Friday, December 13, 2013

Sutherland gives Vatican advice on financial reform

FORMER attorney general Peter Sutherland was called in to advise the Vatican on how to reform its financial affairs, it has emerged. 

Mr Sutherland, who is chairman of Goldman Sachs International, addressed the Council of Cardinals – the most senior advisors to the Pope – during the summer on how the Vatican should deal with the financial scandals that were embracing St Peters.

Mr Sutherland, who is believed to act as an unpaid sounding board for the Vatican on financial matters, told the cardinals that the Holy See had to change its ways and embrace openness, especially in its business dealings. 

"Transparency is important and necessary," he is reported as saying.

Mr Sutherland has long been one of the most influential Irish people on the planet when it comes to business and politics.

The 67-year-old was attorney general between 1981 and 1982, and again two years later. Internationally he is probably best known as director of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor body, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in the mid 1990s.

The Vatican has been mired in scandal in recent years, with allegations of corruption and misuse of funds dogging the Vatican Bank. 

None of these claims have been proven.

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