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Vatican bank 'will no longer threaten Church reputation'

Pope's Economy Council chief says 'true bank' will be elsewhere

19 March, 16:40
Vatican bank 'will no longer threaten Church reputation' (ANSA) - Vatican City, March 19 - The new head of the Vatican Council for the Economy said Wednesday that soon the scandal-plagued Vatican bank will no longer pose a threat to the Catholic Church's image, while another institution will become the "true bank of the Vatican".

In statements published by Spanish news agency Europa Press, Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx said "there won't be future occasions for (the Vatican bank) to hurt the Holy See's reputation". Officially called the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), the Vatican bank has come under scrutiny for alleged money laundering and is now working with the Council of Europe's Moneyval agency to bring it in line with international standards.

A close advisor to Pope Francis, Marx is a member of the panel of cardinals from around the world Francis picked last year to advise him on reforming the inner workings of Vatican and the Church at large. Earlier this month Francis also named him head of the Council for the Economy, and last week Germany's Catholic bishops named him their leader. Since Francis' election to the papacy last March, reforming IOR has been a priority. He has even openly expressed the possibility of abolishing it. In Marx's statements released Wednesday, the German cardinal said "the true bank of the Vatican" will one day be the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which currently manages Vatican real estate and financial holdings. Plans to turn APSA into a sort of central bank has been the stated intention of the Church since late February, when officials announced the establishment the Council for the Economy now headed by Marx.