Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pope sets up new commission to reform Vatican Bank

In a move that observers describe as a clear signal of a desire for greater transparency and accountability, Pope Francis on Wednesday set up a new commission to investigate the activities of the Vatican bank and to report its findings directly to him.

Among other things, observers say the move indicates that Francis intends to take a personal interest in the bank as opposed to relying on others to make decisions in his name.

The commission is not empowered to govern the bank or to implement any reform measures, but to gather information and relay it to the pope in what's described as a "timely" fashion.

On background, a source with knowledge of the commission was asked Wednesday if it reflected a stance of "trust but verify" vis-à-vis assurances from the bank's present leadership about its commitment to reform.

"What it means is trust with reluctance and verify deeply," the source said.

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