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Pope Francis aims his 'alertometer' at Vatican Bank

New order prohibits tampering with bank documents

Pope Francis aims his 'alertometer' at Vatican Bank

Picture: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Andrea Tornielli for Vatican Insider/La Stampa
Vatican City

July 12, 2013

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“I am very naive about some things but there are certain other things that set my “alertometer” in action,” Jorge Mario Bergoglio once said back in the days when he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires. His comment was in reference to cases of corruption involving clerics. Francis’ “alertometer” has certainly been activated now. Various sources have said that last 4 July, the Vatican apparently issued a regulation which prohibits anyone from destroying or tampering with documents relating to the Vatican Bank (IOR). The decision to issue said regulation was taken independently, without prior approval from the Secretariat of State. This is indicative of a new willingness to deal with more thorny issues, without settling for comfortable cover-up operations.

Readers will recall that the director general of the IOR, Paolo Cipriani and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, both handed in their resignations on Monday 1 July. The decision came after the embarrassing revelation of an inquiry into APSA prelare Mgr Nunzio Scarano’s illicit use of his Vatican bank accounts to carry out risky financial operations, all of which were approved by the IOR’s directors. 

But in the days following the resignation, the two former managers under investigation were still to be found wandering through the bank’s corridors. Then a third person was added to the list of people under investigation: the lawyer Michele Briamonte. The presence of the two managers and the lawyer made the situation even more problematic. Briamonte, who is both the IOR and Cipriani’s lawyer, is being investigated for inside trading in the case involving Italian bank Monte dei Paschi. He was also involved in an accident which took place in recent months at Rome’s Ciampino airport, when the Guardia di Finanza, one of Italy’s law enforcement agencies, decided to search Briamonte’s luggage, just as he was getting out of his private jet, alongside one of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s secretaries. The check was not carried out in the end as Briamonte produced a Vatican diplomatic passport, claiming immunity from inspection. 

Full Story: IOR: Francis activates his "alertometer"

Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa

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