VATICAN CITY, April 7 (UPI) -- Pope Francis approved the new mission of the Vatican’s Institute of Religious Works, better known as the Vatican Bank, in a statement Monday.
His sanction is a critical mark of confidence for the bank after it endured a series of scandals. The new mission calls for more transparency and compliance.
Italian banks stopped dealing with the IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered it to enforce strict anti-money-laundering policies. The statement said the Pope reaffirmed “the importance of the IOR for the good of the Catholic Church, the holy see and the Vatican.”
The bank will continue to provide “specialized financial services to the Catholic Church” all over the world,” it added.
The Pope’s approval “represents for us a strong accreditation, a great recognition of the importance of our mission,” said IOR spokesman Max Hohenberg.
Hohenberg added the bank will complete its analysis of bank clients, and will work toward operational improvements which will boost compliance and transparency.