The secret finances of the Vatican

Andrew Sachais Contributor
Font Size:

Pope Benedict looks to have fallen short of reforming the Vatican’s financial reputation, reports CNN.

The pope began his papacy in Spring 2005, and made it a priority to clean up the Vatican’s financial standing.

However, this week Pope Benedict, 85, announced that he would resign his title, becoming the first pope since the middle ages to do so.

Although he took steps to better the Vatican’s reputation, little was actually done to make the dream come to fruition, reports the article.

In 2010, the Vatican created a supervisory body, the Financial Information Authority (FIA), to make sure they were in accordance with money laundering laws. However, two years later Moneyval, a European anti-money laundering group, still found failings in a number of areas.

“The bank’s global reach, high volume of cash transactions and a lack of information about some non-profit organizations could make it a target for money-launderers,” Moneyval reported.

Similarly, The Guardian published an article in January stating that the Vatican had created an alias account to invest in real estate projects across London.

The money in the account is said to be funded by Benito Mussolini, the 20th century fascist political leader, for the churches contributions to the party during World War II.

“While secrecy about the Fascist origins of the papacy’s wealth might have been understandable in wartime, what is less clear is why the Vatican subsequently continued to maintain secrecy about its holdings in Britain, even after its financial structure was reorganized in 1999.” reports the Guardian.

The goal of improving public opinion on Vatican corruption has yet to be met, and thus remains an unchecked box for Pope Benedict’s eventual successor.