Vatican releases bafflingly vague statement about financial discipline ‘measures’

May 6, 2020,

The Vatican, which is struggling to regain public confidence in its financial dealings, announced late last week that “individual measures had been arranged for some employees of the Holy See.”

In case you need a translation, that deliberately opaque statement means that some Vatican workers had been disciplined. The disciplinary measures were imposed, the Vatican explained, to follow up on “those adopted at the beginning of the investigation of financial and real-estate investments of the Secretariat of State.”

How many Vatican employees were disciplined? Who were they? What had they done to provoke disciplinary measures? What were those measures? None of those obvious questions was addressed in what the Vatican’s spokesman, Matteo Bruni, described as a response to journalists’ inquiries.

So we know that something has been done to some employees, because of something those employees had done. And that’s all we know — or rather, all we would know, if we relied on official Vatican sources for our information. If you’re trying to develop a reputation for candor and transparency, this isn’t the way to go about it.

Actually, since the Vatican rumor mill conveys information much more efficiently than the Vatican press office, we do know more about this story. We know that the Vatican employees in question have been dismissed from their posts. We know that they were involved — somehow, perhaps only tangentially — in the financial transactions that led up to a police raid last October 1 on the offices of the Secretariat of State and the Financial Information Authority. But we don’t know why that raid took place.

Immediately after the October raid, five Vatican employees were suspended. The Vatican did not announce the suspensions, and in fact took harsh disciplinary action against the people who were responsible for letting the suspensions become public knowledge, including the chief of the Vatican police force that conducted the raid. Some of those who were suspended have subsequently been replaced. (In April, for instance, the Vatican announced that Tommaso Di Ruzza, the director of the Financial Information Authority [AIF], had completed his term of office and was not re-appointed.) Others found out last Friday — which was May 1, Labor Day in Italy — that they were losing their jobs.

The case of Di Ruzza is particularly interesting, because he headed the office that is responsible for ensuring the integrity of Vatican financial transactions. If he had been involved in some misconduct, that would be a serious blow to the Vatican’s campaign for public confidence. But the board of the AIF gave him their unqualified support, and his immediate superior, AIF president Rene Bruelhart, resigned in protest. (The Vatican claimed that Bruelhart, too, had completed his term and was not re-appointed.) Some Vatican-watchers concluded that the AIF had been investigating questionable dealings by the Secretariat of State, and the raid was conducted not to expose those dealings but to prevent their exposure. That is speculation, of course, but speculation is all we have, in the absence of clear information. As John Allen observed for Crux:

To date, no evidence has been produced to suggest that di Ruzza or the other four employees were guilty of wrongdoing. In any event, the deal for which they were being investigated had been approved by superiors in the Secretariat of State and, eventually, the pope himself.

Nothing about this story inspires confidence in the Vatican’s financial integrity. Nothing matches the oft-repeated commitment to reform, transparency, and accountability.

A related matter: As of tomorrow, nineteen months will have passed since Pope Francis promised a full investigation of the McCarrick affair. Three months will have passed since Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, disclosed that the investigation was complete. “The work has been done,” he said, “but the Pope has the last word.” We’re still waiting.

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2 Responses to Vatican releases bafflingly vague statement about financial discipline ‘measures’

  1. We will continue to wait. The church still has a long way to go before any trust by the public is re-gained. In the meantime, Jesus weeps.


  2. It’s become quite obvious by now to any genuinely faithful Christian just how much trouble our world is in now! I’m leaving here a text message I left to two other bloggers sites that had the same basic underlying concern or theme running through their writings as I see in this blog post here. I’m sure it was no coincidence that those articles were with this one in my notifications together in the cue or order in which I’m responding to them because in a true sense dots are being connected now for the faithful to see the truth and remain ever vigilant the time is fast approaching when our Lord is coming again!
    I was beat-tired yesterday and went to bed early only to wake ahead of my usual time frame, which tuned out to be for good cause! You and another fellow Christian blogger had similar new postings that at least touched on the same central theme which is becoming all too apparent to we who use our brains that God gave us that you once suggested more people start doing and discern! I’m going to repeat word for word what I said to the other blogger at least using the bulk of what I said, because it’s important I do so!
    “! I see a lot of government intervention around the globe that doesn’t enhance human rights or civil liberties but rather waters them down or in some cases striping them completely away! Secularism has now gotten to a new wicked level where man is put above God and worshiping seems to be headed becoming people can do in only alone! The worst case scenario of this already occurred in of all places China where the Communist Atheist Government just told a Christian ground to stop doing so over the internet! I see with this action along with the Wuhan Corona Virus a pattern emerging of totalitarian rule coming for many peoples if not the world and this only spells antichrist to me! I didn’t plan this but I just typed that statement at exactly 3:33 AM, which has been a profound time for me to awaken and start my day having many things come into focus regarding Christ, This happening when I typed the word antichrist is to me an affirmation of the fact that the number 3 being the Holy Trinity and the antichrist being 666 as stated in the Holy Scriptures means in my eyes that we are indeed in the prophesied time! What else does this mean we can’t be sure because this could be a protracted series of events or a swift escalation to a more cataclysmic period in human history like no other. Prayer is greatly needed now and so many people are secular and depending on government o science to answer all their ills, like cattle or sheep ready for the slaughter hey follow the crowd or herd!”
    I went on to say imagine what is going on in North Korea, Iran, Russia or China where they just told a Christian group to stop all religious practice on the internet! This sure spells out to me how the most ungodly on the planet are moving feverishly toward ushering in the antichrist himself!
    I pray I’m wrong and better change is to come that will bring peace but I think I know better than that! God bless you and yours. 🤗 ❤️ 🙏🙇🙏


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