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New president named for Vatican bank

Catholic World News - February 15, 2013

A German lawyer, Ernst von Freyberg, has been named the new president of the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

A dedicated Catholic who is a member of the Knights of Malta and has been active in several charitable ventures, von Freyberg has most recently been chairman of the Blohm+Voss Group in Hamburg. His appointment comes at the end of a lengthy search, in which the commission of cardinals who supervise the IOR was assisted by Spencer and Stuart, an international executive-recruitment firm.

Von Freyberg replaces Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was forced out as IOR president last May. He assumes the leadership of an institution that has been the focus of considerable controversy in recent months. European banking authorities have charged that the IOR does not maintain adequate safeguards to prevent money-laundering. Although the IOR has instituted new standards for transparency, Italian regulators have remained unsatisfied. The pressure to conform to tough new European standards has sparked some resistance at the Vatican.

The Vatican announcement said that the new president was appointed with the full support of Pope Benedict XVI, although the Pope has not personally met von Freyberg.

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