more generally there is work there to be done [and] a need to ensure that things are being properly done.’
“Let’s hope the American hierarchy gets the message.”
By Jack Ruhl, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Pope Francis on Monday (Feb. 9) began what could be a key week for his reformist papacy, starting with meetings with his hand-picked kitchen cabinet of nine senior cardinals, who are developing plans to overhaul the Roman Curia, the papal civil service that has been plagued with crisis and dysfunction.
“The three-day gathering was preceded by intense talks among his economic advisers, who are trying to revamp the scandal-plagued Vatican bank as well as instituting other reforms aimed at cleaning up the Vatican’s tangled finances.
“At the same time, the commission Francis set up to tackle the clergy sex abuse crisis held its first full meeting over the weekend, with its 17 members vowing to find ways to finally hold bishops accountable if they look the other way on abuse.
“The week will conclude with two days of closed-door meetings with the entire College of Cardinals — more than 150 scarlet-clad princes of the church — before Francis formally adds 20 members to their ranks at a service in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday (Feb. 14).”
By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As anyone who paid attention in history class knows, when Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés landed in what’s now Mexico in 1519, he promptly scuttled his ships, thereby leaving his men no choice but to press on in conquest of the Aztec empire. For centuries, that rash act has loomed as an object lesson in total commitment.
“This week (week of July 7) Pope Francis scuttled some ships of his own, on two fronts which have been sources of scandal and heartache for the Catholic Church: sex and money.
“On Monday (July 7), Francis held his first meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse. Two days later, the Vatican announced a sweeping financial overhaul, including new leadership and a sharply limited role for the troubled Vatican bank.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this article.
It looked extremely dramatic when Pope Francis fired the entire board of the Vatican’s financial watchdog last week. But that was only the half of it. The seismic changes that are underway behind the scenes in Rome are even more radical than public appearances suggest. And they offer illuminating insights into the steely character of the man who likes to present himself to the world as a model of smiling humility.” By Paul Valley, Op-Ed, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this op-ed piece.
Pope Francis today pressed his campaign to internationalize the Vatican’s financial management, replacing an all-Italian panel overseeing his anti-money laundering agency with a new group drawn from four different nations, including a Harvard professor and former official in the George W. Bush administration.
“The appointments came a day after the announcement that a Catholic business manager from Australia will hold a senior position in the pope’s new Secretariat of the Economy, designed to force fiscal transparency and discipline on all Vatican departments.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Click here to read related news about the Vatican bank, “Francis Monitors Vatican Bank Personally,” by ANSA.it.
Pope Francis made another move to clean house at the troubled Vatican bank on Wednesday (Jan. 15), naming a new roster of cardinal advisers to replace the ones who were in place during its latest brushes with scandal. Only one cardinal from the previous commission overseeing the bank’s operations, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, survived the cut.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Just days after the Vatican bank attempted to project a new image of transparency with a first-ever audited financial statement, another Vatican financial department faced fresh charges of corruption and shady practices. Italian newspapers today contained extracts from testimony given to Italian investigators by Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, a former accountant at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), who was arrested in June for alleged involvement in a plot to smuggle $26 million in cash into Italy from Switzerland at the behest of a family of shipping magnates.” By John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter
Read the rest of John Allen’s story by clicking here.
The Vatican department in charge of paying salaries and managing real estate acted improperly as a parallel bank, providing accounts to outsiders, an arrested prelate who worked there for 22 years has told Italian prosecutors. The latest allegations of misdoings come as Pope Francis struggles to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, which has long been in the spotlight for failing to meet international standards against tax evasion and the disguising of illegal sources of income. By Philip Pullella, Reuters
Read Pullella’s entire article by clicking here.
As soon as Holy Week wraps up, hard questions will begin to be asked about whether Pope Francis is capable of delivering the reform in the Vatican that many cardinals believed they were voting for in electing him.” By John L. Allen, National Catholic Reporter