.- The Vatican Bankâs president was dismissed for failing to carry out âbasic duties,â giving people inaccurate information about the institution and âprogressively erratic personal behavior,â according to board member Carl Anderson.
âWhat happened is source of great disappointment,â he told the Italian newspaper La Stampa on May 27. Anderson, who leads the international fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus, said the board âhad come to have great expectations for this new management.â
Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was removed as president of the Vatican Bank May 24, following a no confidence vote by the other four board members. The 67-year-old Italian served as the head of the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion, since 2009.
As committee secretary, it fell to Anderson to write an explanatory note to Gotti Tedeschi who, in the words of the memo, had âabandoned the premises of the Institute without notice and without waiting to receive notice as to the results of the no confidence vote.â
Andersonâs memo outlined the nine key reasons for Gotti Tedeschiâs removal, which included his âfailure to carry out basic duties,â âabandoning and failing to attend meetings,â the âdissemination of inaccurate information regarding the Institute,â âpolarizing the Institute and alienating personnel,â and âprogressively erratic personal behavior.â
The bank boss was also accused of failing to provide an explanation âfor the dissemination of documents last known to be in the Presidentâs possession.â Anderson stressed, however, this charge was unrelated to the recent arrest of the Popeâs butler, Paolo Gabriele, on suspicion of stealing and leaking sensitive internal Vatican documents to the press.
âThat the dismissal of the president should happen at the same time as the arrest of the popeâs butler is just a coincidence, nothing more,â Anderson told La Stampa.
âThe board meets approximately every three months and the problem of the vote of confidence on Gotti Tedeschi was on the agenda for a long time.â
The sacking of Gotti Tedeschi comes only weeks before the Council of Europe is expected to decide on the Vaticanâs bid to be placed on the organizationâs âWhite Listâ of countries that adhere to the highest standards of financial transparency.
âWhoever thinks that current events at the IOR may be an obstacle in the effort to achieve transparency is terribly wrong, because we are acting in the very name of transparency and were not pressured by the Curia in any way,â Anderson said.
Gotti Tedeschi has yet to give his side of the story, claiming on May 25 that he was âtorn between the anxiety to explain the truth and not wanting to disturb the Holy Father.â
The Vatican is now seeking a new candidate to succeed Gotti Tedeschi. In the interim, the presidency will be assumed by the bankâs vice president Ronaldo Hermann Schmitz.