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From AFP news agency:
Bishop arrested in Vatican bank probe: Report
Jun 28, 2013, 12.28 PM IST
The Corriere della Sera website alleged that the arrested cleric was Nunzio Scarano, the bishop of Salerno in southern Italy.
This Corriere della Sera allegation was confirmed later.
From Deutsche Welle in Germany:
Bishop Scarano arrested for corruption linked to Vatican Bank
Officials have arrested the bishop of Salerno in connection with the latest probe into the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion. This comes two days after Pope Francis announced the new probe.
Italy’s Corriere della Sera website reported that the arrested cleric was Nunzio Scarano, the bishop of Salerno in southern Italy.
Earlier this week the AP news agency had reported that Scarano had withdrawn more than half a million euros in charitable donations without any flags being raised, walked out of Vatican City with the cash, and then used it to pay off a personal mortgage.
On Wednesday, the Holy See announced that the Institute of Religious Works (IOR) will be the target of an investigation overseen personally by the pope.
The financial institution has been plagued with scandals during its 71-year history. Its usefulness has been openly questioned by the new pontiff.
The pope said he was establishing the commission because he “wants to know better the legal position and the activities of the institute so that they can be better harmonized with the mission of the Universal Church and of the Apostolic Seat.”
Four prelates and Harvard Law School professor Mary Ann Glendon, a former ambassador to the Holy See, are to have top-level access to all documentation when they create their report, for which there is no deadline.
Francis has spoken out against the cult of money in the Vatican, calling for a “poor church.”
The bank has been trying to clean up its reputation after a series of scandals, most notably in 1982 when it was embroiled in the bankruptcy of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano, of which the Holy See was the main shareholder. The bank was accused of laundering money for the Sicilian mafia. Its chairman, Roberto Calvi, was found hanging from London’s Blackfriars Bridge in a suspected mafia murder.
In 2010, Rome magistrates froze 23 million euros ($30 million) held by the IOR in an Italian bank as part of a money laundering investigation. The IOR said it was transferring money between Italian and German accounts. The money was released in 2011 but the investigation is ongoing.
The IOR has assets of 5.5 billion euros under management and profits of 86.6 million euros, which are used to support Catholic endeavors around the world. It does not lend money.
A Vatican cleric, a member of Italy’s secret services and a financial broker were arrested on Friday as part of an Italian investigation into the Vatican bank, a police source and a lawyer said.
The cleric, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, worked as an accountant in the Vatican’s financial administration. He was arrested in a parish in Rome’s outskirts, his lawyer Silverio Sica told Reuters.
Scarano was suspended from his duties several weeks ago when he was placed under investigation by magistrates in the southern city of Salerno, his home town.
In that investigation, Scarano was accused of taking some 600,000 euros ($780,200) in cash out of an account in the Vatican bank a little at a time, usually 10,000 euros, and giving it to friends who gave him checks.
He then deposited the checks into an Italian bank account to pay off a mortgage.
A Vatican spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
The arrested bishop was known within circles of the Vatican as “Monsignor 500” because he always had large amounts of notes of 500 euro with him.
See also here.
- Bishop arrested in Vatican bank probe: media (capitalfm.co.ke)
- Pope Francis launches inquiry into the Vatican bank in wake of corruption and money laundering scandals (laurelbabeblog.wordpress.com)
- Pope Francis probes Vatican bank as part of expected clean up (newsinfo.inquirer.net)