VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican bank has initiated legal action in Malta against unnamed third parties because of “significant damages” incurred after a 17-million-euro investment.
The bank, formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion, recently turned to judges in Malta to start civil action “against various third parties deemed liable of having caused significant damages” regarding “certain investment transactions in which it participated,” the Vatican press office said Oct. 10.
Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, told journalists the transaction involved “an initial investment of 17 million” euros made at the beginning of 2013. Determining the amount of total damage incurred would be up to the court in Malta, he added.
Launching the legal action demonstrates the bank’s desire “to accept responsibility for abuses in the past,” he said.
According to the written communique, such a move also reflects the bank’s “commitment, in the interest of transparency, to report to the competent authorities any potential abuses perpetrated against it and to take, as in this instance, any appropriate action to protect its financial and reputational interests, including outside of the Vatican City State.”
Pope Benedict XVI began a series of reforms in 2010 to increase oversight, transparency and accountability of the Vatican’s financial activity. Top management at the bank saw a number of major changes over those years, including the July 2013 resignation of its director and the deputy director, Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli, who were later found guilty of money laundering by a Rome court.
Bank management again saw a major restructuring in 2014 as part of the larger reform of all Vatican financial institutions directed by the new Secretariat for the Economy.
In 2016, about 15,000 clients had nearly 6 billion euros in assets at the institute, which primarily invests in “very low-risk” financial instruments, according to its website. Individuals and entities allowed to have an account at the institute are Catholic institutions, clerics, employees or former employees of Vatican City State with salary and pension accounts, and embassies and diplomats accredited to the Holy See.
The latest report of MONEYVAL, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing body, found in 2015 that the Holy See had addressed most gaps in its laws and norms. However, it said there was still a greater need for implementing its anti-money laundering and counterterrorist protocols in terms of prosecutions, convictions and confiscating assets.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103