Sunday, April 24, 2016

Outside audit suspended: has civil war erupted at the Vatican?

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, left
Yesterday, it was reported that the Vatican had suspended the independent audit of its finances by the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The company had been engaged only on December 5 of last year, and for the process to be halted this quickly, even temporarily, seems like a remarkable setback for Pope Francis’s crusade to haul the administration of the Curia, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

As he broke the news, the always well informed journalist Ed Pentin linked the story to an article in yesterday’s Italia Oggi newspaper, which claimed that manoeuvres were underway to replace Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, a Frenchman and the current president of the IOR, or Vatican Bank, whose term was not expected to come to an end in the immediate future. According to the article, the move to replace De Franssu was also a proxy move against Cardinal Pell, the prefect for the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, who has been the major, if not sole, agent of real reform in the Vatican finances, and who has been the constant target of a campaign of leaks and gossip since taking office in 2014.

It has been suggested that curial officials are desperate to see Cardinal Pell removed and both the presidency of the IOR and the job of auditing the curial finances return to Italian hands, before the new rigours of full transparency get past the point of no return.  (more...)

Back to business as usual (Italian style)?

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