Rebuilding the Vatican Bank’s reputation

The president of the “bank” of the Holy See, in this interview with Vatican Radio, opens his campaign to restore credibility to the controversial institution. With more integrity, more transparency, more communication

Q: President Ernst von Freyberg, do you like your job, coming from Frankfurt down to Rome, working inside the Vatican?

A: It is a great privilege to work here; it is the most inspiring environment you can imagine: working at the Vatican. And it is a great challenge to serve the pope in re-establishing the reputation of this institute.

Q: What did you imagine your work to be, prior to starting here?

A: Different from what it is. When I came here I thought I would need to focus on what is normally described as cleaning out and dealing with improper deposits. There is – until now – nothing I can detect. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything, but it means that it is not our biggest issue.

Our biggest issue is our reputation. Our work – my work – is much more communication than originally thought. And it is much more communication inside the Church. We haven’t done enough of that in the past. It starts a home, with our own employees, with those who work for the Church in Rome, with those in the Church around the world. To them we owe first of all transparency and a good explication of what we do and how we try to serve.

Q: How come someone like yourself with that kind of experience wants to work for the Vatican, after all the stories that the IOR went through?

A: You don’t want to. It is not something you sit at home and dream of. Even when you interview you don’t say to yourself ‘I really want this job’. When you are called, you are very happy to accept that call, and that is I think also true for the other candidates who were interviewed for this position. Continue reading



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