Catholic World News

Vatican agencies defend themselves against 'Vatileaks' charges

November 12, 2015

Vatican officials have defended themselves against accusations of financial misconduct contained in two new books based on leaked documents.

The Vatican press office released a statement on November 12 denying reports of illegal activity at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA). And the Congregation for Evangelization, also known as Propaganda Fide, complained of “news not corresponding to the truth” and hinted at possible legal action if allegations of misconduct are repeated.

The Vatican press office said that some reports had treated APSA “in a biased and inaccurate way,” in reports that the agency has been used as a conduit for illegal activities. Last week the Reuters news service reported that an Italian financier who is under investigation had used accounts in APSA for questionable transactions. The Vatican has confirmed its own investigation of the financier, Gianpietro Nattino, and have sought cooperation from Italian and Swiss banking regulators.

However, the press office denied that APSA itself is the focus of the queries. “APSA has always collaborated with the competent bodies, is not under investigation and continues to conduct its activities in accordance with current regulations,” the November 12 statement said.

Meanwhile the Congregation for Evangelization, in its own strongly worded statement, rejected charges that it has rented out real-estate holdings at below-market rates. “The real estate belonging to the Congregation, donated for the Missions, is rented at market value; there are exceptions in the case of situations of poverty,” the Congregation insisted.

The Congregation for Evangelization—which has come under scrutiny in the latest round of “Vatileaks” revelations—stressed its willingness to comply with new Vatican rules regarding transparency in financial affairs. The statement said that the Congregation “welcomes all the administrative reforms anticipated by the Secretary for the Economy and submits all the budgets and final accounts to the latter.”

The Congregation closed its statement with a warning that “should such dissemination of false or biased information recur, this Congregation will be obliged to protect its image in the appropriate forums.”

 


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