The Vatican Bank: Conforming to Caritas in Veritate?
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John Razel A. Mapaye
“The Vatican Bank: Conforming to Caritas in Veritate?"
By Richard Hudson
The Institute for Religious Works (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank is one of the most secretive and controversial financial institutions in the world. Since the inception of the modern Bank in 1943, the Vatican Bank has faced a series of scandals relating to its role in the Second World War, accusations of money laundering and its role in the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano in 1982. However, what makes these scandals and accusations particularly interesting is that the Vatican Bank operates within the Catholic Church, an organization with its own tradition of financial ethics…show more content… No criminal proceedings were lodged due to the diplomatic immunity of those involved within the Vatican Bank.
While these accusations of money laundering are state-centric, there are also accusations the Vatican Bank’s statuses as an offshore financial center has been used by individuals and organizations to launder money, particularly from Italy. Italian investigations into money laundering through the Vatican Bank began in 2009. While investigations from Italian officials have since concluded, these issues illustrate how money laundering has followed the Vatican Bank into the 21st century.
The Bank has initiated a series of reforms to make it more compliant with international Banking practices, including the creation of the Holy See’s Financial Intelligence Authority. There also were a number of high-profile resignations including the Head of the Vatican Bank in 2012. In 2014, Pope Francis also sacked four of the five Cardinals charged with managing the Bank because of corruption allegations. In June 2014, the Pope fired the five man board of the Financial Information Authority (AIF), the Holy See’s internal regulatory office. Pope Francis replaced the all-male Italian board with four financial experts including a woman for the first time.
While concerns about money laundering and illegal money transfers have flared up periodically