ROME – The Deputy Director General of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), known as the Vatican Bank, was escorted outside the Vatican and removed from his position on Monday.
Giulio Mattietti, was appointed in 2015 by the current General Director of the IOR, Gian Franco Mammì, and according to Italian news outlets was led outside the Vatican on Nov. 27.
The Holy See press office confirmed the news of his removal to the media. “Giulio Mattietti, deputy director general of the Institute of Religious Works, has ceased his service Monday Nov. 27,” said Vatican spokesperson, Paloma García Ovejero, to local news agency ANSA.
The motivation behind the removal of Mattietti currently remains unknown.
According to Italian media, there might have been a similar occurrence in the past few days with another IOR employee, though details are still unclear.
Mattietti’s rise within the IOR happened thanks to the former Director General of the institution, Paolo Cipriani. Cipriani appointed Mattietti head of the computer department in 2007, after a decade of service within the institute.
Cipriani was convicted last year for having violated anti-money laundering laws during his time in office in 2010. He was found guilty of not providing JP Morgan crucial information regarding three separate banking operations of approximately $140,000, $57,000 and $119,000.
Over the years the IOR has been involved in numerous controversies, most famously its involvement with the Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in 1982 after accusations of fraudulent deals involving the Vatican Bank.
In 1990, Pope John Paul II instituted a reform of the institution’s governing structure but scandals continued. Pope Benedict XVI created the Financial Information Authority in 2010 – known by its Italian acronym “AIF” – to act as a financial watchdog unit for the Vatican.
As part of the reform attempt, the Vatican signed numerous bilateral agreements with other countries – including Italy and the United States – to share financial information. The agreements are designed to fight money laundering and tax evasion, and to keep the Vatican Bank from being used as an offshore tax haven.
Benedict also allowed an outside agency to review the Vatican’s efforts on financial reform for the first time in history, inviting Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering agency, to inspect the Vatican’s financial operations.
Recently, Vatican prosecutors put two former officials of the Vatican-sponsored pediatric hospital Bambino Gesù on trial for misappropriation of funds.