As evaluation ends, Vatican says Moneyval inspection was ‘constructive’

CNA 5cc74de454961 154681 The flag of Vatican City with St. Peter's Basilica in the background. | Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Moneyval, the Council of Europe's anti-money laundering watchdog, concluded its two-week on-site inspection of the Holy See and Vatican City on Tuesday, according to a Vatican statement.

Moneyval arrived at the Vatican on Sept. 30 for the next phase of a regular multi-year evaluation of the institution's compliance with European financial regulations.

Meetings with the Moneyval committee were "held in a constructive and cooperative atmosphere," the Vatican said Oct. 13, calling the inspection "a further important step of the evaluation process."

The purpose of this stage of the inspection was to judge the effectiveness of the Vatican and Holy See's legislation and procedures for combating money laundering and terrorism financing. A big part of that effectiveness comes down to how successful the Vatican has been at prosecuting these crimes in court.

The next step will be the adoption of Moneyval's "Mutual Evaluation Report" during a plenary assembly in Strasbourg, France, in spring 2021, the Vatican said.

"The authorities of the Holy See extend their heartfelt and profound gratitude to the team of evaluators and to the members of the Secretariat of the Moneyval Committee," the statement concluded.

Pope Francis addressed the evaluators in an audience Oct. 8, saying their work "is particularly dear to my heart."

In the afternoon of Oct. 13, the six members of Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals held an online meeting, in which they discussed how to continue their meetings during the pandemic.

The advisory group of cardinals, together with Pope Francis, typically gathers at the Vatican every three months for about three days.

The council last met in mid-February. According to the Vatican, at the Feb. 17-19 meeting the cardinals continued to read and revise a new apostolic constitution for the Roman Curia.

A Vatican statement said the council worked this summer on the new apostolic constitution over the internet and presented an updated draft to Pope Francis. Copies were also sent to the competent dicasteries to read.

The Oct. 13 meeting was dedicated to summarizing the summer's work and to studying how to support the constitution's implementation when it will be promulgated.

Pope Francis, according to the statement, said "the reform is already underway, also in some administrative and economic aspects."

The council will next meet, again virtually, in December.

Previously referred to as the C9, the council now consists of just six cardinals: Pietro Parolin, Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, Reinhard Marx, Seán O'Malley, Oswald Gracias, and Giuseppe Bertello.

Ed. note: This report has been updated with a statement from the Vatican press office.

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