The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR for its Spanish acronym), known as the Vatican bank, involved in allegations of corruption and accused of suspicious transactions, changed its president and initiated a series of actions needed to restore the reputation of the financial institution , whose bad image is damaging Pope’s message.
Ernst von Freyberg, Catholic lawyer and businessman, 52, who chairs the IOR, is the new president committed to the vast enterprise. He replaces the expelled Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, from the Opus Dei,and said he will publish annual reports on the financial status of the institute, which will be available in a website that will be open in October. He also said that “the closing of the IOR is just a rumor” and alleged that he will pursue a policy of “zero tolerance” for any irregularities.
“It is a triangle that has created this bad image: the first side is that there are real facts that should not have happened in the past and I’m just mentioning Ambrosiano’s Bank. The second is that the IOR is subject to a long line of rumors and slander that are only ghosts. And the third side of the triangle is that the IOR never communicated: if you do not communicate, it’s also a message that you don’t send,” says von Freyberg.
The German lawyer says he has hired the top consultants in the world, Promontory, experts in anti-money laundering policies, who will review all the accounts one by one, the procedures and structures to ensure the compliance with the highest international standards in anti-money laundering.
He didin’t confirmed if there was money laundering in previous administrations, but said that if he detects it, he will act without mercy.
About anonymous accounts, the businessman also said that for at least 15 years, there haven’t been numbered accounts and that he does not know whether it was before or not. However, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, before being brutally expelled, affirmed that there were numbered accounts.
The German denied that people like Osama Bin Laden or Toto Riina (Cosa Nostra kingpin) have accounts, as the press quoted several times.
“I am here to serve the Pope and for the IOR to be a well managed institution with a good reputation. The Pope will decide what he wants, but I do not want the IOR to be a problem for him. “