Obama admin list Vatican as 'potential money-laundering center'
It isn't, but the US State Department has listed it anyway.
The US State Department has added an unlikely name to the list of countries that are considered money-laundering centers - the Vatican. The listing was published Wednesday in the 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, and lists 190 countries.
There is no evidence the Vatican is laundering money.
A State Department official did confess that the Vatican had recently established programs to prevent money laundering.
The apology continued, as Susan Pittman of the State Department explained, "To be considered a jurisdiction of concern merely indicates that there is a vulnerability to a financial system by money launderers. With the large volumes of international currency that goes through the Holy See, it is a system that makes it vulnerable as a potential money-laundering center."
In plain English, there is no accusation of wrongdoing, nor even evidence of it. The State Department merely sees the Vatican as a possible risk because of the large volumes of money processed through its banking system.
Meanwhile, the Vatican has taken robust steps to ensure that money is handled in accord with strict integrity and in compliance with all international regulations. In fact, the Vatican is asking for inclusion on the "white list" of states that fully comply with international standards against fraud and money-laundering. The Vatican may be listed on the white list as early as June.
The Vatican Bank has operated independently for 30 years, after untangling itself from the Banco Ambrosiano, which itself had become the target of scandal. Since then, there has been no question raised by anyone that the Vatican Bank has operated safely and securely with the highest degree of integrity, State Department pronouncements notwithstanding.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Vatican, bank, money, laundering, corruption
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