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Pope's choice to direct Financial Information Authority seen as reformer

January 30, 2014

Pope Francis has named a new president for the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (FIA), in another step to establish a new team to supervise the Vatican’s financial affairs.

Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, who heads the Vatican’s Labor Office, has been appointed interim president of the FIA, replacing Cardinal Attilio Nicora, who is retiring at the age of 76.

Although Cardinal Nicora had already passed the normative retirement age of 75, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter notes that the appointment appears to be a move toward reform for two reasons:

First, Cardinal Nicora is seen as an ally of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Secretary of State, whose handling of Vatican financial affairs has been sharply criticized. Moreover, Cardinal Nicora was president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) from 2002 until 2012. The APSA is now under heavy scrutiny because of the criminal trial of Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, the former chief accountant for APSA, who is accused of money-laundering and other financial misconduct.

Second, Bishop Corbellini worked closely in the past with Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano at the Vatican City Governorate. Archbishop Vigano (who is now the apostolic nuncio to the US) was seen as a financial reformer in that office, whose private letters to Pope Benedict XVI, complaining of corruption in the Vatican’s financial affairs, were made public in the “Vatileaks” scandal.


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