- Jul 23, 2021
The Vatican has set a July 27 trial date for 10 people, including a once-powerful cardinal and papal contender, on charges related to the Holy See’s 350 million-euro investment in a luxury London real estate venture.
Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who oversaw the early stages of the London deal when he served as the substitute, or number two official, was indicted on Saturday along with nine others, including well-known Swiss lawyer René Brülhart, the former president of the Vatican’s financial watchdog unit.
The financial reform of the Vatican launched by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI and accelerated under Francis, while it’s made undeniable headway, remains a work in progress.
In tandem with other milestones in recent years, President Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, the French economist and banker who’s led the IOR since 2014, believes June 2021 marks an historic turning point.
The United States added Vatican City State to its list of countries that conform to international standards regarding the verification of the identity of persons conducting financial transactions through its institutions, including the so-called Vatican bank.
In a bid to curb the Vatican’s financial deficit amid coronavirus losses and an impending pension crisis, Pope Francis has ordered several pay cuts targeting clergy and higher-ups, but which appear to leave regular lay employees unaffected.
Spanish Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, the pope’s CFO, explained in an interview with the Vatican’s official news outlet that in order to cover costs, the Vatican is being forced to spend down its reserves, and he appealed to Catholic faithful around the world to help out.