News / Europe

Vatican Passes New Law to Clean Up Finances

FILE - An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City, Italy.
FILE - An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City, Italy.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The Vatican said on Wednesday it passed a law to make its public finances fully transparent, responding to demands for change from the international community after decades of scandal.
 
Pope Francis, whose reform-heavy agenda has shaken up the Church since his election in March, has made cleaning up the Vatican's financial reputation one of the main goals of his pontificate.
 
The Vatican said the law on financial transparency and the prevention of money laundering, which took effect on Tuesday, would cover the tiny city-state's bank and all other departments dealing with money.
 
It contains articles on internal supervision and cooperation with other countries and law enforcement agencies.
 
“With this law, I think we are about 99 percent done in adhering to standards in this area. What remains are details,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.
 
A report by Moneyval, the Council of Europe's anti-money laundering committee, said last year that while the Holy See had taken steps to improve standards, more needed to be done. The committee, which carried out the review at the Vatican's request, is due to conduct a new assessment later this year.
 
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican's foreign minister, said the law took the Vatican closer to meeting the Moneyval recommendations and international standards.
 
Pope Francis, who has appointed a committee to report on how to reform the bank and approved the new law on Sunday, has not ruled out closing the bank if necessary.
 
It is still under investigation by Italian magistrates on suspicion of money laundering, which it denies. A senior Vatican prelate who was arrested in June goes on trial in December on charges of money smuggling.
 
More supervision
 
The new law incorporates and expands on steps the Vatican has taken in the past two years to meet international standards on fighting money laundering, tax evasion and the financing of terrorism.
 
It gives greater supervisory and regulatory powers to the Vatican's in-house Financial Information Authority (AIF) to monitor the activities of its bank and other Holy See departments involved in financial activities.
 
Among other powers, the AIF can make spot checks on Vatican departments, including the bank, rule on the competence and honesty of managers and inspect documents of any department.
 
In July, the AIF signed a memorandum of understanding with Italian authorities over the exchange of financial and bank information as part of efforts to combat money laundering.
 
The Vatican bank, whose stated mission is to hold and manage money for the Vatican and orders of Catholic priests and nuns around the world, published the first annual report in its 125-year history last week.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid