Tag Archives: Institute for the Works of Religion

Vatican Bank’s annual report, first ever

The Institute for Works of Religion (aka, the Vatican Bank) has published the first annual report of its 125 year history for the year of 2012 and the first 8 months of 2013.

The goal: to report to the universal Church its holdings giving a window of transparency, it contributes to the mission of the Church; the investors, and the public. The IOR has, in the past months, reached out to the media by engaging in an open dialogue, creating a new managed website, and given the published report on finances.

You’ll find a lengthy report on the IOR’s business activities and detailed financial statements, including one from the external auditing company KPMG and statements from various others.

No new facts; the IOR is a conservative financial institution.

You can read the report here (it’s a 99 page .pdf).

Father Bernd Hagenkord spoke with the President of the IOR, Ernst von Freyberg.

Here is a 6 minute Vatican Radio interview.

Pope Francis sets stage for reforming the Vatican Bank

Pope Francis coat of arms.jpg

As reported in secular and religious media, the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) –known popularly, even if inaccurately– has been a bête noire for recent popes. The IOR is a colossal distraction for Catholics and for the seculars due to the mismanagement and problematic behavior of certain clergymen. If Pope Francis doesn’t get this problem under control and fixed, his work will be weakened.

Today, it was announced that Pope Francis, following on the systemic changes made made by Pope Benedict, is very serious in his intentions to reform the IOR. The Pope established a commission and published directives.

The members of the Commission are:

Cardinal Raffaele Farina, SDB, president

Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, coordinator

Msgr. Peter Bryan Wells, secretary

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, member

Dr. Mary Ann Glendon, member

Two of the members of the commission are Americans. All members answer solely to Francis.

Here is the Chirograph by which establishes a Pontifical Referring Commission for the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).

“With his Chirograph of 1 March 1990, Blessed John Paul II established the Institute for the Works of Religion as a public juridical entity, giving the Institute a new configuration while maintaining its name and purpose. With the same perspective, taking into account that he wished to better adapt the Institute’s structures and activities to the needs of the times; following the invitation of Our Predecessor Benedict XVI to allow the Gospel principles to permeate even the activities of an economic and financial nature; having heard the opinion of various Cardinals and other brothers in the Episcopate as well as other collaborators; and in light of the need to introduce reforms in the Institutions that give aid to the Apostolic See; We have decided to establish a Referring Commission for the Institute for the Works of Religion that will gather accurate information on the Institute’s legal position and various activities, in order to allow, if necessary, a better harmonization of the same with the universal mission of the Apostolic See. The Commission is to carry out its proper duties in accordance with this Chirograph and Our working arrangements.

Read more ...

Vatican Bank begins to change image

Ernst von Freyberg.jpeg

In an article on May 30, 2013 by Rachel Donadio for the NY TimesVatican Bank Looks to Shed Its Image as an Offshore Haven does look into the Vatican Bank’s recent past. Before his retirement in February, Pope Benedict appointed Ernst von Freyberg, 54,  as the new head of the bank that causes a lot of distraction. Officially, the real name for the Vatican bank is the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) or sometimes the IOR is called the Institute for the Works of Religion. The IOR is not a commercial bank like Chase or TD Bank.

Mr von Freyberg is a German citizen, an accomplished businessman with strong Catholic roots and who is a member of the Order of Malta, a group of faith Catholics who serve the Church and society by defending the faith and serving the needs of the sick and poor. 

I, for one, would like to see the IOR vanish. In my opinion, there is a little need for the IOR. But I am happy to hear von Freyberg say, 

“Our mission is to serve and shine,” the bank’s president, Ernst von Freyberg, said with a smile. “Our first pillar is transparency.” He spoke from an office in the medieval tower that houses the bank inside the Vatican, beneath a painting depicting a Gospel lesson, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read more ...

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
coat of arms



Humanities Blog Directory