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Rome Reports

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Monetary watchdog says Vatican needs better training to combat financial crimes

Last October, Moneyval, the financial monitoring body of the Council of Europe, came to Rome to investigate the Vatican's financial transparency measures. Their visit included a meeting with Pope Francis.

“Many meetings have been held. During these meetings, the Vatican delegation has tried to communicate the efforts of this unique jurisdiction.”

Now, the details of their findings have been published in a 275-page report.  

In it, Moneyval praises the steps the Vatican has taken against money laundering and financing terrorism.

But it also states that Vatican prosecutors and police forces are not properly trained to handle financial crimes. The group proposes putting together comprehensive protocols for initiating investigations and prosecutions for financial matters. 

The report highlights the Vatican's slow judicial system, as well as potential conflicts of interests since Vatican prosecutors and judges also serve in the Italian government.  

Moneyval also notes the ease with which mid- to high-level officials are able to abuse the existing system because of few internal controls.

Earlier this year, two former senior officials in the Vatican Bank were convicted of embezzlement. Now, prosecutors are investigating possible embezzlement and misappropriation of funds in the Vatican Secretariat of State. 

The Council of Europe considers the Vatican's progress to be positive, since publishing its first report on the Holy See's finances in 2012.