Monday 20 November 2017

Pope Francis orders full review of Vatican bank

Pope Francis waves as he leaves after leading the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican
Pope Francis waves as he leaves after leading the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican

Philip Pullella

POPE Francis has set up a special commission to review the scandal-plagued Vatican bank and ensure that it operated in "harmony" with the mission of the Catholic Church.

The appointment of the five-member panel, which includes four prelates and a female Harvard professor, is the boldest move yet by Francis to get to grips with a bank that embarrassed the church for decades.

The Institute for Works of Religion, as the bank is formally known, has been regularly accused of failing to meet international transparency standards intended to combat money laundering and tax evasion.

The Vatican said the commission would enable Francis "to know better the judicial position and the activities of the Institute to allow an improved harmonisation with the mission of the universal church".

It said the commission would have power to obtain all documentation and data necessary, although existing regulators' powers would not be affected.

Italian magistrates are investigating the bank on suspicion of money laundering, a charge the bank denies.

Irish Independent

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