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Holy See denies report of new turmoil at Vatican bank

Catholic World News - July 02, 2014

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) is “in a time of natural an peaceful transition,” Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters on July 2.

Reacting to reports that the IOR president, Ernst von Freyburg, will soon be ousted from his position, Father Lombardi said that von Freyburg’s leadership has been “deeply appreciated and highly valued.” However he stopped well short of saying that the IOR president would retain his post, instead saying “further clarifications” will likely be made next week.

Father Lombardi disclosed that the future of the IOR was discussed “in depth” at this week’s meeting of the Council of Cardinals. Members of the committee of cardinals who supervise the bank were also included in those discussions, he said. He added that the newly created Council for the Economy would meet on Saturday, July 5.

The Vatican plans a major press conference next week, Father Lombardi disclosed, at which officials will discuss the IOR, the work of the new Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and the Vatican’s budgets for 2013 and 2014.

Meanwhile a spokesman for the IOR told the ANSA news agency that the bank would not have any comment on the reports about von Freyburg. He said that the bank is working on its annual report, and the president’s future “is part of a larger discussion on governance reform and the redefinition of functions” of the IOR.

The news that the Council of Cardinals had devoted two full working sessions to economic and financial affairs was something of a surprise. Earlier this year the Vatican had said that the July meeting of the Council would focus on reorganization of the Roman Curia.

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