Pope Opens Vatican Bank Kimono
In a desperate attempt to distance itself from the widening corruption scandal linking the Vatican's bank accounts to fund (and allegedly bribe) a 2007 acquisition by Monte dei Paschi of Antonventa, the Pope has taken an unprecedented step in open the Vatican's finances to public view.
As Reuters reports, Pope Francis on Monday revolutionized the Vatican's scandal-plagued finances by appointing an auditor-general stating that the Church must see its possessions and financial assets in the "light of its mission to evangelize, with particular concern for the most needy.
The auditor-general will have wide oversight powers "to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican City State at any time," a statement said. Francis decreed that the changes have "immediate, full and stable effect," abrogating any existing rules not compatible with them.
Pope Francis on Monday revolutionised the Vatican's scandal-plagued finances, inviting outside experts into a world often seen as murky and secretive and saying the church must use its wealth to help the poor.
The auditor-general will have wide oversight powers "to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican City State at any time," a statement said.
A Vatican statement said the changes "will enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in financial administration, planning and reporting and will ensure better use of resources, improving the support available for various programmes, particularly our works with the poor and marginalised".
Francis decreed that the changes have "immediate, full and stable effect," abrogating any existing rules not compatible with them.
The role and structure of the separate Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), will not change for the time being, a spokesman said.
There was no mention of the IOR in Monday's statements. Francis has not ruled out closing the bank, which primarily handles funds for religious orders and Vatican employees.
Both the IOR and APSA have been at the centre of scandals. Italian magistrates are investigating the IOR on allegations of money laundering. The Vatican dismisses the charges.
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