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.
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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid