Speaking during a Jan. 14 webinar about financial transparency in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Pell praised the appointees as “highly competent women with great professional backgrounds.”
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In a Jan. 13 statement, the Vatican said the new figure is “attributable, among other things, to some contractual obligations and the ordinary management of its resources.”
Working with the Vatican’s Supervisory and Financial Information Authority, AUSTRAC found that there were 362 transfers from the Vatican to Australia between 2014 and 2020, amounting to $7.4 million.
Sources tell the Register that the March 2019 letter the Vatican secretary of state sent to the president of the Vatican Bank appears to be a justifiable action intended to stem further losses on the property transaction.
Under the new law, APSA will gain ownership of funds, bank accounts, and investments, including real estate, previously administered by the Secretariat of State from Jan. 1, 2021.
The report by an Australian newspaper, which drew on documents from Australia’s financial crime regulator, did not detail where the money was dispersed.
Cardinal Becciu said any money he may be awarded by the court will be given to charity, claiming that the “outlandish ‘investigations’” against him have also caused “global damage” and harmed the “whole Church.”
COMMENTARY: The move to remove the financial authority of the Vatican department vindicates the financial reforms first undertaken by Cardinal George Pell.
Pope Francis’ decision, outlined in an Aug. 25 letter to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was made as the Secretariat of State continues to be at the center of unfolding Vatican financial scandals.