David Willey: The sins of the Vatican
Pope Francis is taking his broom to the sex and corruption scandals that are gnawing at the heart of the Catholic Church, says BBC Vatican correspondent David Willey
'It's like the end of the Berlin Wall," said a high-ranking Vatican official last week after an invisible financial barrier marking the legal separation between the Vatican and Italy was breached for the first time.
According to officials at the Bank of Italy, the Institute for Works of Religion – the Vatican's own offshore bank – has for years been allowing organised criminals, even terrorists, to launder money with impunity.
On Friday, Italian tax police arrested a high-ranking Italian prelate, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who until last month was working as a senior accountant inside the Vatican's financial administration. They also arrested a financial intermediary and an agent from Italy's secret services on charges of conspiring with Mgr Scarano to commit crimes of embezzlement and money laundering.