Amid Vatican Money Scandals, Vatican Condemns Secular Money Scandals?

Amid Vatican Money Scandals, Vatican Condemns Secular Money Scandals?

[“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”; hat-tip to Canon212 – AQ Tom]

 

Who are they to judge?

An interview with theologian and Breitbart contributor Dr. Thomas D. Williams [ex-L.C., aka Mr. Elizabeth Lev Glendon], who thinks the timing is just a little off. From episode 35 of the Stephen Herreid Show!

WATCH:

 

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One comment on “Amid Vatican Money Scandals, Vatican Condemns Secular Money Scandals?

  1. IOR in surplus[!?], deposits fall and profit suffers from zero interest rates
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    Published the report: the line of transparency continues, more attention to ethical investment. 31.9 million devolved to the Pope. Strong investment outflow
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    [Hat-tip to Canon212:”FRANKENPOPE-EFFECT: PEOPLE FLEEING THE VATICAN BANK. CUSTOMER DEPOSITS, MANAGED ASSETS COLLAPSE”]
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    ANDREA TORNIELLI – 5/23/18
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    In 2017, the Istituto per le Opere di Religione served 14,945 clients representing approximately 5.3 billion euro in assets (5.7 billion in 2016), of which approximately 3.5 billion are asset under management and custody accounts. This is what emerges from the balance sheet of IOR’s 2017 Financial Statements, published on the afternoon of Tuesday 22 May. The document shows a significant fall in customer deposits, which fell from two billion euro 28 million euro to one billion euro 839 million euro: 189 million euro of customers therefore left the Bank. There was also a marked fall in bonds held in custody, from 554 to 474 million, and in asset management, from 3 billion euro and 110 million euro to 2 billion euro and 957 million euro.
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    The net result was €31.9 million (2016 net result was € 36 million including €13 million in extraordinary items related to release of provisions). The profit was entirely donated to the Pope. At 31 December 2017, the Institute’s equity (after profit allocation to the Pope) amounted to 627.2 million euro.
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    “In 2017 – writes Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló, President of the Commission of Cardinals – the Institute renewed its commitment to affirm the centrality of the ethical dimension with respect to that of profit, through important “ethical” choices that involved sensitive areas of activity such as investments, fiscal transparency and the ensuing legal strategy to protect its reputation”.
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    The IOR has continued to select “for itself and for its clients only investments in line with Catholic principles along with the choice to fully implement the tax agreements signed in recent years respectively with the United States of America and the Italian Republic in order to make the accounts of the property and those of customers fiscally transparent, while aware of a possible contraction of customers as a result of such rigorous choices”.
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    The cardinal in the letter that opens the 2017 budget also recalls “the choice of the Institute to refer to the decisions of the competent courts to ascertain the responsibilities of persons who in the past, for various reasons (administrators, managers, investors and/or consultants of the time) have betrayed its trust and seriously damaged it, despite the substantial settlement agreements proposed by some of the interested parties to repair the damage caused to the Institute by their conduct. Aware of the importance of affirming, also in this case, the centrality of the ethical dimension with respect to the purely economic one – continues Abril – the Institute excluded any negotiation with those who dragged it into the mud, subordinating compensation for reputational and economic damage to the ascertainment of emerging responsibilities by the competent authorities”. Just a few days ago the trial was opened in the Vatican of the former president of the Institute, Angelo Caloia, and lawyer Gabriele Liuzzo, accused of embezzlement and money laundering in connection with real estate disposals made by the IOR between 2001 and 2008, with damage estimated at 57 million euros.
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    Also, the prelate of the Institute, Monsignor Battista Ricca, expressed satisfaction speaking of a “change of mentality”: that of not working in the Institute thinking it were just any place. This led in the past to attitudes that were a little too casual and not always attentive to ethics, a lacking which led to excessive independence that risked losing meaning to the real need of the Institute and therefore to its usefulness for the Holy See”. Today, Ricca recalls, there is a “more exact conception of the aims: the budgetary results show that by now the logic of “making money to make money” has been overcome but using money to respond to the needs for which the Institute was founded, that is, to help the activities of the Catholic Church. It is often believed that “if you own so much you can do so much”. It is better to have little and do well, to do necessary things, to reprioritise”.
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    The financial statements, according to the Institute, were audited by the independent auditing firm Deloitte & Touche. “The main contribution to IOR’s net result came from the management of IOR assets for €44.3 million. IOR investment policy has remained prudent and was a continuation of previous year strategies”. The Institute has continued the process of optimising costs initiated in previous years, reducing its cost base to €18.7 million (€19.1 million in 2016). On the other hand, the cost of the Institute’s personnel rose to 11.4 million euros (10.2 million in 2016, an increase of 11.8%), due to new hires with higher salaries.
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    Particular emphasis is placed, in the presentation of the financial statements, on the growing attention paid to investment ethics, a goal that is increasingly felt and urgent, as attested to in the recent document on economic and financial issues published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Department for Integral Human Development, and as attested to the interest in the creation of the new Quadragesimo Anno Foundation, which intends to work with a top-profile scientific committee to implement a system of investment certification in accordance with the Social Doctrine of the Church.
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    “Respect of human life, creation and human dignity are some of the inalienable values that guide the Institute in the selection of its investments – reads the 2017 budget – The Institute has in fact expressed its commitment to contribute to the “care of the common home”, invoked by Pope Francis in the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, and select its investments notably on the basis of two fundamental themes – mentioned in the same by the Holy Father: corporate social responsibility, and the role of businesses in creating a sustainable future.
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    The IOR therefore continued “to rule out investments in companies that violate or do not fully respect the globally recognized principles of human rights, labour standards, the fight against corruption and the fight against environmental crime. The Institute also expressed its willingness to disinvest from existing holdings if compliance with these principles were no longer met”. And at the same time “it has also invested in projects that promote the development of poorer countries and are in line with the realization of a sustainable future for future generations”. In addition, the Institute “has contributed to many charitable and social activities, both through financial donations and by letting real estate properties it owns at a reduced rent or offering them free of charge to entities with social aims”.
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    As at 31 December 2017, the total number of IOR clients was 14,945 (in 2016 it was 14.960) and in terms of assets held, it divides as follows: religious orders (52%), departments of the Roman Curia, offices of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State and apostolic nunciatures (11%), episcopal conferences, dioceses and parishes (9%); bodies of canon law (8%), cardinals, bishops and clergy (8%), Vatican employees and retired people (8%); other subjects, including foundations of canon law (4%). The common characteristic of all the Institute’s clients is that they belong to the Catholic Church or are at its service.
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    The IOR provides its clients with fund deposit services as well as asset management and titles custody services. At 31 December 2017, the net value of assets held in the managed portfolios amounted to 3.0 bn (2016: 3.1 bn), the net value in custody and administration portfolios amounted to 474.6 bn (2016: 554.8 bn) and the net value of money deposited amounted to 1.8 bn (2016: 2.0 bn), giving a total minority interest total of 5.3 bn (2016: 5.7 bn).
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    The dropping numbers of customer inflows, which fell last year by 189.4 million euro, immediately strikes the eye, as does the reduction in liquidity deposited by asset management (-78.1 million euro). There are exchange rate effects on deposits and tax payments on financial assets made through the Institution. The fall in deposits is a consequence of the new standards. As there is no longer a tax advantage, nor a higher interest rate than other banks, the “competition” among banks takes place mainly on services to customers, from home banking, ATM cards to other services: and on this the path to be taken by the Institute seems to be still very long.
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    Finally, how can we explain the fall in deposits and securities on deposit compared to a number of customers that remains essentially unchanged? One reason may be linked to the annual opening of new IOR accounts by hundreds of students who enrol in the Pontifical Universities, flowing very little numbers, in the range of few thousand euros, and which generally do not get closed. These compensate, but only from a numerical point of view, the (much more substantial) accounts of the customers who decide to leave the IOR.

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