Pope creates commission to review scandal-plagued Vatican Bank

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday (June 26) set up a commission to review the activities of the scandal-plagued … Continued

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday (June 26) set up a commission to review the activities of the scandal-plagued Vatican Bank to ensure it works in harmony with the mission of the Roman Catholic Church.

The move comes only a few days after he appointed a trusted cleric as the bank’s overseeing prelate, a position that had been vacant for years. The appointment indicates Francis’ resolve in tackling one of the most embarrassing issues left behind by Pope Benedict XVI when he resigned in February.

The Vatican Bank, formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), has a long history of secrecy and scandals. It has reportedly been involved in several shady operations in past years and has been accused of having ties to the Mafia.

Most recently, top bank officials have been put under investigation by Italian magistrates for alleged money laundering.

The new commission created by Francis will have the power to access the bank’s data and documents, trumping the secrecy that historically shrouded its operations.

The five-member commission includes among its members two cardinals and the former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Harvard professor Mary Ann Glendon.

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis wants to “reform the bank to make it more pertinent to the church’s needs.”

Under Benedict, the Vatican started adopting international financial transparency standards, setting up an independent financial watchdog.

While a European monitoring authority has issued a positive review of the Vatican’s efforts, it stressed that more needed to be done, especially about the bank.

In recent weeks, Ernst von Freyberg, the bank’s president — appointed during Benedict’s pontificate — said the IOR needed to address its tarnished reputation.

Francis was elected with a clear mandate to reform the Curia, the Vatican’s central administration, after years of scandals and reports of infighting and lack of internal collaboration.

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, he stressed that in the church no one is superior to anyone else: “We are all equal in the eyes of God. But, one of you might say, ‘Mr. Pope, sir, you are not equal to us.’ But I am just like each of you. We are all equal.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

More on:
  • Rongoklunk

    I used to think that The Vatican was the moral arbiter for the rest of humanity to follow, and boy – did I ever get that wrong! God only knows what this institute is up to – and He doesn’t exist. I often wonder if they are actually aware of the fact that there is no God. If they are then they can do whatever they like without penalties and without going to Hell. Sometimes I find myself wishing that God did exist just so he could punish these perverts in long frocks. If God actually existed I can’t see him allowing this to continue. He’d have smitten these crooks and we’d all know about it. It’s a crying shame that he’s only a delusion.

Read More Articles

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.