Europe

Pope Issues Tougher Anti-Corruption Regulations for Vatican Officials

ROME (Sputnik) – Pope Francis has signed a special apostolic letter containing a set of new anti-corruption regulations aimed at fighting corruption and ensuring financial transparency following a financial scandal over Vatican’s purchase of luxury property in London.

The text of the letter was circulated by the Holy See Press Office on Thursday.

Under the regulations, senior Vatican officials and administrative staff cannot have assets in tax havens or invest in businesses that violate the Christian doctrine. According to the document, the cardinals leading dicasteries or other offices, senior management and administrators of the Holy See and Vatican City State are prohibited from having investments in “countries included in the list of jurisdictions with a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.”

Additionally, Vatican’s senior officials, whose jobs involve handling money, will be required to sign a declaration every two years attesting that they have not been convicted of or investigated for corruption, fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and other crimes.

All Vatican officials and staff cannot accept personal gifts with a monetary value of over 40 euros (about $50).

The Secretariat for the Economy is authorised to verify the truth of the statements, and false declarations will be punished under the Vatican law.

The new regulations are based on international best practices on corruption and financial transparency and further build on the Pope’s May 2020 motu proprio (a letter issued on his personal initiative) on transparency in awarding public contracts.

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