Pope Francis strengthens law against money laundering

Pope Francis on Thursday intensified the fight against corruption in the Vatican by strengthening the law to counter “money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

The pope issued a decree expanding the role and the reach of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority “in response to a recommendation” of the European watchdog Moneyval Committee.

“[The move] is a means of ensuring the road (towards transparency) continues,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

“In today’s world, it is all about resisting increasingly insidious forms of financial criminality. We have to be equal to the challenges in order to protect legality, and not be left behind,” he said.

The Catholic News Service noted that the latest move of the pope was made less than a month after he updated the Vatican’s criminal code to include all Vatican employees around the world and not just those working in Vatican City.

The rules also apply to the non-profit organizations operating out of the Vatican, including Caritas Internationalis and Aid to the Church in Need.

The Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority, which was instituted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 to investigate suspicious financial transactions, will now “evaluate and approve the financial activities and the services offered” by the Institute for the Works of Religion (the Vatican bank) and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, the office that handles Vatican property and investments, said Lombardi.


AFP/The Raw Story

Catholic News Service

Image: The Raw Story

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