On August 23rd, it was reported that Pope Francis demanded that all funds of the Catholic Church be transferred to the bank at the Vatican by October 1st.
Pope Francis on Tuesday imposed an Oct. 1 deadline for all Holy See offices and Vatican-linked institutions to deposit their assets with the Vatican bank.
Francis’ decree follows his decision earlier this year to entrust management of all Vatican assets to one office — the patrimony office known as APSA — in a bid to end decades of mismanagement that culminated with a scandal over a 350 million-euro investment in a London property. Ten people, including former Vatican officials and external brokers, are on trial in the Vatican tribunal on finance-related charges related to the deal.
The Vatican’s economy ministry in July issued a new investment policy requiring all Vatican departments to transfer their assets and investments to APSA via its accounts at the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR. No specific deadline was given, but the decree published Tuesday says all assets must be transferred by Sept. 30.
The need for a new decree imposing a fixed deadline and stressing there were no exceptions to the regulation suggests some offices or institutions were hoping to keep external accounts or investments.
We don’t really know the reasoning behind the move of money to the Vatican. Moving all funds to the Vatican bank may not prevent another incident like the one that occurred in the UK. The Secretariat of State and Credit Suisse were connected to the incident in the UK.
Credit Suisse is now reportedly under financial duress, as was reported last night.
It’s now being reported that all funds were moved to the Vatican bank by the October 1st deadline.
Aciafrica is reporting that, “Pope Francis has ordered that the Holy See and connected entities move all financial assets to the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican bank. The pope’s rescript issued Aug. 23, clarifies the interpretation of a paragraph in the new constitution of the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium, promulgated in March. According to Francis’ rescript, financial and liquid assets held in banks other than the IOR must be moved to the Vatican bank within 30 days of Sept. 1, 2022. The IOR, based in Vatican City State, has 110 employees and 14,519 clients. As of 2021, it looked after 5.2 billion euros ($5.6 billion) of client assets. Though commonly called a ‘bank,’ the IOR is technically a financial institute, with no branches, working within Vatican City State to provide services to clients, which include the Holy See and connected entities, religious orders, clergy, Catholic institutions, and Holy See employees.”
Aciafrica goes on to report that, “The IOR saw its number of clients decline by 472, from 14,991 clients at the end of 2020 to 14,519 in 2021. Nearly half of its clients in 2019 were religious orders. According to its annual report, the financial institution’s $19 million net profit in 2021 was also down from $44 million in 2020 and $46 million in 2019.
The Secretariat of State, which was involved in the UK incident, reportedly also is known to have accounts in Swiss financial institutions.
The decree will force Holy See institutions, including the Secretariat of State, to move their financial assets to the IOR by the end of September. The Secretariat of State is known to have had accounts in Swiss financial institutions, including Credit Suisse, through which the controversial London building investment was initially carried out.
It looks like all money mandated to be moved to the Vatican Bank has now been moved. The reasoning for this taking place is still not clear. Maybe we’ll better understand why in the days ahead.