- Apr 16, 2021
This week Italy opened the largest mob trial in history, with 325 defendants in the dock linked to the ‘Ndrangheta syndicate in the southern Italian region of Calabria.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, formerly the Vatican’s top official on financial affairs, said he believes the pope’s recent reforms signal progress, and called for additional competent laypeople to be involved in the process.
A new law that removes financial assets from the control of the Vatican Secretariat of State is a step forward on the path of financial reform, said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, president of Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.
Pope Francis has taken away away the power of the purse from the Secretariat of State, traditionally the Vatican’s 800-pound gorilla, and transferred it to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the Vatican’s central bank. At the same time, he beefed up the oversight role of the Secretariat for the Economy.
Despite the general stall related to the coronavirus over the last several months, it’s been drive time in terms of a financial reshuffle in the Vatican.
A lawyer for Argentine Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, appointed by Pope Francis to a Vatican post amid charges of sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement, told Crux that the Church process against Zanchetta is “almost over” and that he’s confident the bishop’s name will be “cleared.”
Officials say the new rules, described as four years in the making, bring the Vatican in line with “the most advanced international legislation in the area,” including the UN’s 2003 Convention against Corruption. It’s also intended, according to a synthesis provided by the Vatican News Service, to “combat illicit deals and corruption,” as well to achieve significant cost savings though “economies of scale.”
Pope Francis and his Vatican team this week have moved to try to defuse a financial bomb before it goes off, closing several Swiss holding companies responsible for portions of its assets and reallocating internal control over financial data collection.