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New director for Vatican bank; Pope's secretary to work with supervisory boards

Catholic World News - December 02, 2013

Rolando Marranci, who has been acting as deputy director of the Vatican bank, has been named the director-general of the institution, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). In July, Marranci had been working as a consultant to the IOR, helping to shore up the bank’s accounting procedures to guard against money-laundering, when the previous director-general, Paolo Cipriani, resigned under pressure. Ernest von Freyberg, who accepted the resignation “in the best interests of the Institute and the Holy See,” announced that he would act temporarily as director-general, with Marranci as his deputy.

Marranci now steps up to assume the director-general’s role; von Freyberg remains the IOR president. Von Freyberg said that the new director-general had been “very effective” in his work for the IOR, and welcomed him to the larger role.

The change in leadership at the IOR came as the bank prepared for a new evaluation by European banking examiners. The most recent evaluation gave the Vatican bank positive grades for tightening procedures, but indicated that improvement remained necessary in several areas. Under its new leadership the IOR has been working steadily to regain the confidence of international banking authorities, after a series of adverse reports and revelations about lax accounting practices.

In a related development, Pope Francis appointed one of his private secretaries, Msgr. Alfred Xuereb, as his representative on the two newly created pontifical commissions supervising the Vatican bank and examining other Vatican financial affairs. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that the Maltese priest had already been acting informally as the Pope’s representative on the two panels.

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