Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Vatican Bank continues transparency drive with website


(by Kate Carlisle)
Vatican City, July 31 - The Vatican bank, formally
known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), launched a new
website Wednesday where it will publish its annual balance sheet
as part of a push to bring more transparency to the financial
establishment's dealings.
"Our task is to run IOR in a way that it can respond to
international norms, that it is a clean institute and one of
service," the head of the Vatican Bank, Ernst von Freyberg, told
Vatican Radio Wednesday.
The bank's head also said that new measures were aimed at
giving Pope Francis "an option to decide the right formula for
The question of financial transparency at the Holy See is
a delicate one given decades of scandal at the Vatican bank.
Pope Francis is reportedly keen to remove stains from IOR's
reputation and get the Vatican onto the 'white list' of
countries with unimpeachable credentials by working with the
Council of Europe's Moneyval anti-money-laundering agency.
The Italian press has been speculating that the pontiff
may be planning to reorganize or even shut down the IOR.
The Argentine pontiff earlier in July announced the
appointment of a panel of eight experts, including a young
female Ernst & Young accounting executive, to run a pontifical
commission aimed at monitoring the economic and organizational
structure of Vatican City.
During the pope's return from Brazil on Monday, where he
was for World Youth Day, the pontiff told journalists that the
"proposals for reform are many...I don't know what is going to
happen with the IOR: some say it's better to have a bank, others
say a foundation's what's needed and others say it should be
shut down. I trust in the work being done by the people employed
in the IOR and the commission".
"". But whatever happens to the IOR, what is needed for
sure is transparency and honesty," Pope Francis said.
Von Freyberg, who was appointed as head of the
embattled bank in February, promised in his first full staff
meeting last May that the special website would be launched by
the end of the year.
He also said that an "international organization" would be
consulted to oversee that transactions are in accordance with
Vatican and international standards.
"IOR has had an annual certification (by external
auditors) for years, but this is the first year we will publish
it," von Freyberg specified after Wednesday's announcement.
"The site will also include a presentation of our
services, a sampling of our clients, important moments in the
bank's history, reforms we are pushing ahead on and people who
work with us," he said.
Anyone interested can visit the site at, von
Freyberg said.
The Vatican Bank and several of its employees have been
probed by Italian magistrates in the past, while Moneyval last
July gave positive grades in only nine of 16 areas concerning
financial transparency.

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