Vatican employees are not allowed to accept gifts worth more than 40 euros, Pope Francis said today. Cardinals and managers must also be able to demonstrate that they are not suspected of participating in a criminal organisation, corruption, money laundering, tax evasion or tax evasion.
Terrorism and exploitation of minors are also included in the list of prohibited criminal activities. The senior employees should not have been convicted of this before, as stated in the Pope‘s statement.
To do this, they must sign at the time of taking office or appointment, and repeat it every two years. Finally, the signatories are forbidden to invest their assets in companies that violate Catholic social doctrine.
Shadowy investment in London real estate
This harsh approach to corruption does not come unexpectedly. For two years now, a corruption investigation by the City State’s OA into the Vatican‘s shadowy investment in real estate in central London.
The deal cost the Holy See millions of euros in mediation money for intermediaries. The influential Cardinal Angelo Becciu, responsible for the day-to-day management of the Vatican City Board until 2014, approved this investment of more than 150 million euros.
The money for the investment came from a fund that was supplemented by donations from believers to the church. Becciu resigned last year and waived his rights as a cardinal. An unusual step, which may have been the result of the investigation into the real estate deal.
Cheques to two popes
There was also the abuse scandal with ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was expelled from the priesthood in 2019. For years, McCarrick was handing out checks to officials from the Vatican and two popes. This led to speculation that his generosity helped him avoid punishment for his sexual misconduct, which had already been reported in the 1990s.
The Pope’s decision comes in the same week in which the Vatican was reviewed by the Moneyval Commission of the Council of Europe. That committee examines compliance with international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The report on this is due to be released shortly.
The rules of conduct drawn up by the Pope begin immediately.