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WORLD
September 21, 2010 | By Henry Chu and Maria De Cristofaro, Los Angeles Times
In another blow to the Holy See, Italian authorities have begun investigating the top two officials at the Vatican bank on suspicion of violating money-laundering rules and have frozen $30 million in the bank's assets, news reports said Tuesday. The Vatican, already battered by a scandal over priestly sexual abuse, expressed "puzzlement and amazement" at the allegations and said it was committed to financial transparency. The two officials under investigation were identified by news media as Ettore Gotti Tedeschi and Paolo Cipriani, the chairman and director general, respectively, of the Institute for Religious Works, popularly known as the Vatican bank.
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WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Tom Kington, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
ROME -- Pope Francis has given his backing to the Vatican's scandal-ridden bank, Vatican officials said Monday, quashing months of speculation that he might close it down as part of wide-ranging reforms at the Holy See. In a statement, the Vatican said the bank “will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the [Roman] Catholic Church worldwide.” Set up in 1942 to offer accounts to priests, nuns, religious orders and Vatican employees, the bank has been embroiled in a series of scandals over alleged money-laundering and tax-dodging.
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NEWS
December 24, 1993 | Reuters
A senior Roman Catholic cardinal admitted Thursday that the Vatican bank had handled $62 million in bribes alleged to have been paid to Italian political parties by the Ferruzzi family industrial empire. Cardinal Rosario Castillo Lara, head of a Vatican commission that oversees the work of the bank, which is called the Institute for Religious Works, said in a newspaper interview that the bank had not known how the money would be used.
WORLD
February 24, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- In the most concrete sign to date of his intention to reform the Vatican, Pope Francis announced the creation Monday of a single authority to handle all business, administrative and personnel management at the Holy See, a response to the rash of financial scandals that have tarnished the Roman Catholic Church's reputation among believers and nonbelievers. The new Secretariat for the Economy will draw up the Vatican's annual budget, call on lay experts for advice and launch surprise internal audits.
NEWS
March 9, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
The Vatican today forecast a record budget deficit of more than $78 million this year and announced a major restructuring of the Vatican Bank, which was touched by a scandal two years ago. The restructuring abolishes the bank presidency, requiring controversial American Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus to leave the post that he has held since 1969. The new plan establishes a five-member commission named by Pope John Paul II to oversee the Institute of Religious Works, as the Vatican Bank is known.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2005 | From Times Staff Reports
A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Monday reinstated a lawsuit filed by Holocaust survivors who allege that the Vatican Bank laundered assets that had been stolen by the pro-Nazi Croatian regime during World War II. A 2-1 decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sends the case back to a federal trial court in San Francisco for further proceedings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 1988 | From Religious News Service
Church sources say the Vatican is preparing to remove a controversial American prelate, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, as head of the Vatican's bank. The Vatican has repeatedly expressed support for Marcinkus, whose indictment had been sought by Milan magistrates for an alleged role in the 1982 scandal involving the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano.
NEWS
July 18, 1987 | Associated Press
Italy's highest court Friday threw out arrest warrants for U.S.-born Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus and two other Vatican bank officials charged in the nation's worst post-World War II banking scandal. "I am satisfied that the court allowed the appeal proposed by the defense," said Adolfo Gatti, the lawyer who represented the Vatican in a five-month legal battle that strained relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Italian government.
NEWS
July 17, 1987 | United Press International
Italy's highest appeals court today invalidated arrest warrants issued for U.S. Archbishop Paul Marcinkus and two senior directors of the Vatican bank in Italy's biggest postwar financial scandal, saying Italian authorities do not have jurisdiction in Vatican affairs. The arrest warrants, ruled invalid by the Cassation Court, were issued Feb. 20 in connection with the 1982 collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano, then Italy's largest private bank.
NEWS
February 26, 1987 | Associated Press
An arrest warrant has been issued for Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the American who heads the Vatican bank, in connection with Italy's worst financial scandal since World War II, authorities said Wednesday. The 1982 collapse of Banco Ambrosiano has cost the Vatican $250 million. A judge investigating the Ambrosiano case told a reporter that the warrant charges Marcinkus, who has also served as bodyguard for Pope John Paul II, as "an accessory to fraudulent bankruptcy" in the case.
WORLD
October 30, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- The U.S. National Security Agency may have spied on the future Pope Francis in the run-up to his election in March, an Italian magazine reported Wednesday. The NSA strongly denied the report. Without citing sources, Panorama magazine said the NSA intercepted calls in and out of the Rome residence where cardinals stayed before the papal conclave. Among them was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was on the verge of being elected pope. “There is the suspicion that the conversations of the future pope could have been monitored,” the magazine said.
WORLD
August 31, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME - Pope Francis has taken a key step in reshuffling the Vatican's bureaucracy by replacing his much-criticized top aide with a career Vatican diplomat who has seen service on three continents. The Vatican said Saturday that Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, currently nuncio in Venezuela, will take office as Vatican secretary of state, the pope's prime minister, on Oct. 15, replacing Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 78. Bertone, appointed in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI, had been due to step down, and the pope, by choosing Parolin as his replacement, will please Vatican diplomats who had complained that Bertone blocked their access and concentrated power in Rome in the hands of a group of handpicked prelates from his native Liguria.
OPINION
August 9, 2013 | By David Alvarez
By any standard Pope Francis' Brazil trip was a great success. Enthusiastic crowds clogged the routes of the papal motorcade and reportedly more than a million people were present for the pope's final Mass on Copacabana beach. The media no less than Catholic pilgrims seemed enchanted by the new pontiff and his appeals for dialogue, conciliation and social justice. For this pope, who presents himself above all else as a pastor and teacher, the achievements of this first international foray must be satisfying.
WORLD
June 28, 2013 | By Tom Kington, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
ROME -- A senior accountant in the Vatican's finance department, an Italian intelligence agent and a banker were arrested Friday on suspicion of trying to smuggle the equivalent of $26 million into Italy in a private jet as part of a tax-dodging plot. The arrests came just two days after Pope Francis created a commission reporting directly to him to monitor the Vatican's scandal-plagued bank. Investigators alleged that Nunzio Scarano, 61, a cleric who was recently put on suspension as a senior accountant to the Holy See, planned to fly money belonging to a family of Naples shipbuilders into Italy from a Swiss bank, helping his friends dodge Italian customs.
WORLD
March 23, 2013 | By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
VATICAN CITY - As he begins work, Pope Francis will find a pile of files in his in-tray on sex abuse and squabbling cardinals. But he will also come across a thick dossier on the Vatican's secretive bank, which his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, tried to drag into the daylight after years of suspicion that it was a haven for money launderers. After struggling to get the Vatican onto a coveted European "white list" for clean banks, Benedict suffered a setback last year when his top manager, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was fired by the bank's board, officially for incompetence.
WORLD
August 14, 2012 | By Sarah Delaney, Los Angeles Times
VATICAN CITY — A Vatican judge on Monday ordered the butler who personally served Pope Benedict XVI to stand trial for allegedly pilfering hundreds of confidential documents from the papal apartments and passing them to an Italian journalist. Paolo Gabriele, 45, will be tried by a Vatican tribunal this fall on charges of aggravated theft. A second defendant, Claudio Sciarpelletti, 49, a computer technician in the offices of the Holy See, is charged with aiding and abetting the butler.
BUSINESS
June 21, 1989 | From Reuters
In a major shake-up prompted by the scandal that depleted its coffers, the Vatican on Tuesday announced appointments to an international board of lay directors that will run the Vatican bank. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the board, or Supervisory Council, would meet for the first time on July 18, when U.S. Archbishop Paul Marcinkus was expected to formally end his involvement with the bank after 18 years as president. Marcinkus was caught up in the damaging 1982 scandal in which the bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Work, was linked to the alleged fraudulent collapse of Italy's private Banco Ambrosiano.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2006 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus, who presided over the Vatican Bank when it was linked with the failure of Italy's largest private bank in 1982, has died. He was 84. Marcinkus was found dead Monday at his home in Sun City, Ariz., said Mary Jo West, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. A cause of death was not immediately announced.
WORLD
September 21, 2010 | By Henry Chu and Maria De Cristofaro, Los Angeles Times
In another blow to the Holy See, Italian authorities have begun investigating the top two officials at the Vatican bank on suspicion of violating money-laundering rules and have frozen $30 million in the bank's assets, news reports said Tuesday. The Vatican, already battered by a scandal over priestly sexual abuse, expressed "puzzlement and amazement" at the allegations and said it was committed to financial transparency. The two officials under investigation were identified by news media as Ettore Gotti Tedeschi and Paolo Cipriani, the chairman and director general, respectively, of the Institute for Religious Works, popularly known as the Vatican bank.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2006 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Archbishop Paul C. Marcinkus, who presided over the Vatican Bank when it was linked with the failure of Italy's largest private bank in 1982, has died. He was 84. Marcinkus was found dead Monday at his home in Sun City, Ariz., said Mary Jo West, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. A cause of death was not immediately announced.
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