The IRS cites recent changes in the Vatican’s criminal code, such as its money-laundering regulations passed after Vatican police searched the offices of the Vatican financial authority and Secretariat of State’s office on Oct. 1, 2019, in connection with the Secretariat’s investment in a luxury property in London.
It also referred to changes to a Vatican law on transparency, supervision, and financial intelligence made on Oct. 10, 2020. A 15-page decree altered Law XVIII from 2013, which set out provisions to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Carmelo Barbagallo, president of the Vatican’s Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF), said that the changes sought to tighten regulation of financial flows within the Vatican in an effort to meet international standards.
“The latest amendments to Law XVIII are part of an overall strategy aimed at making the management of Vatican finances ever more transparent, within a framework of intensive and coordinated controls,” Barbagallo said.
Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering watchdog, conducted a two-week on-site inspection of the Holy See and Vatican City last fall to judge the effectiveness of the Vatican and Holy See’s legislation and procedures for combating money laundering, particularly how successful the Vatican has been at prosecuting these crimes in court.
Ruth Kelly, a member of the Vatican Council for the Economy, told EWTN News last month that the council still faces a “huge task” in its efforts to quickly bring up the Holy See’s accounting and financial transparency to international standards.