What steps has the Vatican taken to end corruption in the last decade?

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22/02/2024
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2024 marks 10 years since the beginning of Pope Francis' economic reform. It has been a decade aimed at combating corruption and making the Vatican a more transparent state, especially in the financial sphere, through a variety of measures.

Months after his election, the Pope closed 5,000 unauthorized accounts of the Vatican bank and, in 2014, created three economic bodies.

One of them was the Office of the Auditor General, whose task is to act as an anti-corruption authority. It monitors Vatican finances and has taken steps to be more transparent with its assests.

ALESSANDRO CASSINIS
Vatican Auditor General

The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See or APSA budget is available for anyone to read.
It is also possible to find its financial statements and the statements of its foreign affiliates, which are audited.
Today, these statements and the administrative activities of nunciatures around the world are monitored, which was not the case before
.

The Vatican recently had a case involving Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was found guilty of several crimes including embezzlement. And the Office of the Auditor General was able to find the necessary information for the investigation.

ALESSANDRO CASSINIS
Vatican Auditor General
It all started from two reports to the promoter of justice: one I made and one by the Vatican Bank. This led to an investigation and a process that lasted over a year. But if someone references that, they could say: “Oh, they failed.” But that was the past and it is different now. And so this difference is proof, in my humble opinion, that the Pope's economic reforms have been successful.

In January, the Vatican published new rules to simplify the process of reporting corruption. Public officials who suspect irregularities now are able to report it. Confidentiality is respected, but it isn't anonymous.

ALESSANDRO CASSINIS
Vatican Auditor General

The only person authorized to see who made the report is me or any of my representatives. We have a strict obligation to keep the identity of the reporter protected. We cannot disclose it to anyone, unless ordered by a legal authority.

But these reforms began before Pope Francis as his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had taken some steps towards establishing trasparency. The Auditor General says the work by the two popes has helped reduce the amount of corruption in the Vatican.

ALESSANDRO CASSINIS
Vatican Auditor General

Nothing is perfect. Everything can be improved further and, as the Pope himself says, corruption, rather than a sin, is a disease that needs to be cured.
I believe that the economic reforms initiated by Pope Francis and Pope Benedict make it more difficult to perform unlawful acts.

The Auditor General says this economic reform has three goals: to increase transparency, end corruption and reduce waste.

CA
TR: KG

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