Friday, December 31, 2010

Pope: new laws for transparency, honesty and accountability in financial matters

The Vatican now has a series of laws aimed at preventing and combating money laundering of the proceeds of criminal activity and terrorist financing. 

These provisions in the financial field - four laws – were issued with a "Motu proprio" by Benedict XVI and include the creation of a specific organization, the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) with the task of preventing and combating money laundering.

"The Holy See - reads the papal document - has always raised its voice to urge all people of good will, and especially the leaders of nations, to commit to the building, through a just and lasting peace all over the world, the universal city of God, which is the goal of the history of the human family [Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter. Caritas in Veritate (June 29, 2009), 7: AAS 101/2009), 645]. Unfortunately, peace in our times, in an increasingly global society, is threatened by various causes, including that of a misuse of the market and economy and the terrible and destructive violence which terrorism perpetrates, causing death, suffering, hatred and social instability. Quite appropriately, the international community is increasingly equipping itself with legal principles and tools that will help prevent and combat money laundering and terrorist financing”.

"The Holy See welcomes this commitment and will make these rules their own in the use of these material resources that are necessary to the mission and duties of Vatican City State."
The new laws, says Benedict XVI should be seen against this background, even in regards the Monetary Agreement between Vatican City State and the European Union of 17 December 2009.

“As of today, all organisations associated with the government of the Catholic Church - and with the Church's "support": Vatican City State - have, in a spirit of sincere collaboration, become part of that system of juridical principles and instruments which the international community is creating with the aim of guaranteeing just and honest coexistence in an increasingly globalised world; a world in which, unfortunately, economy and finance is not infrequently a field for illegal activities, such as the recycling of the profits of crime and the financing of terrorism, true threats to justice and peace in the world”.

With an implicit reference to incidents of misunderstanding that occurred in the past with the Italian State, Father Lombardi concluded, " Those errors which so quickly become the cause of "scandal" for public opinion and the faithful will be avoided. In the final analysis the Church will be more "credible" before the members of the international community, and this is of vital importance for her evangelical mission”.