The Guardian (2008):
The Roman Catholic Church is calling for the effective closure of secretive tax havens as a ‘necessary first step’ to restore the global economy to health.
In a policy paper from the Holy See, Pope Benedict pins the blame for the international financial crisis largely on ‘offshore centres’, many of which, such as the Channel Islands, are British dependencies.
‘They have given support to imprudent economic and financial practices and have also played a significant role in the imbalances of development, allowing a gigantic flight of capital linked to tax evasion,’ says the report. ‘Offshore markets could also be linked to the recycling of profits from illegal activities.’
The BBC (2013):
A senior Italian cleric has been arrested in connection with an inquiry into a Vatican bank scandal over allegations of corruption and fraud. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano works in the Vatican’s financial administration. A secret service agent and a financial broker have also been arrested. They are suspected of trying to move 20m euros ($26m; £17m) illegally. Pope Francis ordered an unprecedented internal investigation into the bank’s affairs in the wake of recent scandals. Monsignor Scarano, 61, worked for years as a senior accountant for a Vatican department known as Apsa (the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See).
He was suspended from that position “about a month ago, after his superiors learnt about an investigation into his activities”, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said…
Traditionally, the Vatican Bank has refused to co-operate with Italian authorities investigating financial crime on the grounds of the sovereign independence of the Vatican city state, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome. But Pope Francis has shown that he is now determined to get to the bottom of long-standing allegations of corruption and money laundering involving the bank, our correspondent adds.