With the adoption of a detailed new law on financial transparency, vigilance and information, the Vatican has almost completely revamped its finance laws in less than three years, the Vatican spokesman said, reports the Catholic News Service.
Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, the Vatican spokesman, released a statement on Wednesday on the 58-page text of a new Vatican City State law incorporating, but also broadly expanding retired Pope Benedict XVI's December 2010 document.
This document established the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority to monitor Vatican financial operations and make sure they meet international norms against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The text of the new law, approved by the commission governing Vatican City State, said the revamping was necessary because financial crimes 'threaten the integrity and stability' of economic activity, 'not to mention the reputation' of those who work in the financial sector.
In addition, it said, the Vatican, like other states, is 'called to contribute to preventing and combating illicit activity, particularly money laundering and the financing of terrorism, by adopting adequate systems of vigilance and financial information, as well as by collaborating on an international level, including through the control of its borders.'
Fr Lombardi said one of the key characteristics of the new law is that it formally expands the competence of the Financial Intelligence Authority by including the task of 'preventive' or 'prudential' vigilance, which involves ensuring the proper organization and trustworthiness of all Vatican financial operations.
Vatican introduces law on transparency (Vatican Insider)