Thursday, March 30, 2023

How Pope Francis is trying to make financial transparency a Vatican credo

Ten years since Jorge Mario Bergoglio sat on the throne of Saint Peter. Barely elected, on March 13, 2013, the Argentinian chose to call himself Francis in reference to Saint Francis of Assisi, concerned about the poorest and characterized by humility. “It is not possible that the fact that an elderly person reduced to living on the street dies of cold is not information, while the drop of two points on the stock market is one”, launched the brand new sovereign pontiff .

As the daily recalls “La Republica”, the great priority of the pontificate will immediately have been that of cleaning up the finances of the Vatican, known for their opacity. An essential effort of transparency after a series of corruption scandals, dubious investments and risky investments. “Money must serve and not govern”, insisted the Pope to an ecclesiastical entourage with reduced financial skills, sinning more by incompetence than by dishonesty.

Centralization of investments

“La Repubblica” recalls the major projects undertaken in the past decade to promote more efficient management of Church resources as well as transparency, control and competition in the procedures for awarding public contracts in the Church. state of the Vatican and its compliance with international standards. The latest measure, the one taken last summer to repatriate the assets and liquidities of the Holy See to the Institute for the Works of Religion, better known by the nickname of “Vatican Bank”, to which is entrusted the exclusive management of its assets and liquid assets.

François is thus continuing his policy of centralizing investments and controlling assets that have been delegated up to now. Enough to avoid the scandal linked to the purchase of a luxury building, located in the chic London district of Chelsea, currently at the heart of a vast financial trial at the Vatican. Ten people, including the former right-hand man of the pope, are judged in particular for fraud, embezzlement, abuse of power and money laundering, suspected of opaque financing, via Italian businessmen. But, for “La Repubblica”, Francis has launched a veritable crusade against what he calls the “new invisible tyranny” of a “faceless” finance and economy. She is permanently blacklisted.


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