Is Pope Francis serious about reforming the Vatican Bank?

It seems that the arrest of senior Vatican cleric is just another affair not directly related to “big” IOR’s  issues and it was made by Italians. But anyway would you say that the arrest could be a sign that the new Pope is really serious about the investigation of the Vatican Bank no matter who might be involved in potential crimes? Read few comments.

John Pollard, Fellow of Trinity Hall, Faculty of History, Cambridge University

It has long been clear that Pope Francis is determined to carry our sweeping changes/reforms, and not only in the so-called Vatican ‘Bank. The announcement of the Commission of Enquiry is a radical step. Given his known views on the poor and the nature of the Church, I am confident that he is determined to carry out a reform of the ‘bank’. But now, it isn’t entirely in his hands, is it? The investigation of Scarano, an Italian citizen, and of others accused of money-laundering, including former officials of IOR, is being pursued by the Italian judicial authorities. So far, the Vatican itself has not prosecuted anyone, tho’ its Financial Information Authority is clearly involved in closely monitoring the operations of the IOR and other Vatican financial agencies, like APSA.

John AllenSenior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter

Scarano was arrested by Italian police, not the pope. The better sign of Francis’ commitment to reform is the creation of a commission to investigate the Vatican bank.

Gëzim Alpion, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Birmingham

Pope Francis, like his predecessors, knows that for the Church to be a credible dispenser of morality at a time when faith is being eroded partly because of the irresponsible behaviour of some men in the cloth, including a number of high-ranking priests, it has to clean up its act.

The current Pope, it seems, does not simply call for a ‘poor church’; he apparently has the courage and determination to address directly what is certainly a delicate matter for the Holy See.

The Pontiff knows he will be stepping on a lot of toes. I do not expect him to get to the bottom of these financial irregularities. It is important, however, that he is seen to be doing something about the shady transactions that have dogged the Church, it seems, forever.

Mathew SchmalzAssociate Professor of Religious Studies. Director, College Honors Program. The College of the Holy Cross

I think this Pope is serious about reforming the Vatican Bank, obviously, the Vatican Bank is a scandal–the very fact that it took so long to comply with international money laundering standards shows this. The difficulty is that this Pope is not as experienced with the Vatican bureaucracy and many of the interests who wish to maintain the status quo are entrenched. Nonetheless, I think that the arrest of Monsignore Scarano shows that the Pope will move deliberately and seriously to address corruption in the Vatican and this is an important beginning. I do think we are looking at a more humble, more spiritual church, under this Pope.

On a side note, I also think it’s interesting that Pope seems to be taking the reform of the Legion of Christ very seriously as well.

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