April 11, 2013
Vatican sources say Pope Francis may restructure or close the Vatican Bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), upon reviewing bank scandals. According to inside reports, Pope Francis is specifically concerned how money laundering and illicit financial flows hurt the poor.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a church-based antipoverty organization, noted:
"If Pope Francis is reviewing the Vatican Bank because of illicit cash flows, it shows a deep understanding of how banks support corruption and corporate tax avoidance. Developing countries lose billions of dollars in needed revenue due to these illicit financial flows.
"It's truly remarkable that any major religious leader would have an understanding on how bank corruption and avoiding taxes in the developing world hurts the poor. It not only shows that we have a Pope who cares about the poor, it shows he wants to change the systems that keep people poor.
"Perhaps what is most remarkable is that the Vatican Bank has already cleaned up its links to capital flight and money laundering. The Vatican Bank is much cleaner than most other banks, so the Pope's bank review means we have a Pope who wants to send a clear message that tax avoidance is a theft from the vulnerable."
Read more in Times of Malta, National Catholic Reporter and Reuters.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 250 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners working to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA Network has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief for the world's poorest people. www.jubileeusa.org