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Vatican bank problems: both external and internal

Catholic World News - January 27, 2011

The Vatican Bank, working assiduously to gain "white list" status in the European banking system, now has a new oversight body and a new set of operating rules. But the bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), still faces two persistent problems, writes Sandro Magister of L'Espresso.

First, an Italian magistrate is convinced that the IOR was engaged in illegal transfers, and is unsatisfied with the reassurances provided by Vatican banking officials to date. The inquiry will continue.

Second, the bank's odd administrative structure lends itself to confusion. Along with the president, the IOR also has a "prelate"-- a ranking cleric with his own authority. In the past, that system produced parallel lines of authority within the IOR, with the "prelate" making deals that the president, a banking professional, did not approve.

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