BY Ian Dunn | June 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Holy Father appoints Mgr Ricca as interim prelate for the Institute of Religious Works

The Pope has appointed Mgr Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca (above) as the interim prelate of the Institute for Religious Works, as the Vatican Bank is known.

Mgr Ricca currently runs a number of Church-owned properties. The IOR has been accused of a lack of transparency in recent times.

In February, German lawyer Ernst von Freyberg was named the IOR’s new chairman, eight months after his predecessor left the role due to a money laundering probe. In May, Mr von Freyberg said he was instituting checks on the IOR’s 19,000 accounts, which are mostly held by Vatican employees, charities, priests and nuns.

Although Mgr Ricca was nominated by Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican announcement made clear that the Pope personally backed the appointment.

Mgr Ricca runs the hotel where the Pope is currently staying in. As the prelate of the IOR, a post that has been vacant since 201, Mgr Ricca will report to the five-member commission of cardinals that oversees the bank, attends board meetings and has access to information on its financial activities.

The IOR is currently seeking recognition from the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering committee, Moneyval, that it is fully compliant with international standards on combating money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing. Last year, Moneyval said the bank was making progress but needed to improve.


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