The Vatican bank, one of the most secretive institutions in the secrecy-obsessed Vatican, opened itself up to a little external scrutiny Thursday in a bid to show it is serious about fighting money-laundering and being more financially transparent.
An already sordid scandal over leaked Vatican documents took a Hollywood-like turn Saturday with confirmation that the pope's own butler had been arrested after documents he had no business having were found in his Vatican City apartment.
The Vatican on Thursday created a financial watchdog agency and issued new laws to fight money laundering and terrorist financing in a major effort to shed its image as a tax haven that for years has been mired in secrecy and scandal.
This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall.
Just when the Catholic Church didn't need another scandal, Italian authorities seized 23 million euros ($30.18 million) from a Vatican bank account and began investigating top officials of the bank in connection with a money-laundering probe.
Just when the Catholic Church doesn't need another scandal, Italian authorities have seized $30.18 million from a Vatican bank account and begun investigating top officials of the Vatican bank in connection with a money-laundering probe.