Vatican Bank director fired as probe deepens

According to a Vatican statement, the Vatican Bank's board of directors said Ettore Gotti Tedeschi had failed to “carry out duties of primary importance” and unanimously passed a no-confidence vote against him. Tedeschi had served as the director since 2009. Vatican sources, however, did not identify the charge. A statement said that members of the board believed Tedeschi's dismissal was needed to "maintain the vitality of the bank."

In 2010 Italian police launched an investigation against Tedeschi, an economist, as part of a money-laundering inquiry.

The bank board will now look for a new director, as it seeks to patch up its relations with international financial institutions, "based on mutual respect for accepted international banking standards."

Meanwhile, Tedeschi (62) told journalists: "I'd rather say nothing, otherwise I'd say ugly things."

Tedeschi's departure came as Moneyval, the Council of Europe body that counters money laundering, prepares to rule in July whether the Vatican meets international standards on financial transactions. Memos leaked earlier this year suggest there are serious differences among Vatican officials over how far to go in ensuring financial transparency, according to media reports. Vatican authorities are conducting an in-depth investigation to determine the source of the leaks.

The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was created during the Second World War. It administers accounts held by religious orders, cardinals, bishops and priests. 

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.


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