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People & Power

Vatican Inc.

People & Power examines the secretive world of the Vatican's bank.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 14:53
Pope Benedict's resignation shocked the Catholic Church and left the Vatican in disarray. His successor will face many challenges, from recurrent sexual scandals to concerns about financial impropriety at the Vatican's own bank.

In 2011, we investigated allegations that bank had been involved in money laundering and examined Pope Benedict's plans for cleaning up the secretive system. But with many of the reforms having fallen short and the Vatican's finances still under a cloud, the next pope will have to introduce new rules to clean up the financial system.

At the heart of the Vatican, the sovereign papal state at the heart of Rome, is the Vatican's own bank, the Institute of Religious Works (IOR).

Until now the IOR has operated with few of the regulations that govern the activities of banks in the wider world, with sometimes disturbing results.

In the 1980s it became involved in an infamous fraud scandal the Banco Ambrosiano affair which made global headlines when its chief, Roberrto Calvi, was found hanging from a bridge in London, a murder that has never been solved.

More recently Italian state prosecutors have been investigating allegations of money laundering at the IOR, freezing some accounts, seizing funds and putting its president under formal scrutiny.

Filmmakers Alessandro Righi and Emanuele Piano have been examining this latest chapter in the history of a notoriously secretive organisation.

People & Power can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2230; Thursday: 0930; Friday: 0330; Saturday: 1630; Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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