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Suspended Vatican official says his office acted as banker for secret clients

Catholic World News - September 16, 2013

The suspended Vatican official who is under investigation on money-laundering charges has told prosecutors that his office provided financial services for outside clients, the Reuters news service reports.

Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, who was arrested in June, had been the director of accounting for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA): the office that handles financial affairs for the Vatican. He reportedly told Italian prosecutors that APSA “acted as a bank” for certain favored clients. “We took in money, used it, and paid out interest to depositors,” he said.

APSA has no legal authority to provide banking services, and should act only on behalf of the Vatican. But Msgr. Scarano has said that his superiors were aware of the outside clients and gave their tacit approval. Italian prosecutors had earlier charged that Msgr. Scarano himself was acting as a private banker, acting on behalf of influential friends. Prosecutors have said that he was engaged in “totally private, illegal activity which was also aimed at serving outsiders.”

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