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Meditation 1056
The Vatican's criminal bank

by: John Tyrrell

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This week Pope Francis named a commission to investigate the Vatican Bank's legal structure and activities and to report back to him... sometime. (See Meditation 1041) The commission consists of four prelates and an American law professor with close ties to the Vatican. Strangely, no-one who seems to have a knowledge of banking was made part of this commission.

It looks like the classic Vatican tactic of avoiding making needed changes. Appoint another commission. And eventually a new Pope will be along to appoint his own new commission.

The corruption of the Vatican Bank has been widely known since 1982 with the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, four years into John Paul II's papacy. And for over thirty years, there has been no effective action. Just empty Vatican promises to investigate and reform. Are Pope Francis's more of the same?

Today, Monsignor (in some news reports, Bishop) Nunzio Scarano, an official in the Vatican Bank was arrested by Italian (not Vatican) police for money laundering. Specifically, he is accused of arranging the transfer of 20,000,000 Euros in cash from Switzerland to the Vatican Bank on an Italian government plane.

To me the timing of the arrest looks suspicious, after the Pope had been given a chance to make it look as if he was doing something. Is it not reasonable to suspect that Italy tipped off the Pope that one of his officials was about to be arrested so he could get his public relations in order? And they held off on the arrest until the Pope announced his commission.

Why does the Vatican need a bank anyway? A credit union would do the job.


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