Pope Benedict surrenders Vatican sovereignty
Not content with the systematic cover-up of child rape and the sheltering of paedophile priests, it appears that there has been more than a little collusion with the Mafia in money-laundering.
The Vatican Bank (aka the Institute for Works of Religion) has been guarding Peter’s Pence (actually, €1,000,000,000s) since Mussolini cut a deal with the Lateran Pacts in 1929. Its chief exec is accountable to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope.
But its inner workings are shrouded in mystery: it is not open to the public and its ATMs are in Latin.
It was reported a few months ago that the Bank was facing money-laundering allegations concerning €23m of its assets. While the Vatican referred to the seizure of assets as a ‘misunderstanding’ The Independent notes court documents which appear to indicate that the Vatican Bank deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws ‘with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital’:
The documents also reveal investigators' suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and the Mafia. The documents pinpoint two transactions that have not been reported: one in 2009 involving the use of a false name, and another in 2010 in which the Vatican Bank withdrew €650,000 from an Italian bank account but ignored bank requests to disclose where the money was headed.Following the (still unresolved) Marcinkus-Calvi masonic murder mysteries of the 1980s, l'Istituto per le Opere di Religione seems to be Italian opera, Jacobean tragedy and The Godfather. all rolled into one.
The Vatican is a sovereign city-state and is not under the jurisdiction of the Godless, secular, anti-Christian, immoral and corrupt EU (despite fervently desiring to foist it upon all other European states). It is all a question of papal sovereignty: the Pontifex Maximus cannot simultaneously be Catholic and subject to a higher temporal authority, especially when that higher authority is somewhat antithetical to Canon Law. The Vatican Bank is not supervised by the IMF and hitherto has not been subject to EU regulations and controls on money-laundering, despite being a member of the eurozone.
Since the Holy See also has no border security, it is perhaps unsurprising that l'Istituto per le Opere di Religione has been a rather useful mechanism for money laundering and tax evasion.
But in a move which was barely noticed by the media, it was reported in October that Pope Benedict ‘will bind the Vatican to implementing European Union laws against money laundering and financial fraud’:
The Vatican is “fully committed” to putting relevant EU legislation into effect by the end of 2010, as stipulated by a monetary accord the Vatican signed with the commission Dec. 17 last year, Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, said in an interview in Brussels.The interesting word is ‘bind’: the acquis is irreversible; it is sovereignty surrendered. By an ‘act of the pope’ the law will become applicable to ‘the institutions of the Holy See, including the Institute for Religious Works’. The Vatican agreed to set up a special authority as of 1 January 2011 to implement the new financial legislation ‘with the right to control the institutions of both the Vatican and the Holy See’. It is reported that the Authority’s head is likely to be Cardinal Attilio Nicora, who will become a sort of ‘central banker of the Vatican’.
One hopes he fares better than the last man to be known as ‘God’s Banker’.
Yet it is curious that the Vatican’s declaration of financial openness and transparency was delivered by ‘a high-ranking Vatican official, who declined to be identified’.
One might think that the toxic cocktail of money-laundering, financial fraud, corruption, murder, mafia, masons and secrecy would be enough to persuade Pope Benedict of the need to act swiftly.
But The Independent questions whether the Vatican intends to meet the 31 December deadline to implement the EU legislation. It observes: ‘Not complying with the deadline could nullify the monetary accord with the commission and lead to action by the European Court of Justice.’
Cardinals summoned to the highest court in the European Union?
That would be an interesting development.
Which possibly explains:
The prosecutors' office stated in court papers last month that while the bank has expressed a "generic and stated will" to conform to international standards, "there is no sign that the institutions of the Catholic Church are moving in that direction". It said its investigation had found "exactly the opposite".The legal waters are indeed murky. Archbishop Paul Marcinkus was able to claim immunity from prosecution after the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano in 1982: it is one of the advantages of being a sovereign state.
Semper Eadem: His Grace might be forgiven for being a little sceptical about the Vatican being ‘bound’ by any superior jurisdiction.
Why submit to EU laws and directives on finance, but not 'Human Rights'?
It is not possible to serve two masters.
And this is not simply a question of God and Mammon.
Either Pope Benedict maintains Vatican sovereignty and upholds Canon Law, or he compromises both by opening the door to superior EU jurisdiction.
The Pope will never accede to the Treaty of Rome, but there is an emerging EU-Vatican 'Roman Question' which perhaps needs another Lateran Accord.