The Vatican announced on Saturday that it would tighten measures to control financial flows from its various institutions by introducing amendments to a law dating back to 2013.
“The recent amendments are part of a comprehensive strategy aimed at making the management of Vatican funds more transparent in the context of intensive and coordinated monitoring processes,” said Carmelo Barbagallo, head of the Financial Information Authority, in an interview published by the Vatican.
The agency that monitors the Vatican’s financial operations is tasked with monitoring the flow of funds to this small country to combat money laundering and terrorism.
With these amendments, he added, “the mechanisms for defending and monitoring Vatican institutions concerned with the flow of funds will be more robust.”
He explained, “Every legal matter has an essential task that lies in protecting and defending the dignity of every individual. In this context, managing with caution and monitoring effectively is not only a legal duty but also an ethical duty. This is more realistic when it comes to monitoring the flow of money.”
Ten days ago, a team of experts from the Council of Europe that is assessing measures to combat money laundering began a financial inspection in the Vatican, the fifth of its kind since 2012.
The inspection came as the Vatican judiciary opened an investigation a year ago about opaque financing to buy the small state a luxury building in London.
And 15 days ago, Pope Francis expelled one of the most influential cardinals in the Vatican, Angelo Picchu, due to suspicions of “misappropriation of funds” for the benefit of his brothers. He was also the decision-maker in the London building investment case.
The Pope reminded the experts of the Council of Europe, whom he received two days ago, that a text published on August 19 requires Vatican state officials to inform the Financial Information Authority of any suspicious activity.