- Jun 1, 2020
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.”
A sweeping new law on procurement and contracts decreed by Pope Francis today amounts to a direct frontal assault on two cornerstone aspects of Italian, and, by extension, Vatican culture: Nepotism and feudalism.
When it comes to reform efforts of any sort, the Vatican doesn’t just face challenges in the here-and-now. It also faces a historical trust deficit, grounded in genuine episodes of cover-up and scandal which have been part of the Vatican’s history almost as much as Bernini’s colonnade and the Swiss Guard.
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.
Change now is inevitable, no matter what sort of resistance the fabled “old guard” may put up, because the Vatican finds itself looking down the barrel of a $158 million gun.