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Entire board of Vatican bank to be replaced?

July 03, 2014

The president of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) will soon be replaced—not because of any new turmoil at the Vatican bank, but as part of a plan to overhaul the entire leadership of the institution—reports Andrea Tornielli, the leading Vatican-watcher for the Italian daily La Stampa.

Citing an “authoritative source” inside the Vatican, Tornielli says that recent reports in the Italian press, saying that Ernst von Freyburg will step down as president of the IOR, are accurate. However, he adds, the entire board of the IOR will also be replaced.

The changes, Tornielli says, are part of a “much-needed facelift” for the IOR, orchestrated by Cardinal George Pell, the newly installed head of the Secretariat for the Economy. The Australian cardinal reportedly has concluded that a complete change in leadership is necessary to restore confidence in the institution.

The mission of the IOR will also change as part of the Vatican reform program, Tornielli writes. The IOR will evolve into a smaller institution, providing traditional banking services for a limited list of client involved directly in apostolic work. Thus the IOR would no longer need the expertise of international bankers accustomed to working with large investments and other sophisticated financial transactions.


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