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Vatican bank officers resign amid Papal scrutiny

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 3rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The director and deputy director of the Vatican bank have resigned amid an investigation into the bank's operations. The resignations come three days after the arrest of a senior cleric for alleged corruption.

ROME, ITALY (Catholic Online) - Yesterday, the Vatican announced the resignation of Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli, the director and deputy director respectively. The two resigned as a major probe into the bank's finances and practices continues.

A Vatican statement acknowledged the resignations as "in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See."

The current probe is being overseen by Pope Francis himself as the bank has come under investigation for allegations of money laundering.

Although the bank has become more transparent in recent years and has worked to employ safeguards against corruption, it has been decided that new leadership would best complete the reform.

In the 1980s, the Vatican bank was connected to the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano in which it was a major shareholder. That bank was later found to be laundering money for the Sicilian mafia. The bank's chairman was also murdered by the mafia in 1982.

In 2011, recognizing the need for greater reform, Pope Benedict XVI created a new authority to improve the bank's international standing and credibility so it would be placed on a "white list" of countries that fight money laundering.

Pope Francis has ramped up the pace of reform by appointing a panel of five who are to report directly to him anything they discover. Pope Francis is a very holy man, and as such, he is adopting a "take no prisoners" approach to reforming corruption at the highest levels in the Church.

The Vatican bank currently handles the assets of various Catholic charities and religious orders as well as Vatican departments. The bank does not make loans.

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