- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pope Francis has more than made good on his promise to investigate the scandal-tainted financial wing of the Vatican, cleaning house with such vigor that at least one Catholic Church watcher is calling it akin to an earthquake.

“What has happened is nothing short of an earthquake in the internal governance of the Holy See,” said George Weigel, the Vatican analyst for NBC. And he’s not alone in that observation.

Robert Mickens, who covers the Vatican for weekly publication, The Tablet, said it was “the biggest structural change to the Roman Curia in nearly half a century.” Meanwhile, Thomas Reese, an analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, said it’s obvious that the pope has moved “full-speed ahead and Vatican finances are going to get cleaned up,” NBC reported.

The Vatican’s bank has faced a slew of allegations, from corruption in contracting to money-laundering. Roman authorities have investigated several suspicious Vatican Bank dealings in the past. But little has come of the queries.

Pope Francis, on the other hand, has taken a hard line to the investigations and has pushed forward with several reforms, starting with the naming of a trusted aide to oversee the bank and the firing of the bank’s director and deputy. Just a couple months ago, he also got rid of four of the five cardinals who were supposed to oversee the bank, NBC reported.

“The pope is the only stockholder for the bank, and he fired the board of directors,” one official told NBC.