Pope Francis shakes up Vatican Bank, sets financial cap for sainthood
By Eric J. Lyman | Religion News Service, Published: January 15
Last July, a priest and Vatican accountant Nunzio Scarano ”” nicknamed “Monsignor 500&”¥8243; because of his taste for 500-euro banknotes ”” was arrested and accused of smuggling nearly $30 million into Italy from Switzerland. In 2012, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was ousted as bank president after being accused of incompetence.
That same year, U.S. banker JPMorgan closed its accounts with the bank, and Deutsche Bank Italia ended a 15-year relationship, making the Holy See a cash-only state for several months.
Since becoming pope last March, Francis has repeatedly railed against corruption, and his reforms at the bank are quickly becoming a test case for those efforts.
This week, he took another, less controversial step in that direction, calling for a “spending review” that includes settling on a cap for expenses tied to the canonization causes of would-be saints. In the past, critics charged that figures backed by well-financed supporters usually became saints more quickly than their more meagerly financed counterparts.