Moneyval begins Vatican visit

The aim is to assess the Vatican’s compliance with international rules against money laundering and the financing of terrorism by examining its legislative framework and programmes. The visit comes a few days after the Becciu affair.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Moneyval, the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, began its visit to the Vatican today, as part of the process to evaluate the Vatican’s compliance with international rules, and the effectiveness of its legislative framework and programmes.

“The scope of this phase of evaluations is to assess the effectiveness of the legislative and institutional measures adopted by the jurisdictions in recent years for the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” reads a press release by the Vatican Press Office.

“The current evaluation for the Holy See is a regular part of a process that began with the first on site visit, in 2012, and the subsequent adoption of the Mutual Evaluation Report of the Holy See, of 4 July 2012, followed by the First Progress Report, of 9 December 2013, the Second Progress Report, of 8 December 2015, and the Third Progress Report, of 6 December 2017.

Moneyval’s visit is a fundamental step towards assessing how well the Vatican is upholding international financial rules, a goal to which Pope Francis – following in the footsteps of Benedict XVI – has dedicated time and efforts since the start of his pontificate.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal Angelo Becciu affair broke out. Last week, the Vatican Press Office issued a statement. It reads as follows: "Today, Thursday, 24 September, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the Office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected with the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.”

The new effect is that the cardinal retains his title, he cannot participate in the conclave, take part in consistories, or collegially assist Francis in the exercise of government.

Francis's decision is related to serious charges levelled against the prelate over alleged favours made to benefit three of his brothers and the murky management of the financial assets of the Secretariat of State, including Saint Peter’s Pence, when he was Substitute for General Affairs (2011-2018).

One of the charges involves a property on Sloane Avenue, London, that saw six officials of the Secretariat of State suspended and then removed.

For his part, the cardinal says he is innocent. In a press conference following Francis's decision, he said, among other things: "I hope that sooner or later the Holy Father realises that there has been a major misunderstanding", adding "I hope he wasn’t manipulated.” (FP)

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