In the past few years, the purpose and livelihood of the Vatican Bank has been questioned by people in and outside the Catholic Church. Some recommended it be shut down all together, others that it change its regulations.
On Monday, April 7th, the Holy See's press office announced that the Vatican Bank is here to stay. Pope Francis approved the future of the Bank, which is officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).
In a press release, it states that the IOR will continue to 'serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide.'
After a series of economic scandals, the Vatican approved new financial structures to regulate its activities. They include aligning its accounts, transactions and otherwise with international standards and promoting transparency.
The decision was approved jointly, by different Holy See entities, but the process isn't done just yet. To finalize the plan and to make sure the IOR fulfills its mission, the plan will be presented to the Pope's advisory council, which includes eight cardinals, among them is George Pell, who was recently appointed Secretariat for the Economy.
The activities of the IOR will continue to fall under the supervision of the AIF or the Financial Information Authority, which is an institution that is connected to both the Vatican and the Holy See.