Vatican Bank Cleanup Making Progress, Says Regulator

The regulator overseeing the Vatican's troublesome financial institutions said on Monday there has been considerable improvement in transparency and the prevention of money laundering, but that more progress was needed, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Holy See, pushed by Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, has introduced rules to meet international standards and end practices at its financial institutions, including the Vatican bank, that people both within and outside the church bureaucracy have described as opaque. A lack of transparency and scandals involving people tied to the Vatican's financial institutions have embarrassed the Catholic Church for decades. "There have been substantial improvements and achievements to a well-functioning system set up to fight money laundering and financial crimes," said René Brülhart, director of the Financial Information Authority, or AIF, at a news conference to present the authority's 2013 annual report. Read more. (Subscription required.)