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A report of the American State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy has for the first time identified the Vatican as a possible centre for money laundering from criminal activity

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...g a new anti money laundering law to make it more difficult for illegal funds to be recycled through Vatican accounts, there was a massive loophole which made it impossible to take action against any offence committed before its introduction on 1 April 2011. Prosecutors in Rome are currently investigating two transfers totaling 23 million Euros from the Vatican Bank, or the Institute of Religious...

Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict's butler, has been formally named as a suspect in the Vatican's inquiry into a series of media leaks from the Church's highest levels

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...aster, Rai. Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict's butler, has been formally named as a suspect in the Vatican's inquiry into a series of media leaks from the Church's highest levels Father Federico Lombardi added that now the initial stage of the process was complete, Paolo Gabriele had nominated two lawyers capable of representing him at a Vatican Tribunal, and had met with them. He would,...

Pope Francis told Vatican officials he wants them to display professionalism and competence as well as holiness in their lives

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Pope Francis told Vatican officials he wants them to display professionalism and competence as well as holiness in their lives. The pontiff warned Vatican administrators Saturday that their work can take a downward spiral into mediocrity, gossip and bureaucratic squabbling if they forget that theirs is a professional vocation of service to the church. Pope Francis made the comments in his Christm...

Paolo Gabriele pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated theft but said he had abused the Pope's trust

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...s as a crime. There has been speculation that the butler had accomplices as he set about leaking the Vatican’s secrets. But he insisted in court that he had acted alone, adding that he had “many contacts” in the Vatican where he said there was “widespread unease”. Paolo Gabriele also complained of the conditions he endured for weeks in a tiny Vatican cell after his ar...

Paolo Gabriele has been moved to a Vatican cell to serve the rest of his sentence

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..., Pope Benedict’s former butler, found guilty of stealing papal documents, has been moved to a Vatican cell to serve the rest of his sentence. Paolo Gabriele was given an 18-month prison sentence earlier this month. He admitted passing documents to a journalist, but said he did it out of love for the Church and the Pope. The Vatican secretary of state’s office has left open the possibi...

Pope Benedict XVI has officially resigned today, saying that he now "will simply be a pilgrim" starting his last journey on earth

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...m” starting his last journey on earth The conclave of 115 cardinals is expected to meet at the Vatican on Monday morning to start planning the election of the next pope. Earlier on Thursday, bells of St Peter’s rang across the Vatican as Benedict boarded the helicopter for a short flight to Castel Gandolfo. Before that, the pontiff was greeted for the last time by top officials in the...

Pope Francis has stepped up the fight against corruption at the Vatican by strengthening supervision of financial transactions at its internal bank

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Pope Francis has stepped up the fight against corruption at the Vatican by strengthening supervision of financial transactions at its internal bank. The Pope issued a decree designed to combat money-laundering and prevent any financing of terrorism. It is the latest move to stamp out abuses at the Vatican bank, which handles funds for the Catholic Church. Pope Francis recently set up a commission...

Vatican judges have refused to admit key evidence in the trial of Paolo Gabriele

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...and corruption. Pope Benedict XVI ordered cardinals to carry out an inquiry separate to the probe by Vatican police after the scandal broke. The results of their investigation have not been made public. Paolo Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if convicted of aggravated theft, but he could be pardoned by the Pope. The court decided that his fellow defendant, Vatican computer technician Clau...

Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to become the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign since the Middle Ages has left a slew of unanswered questions

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...en as Archbishop of Munich he transferred a paedophile priest to another parish. And there have been complaints that during the Eighties and Nineties, in his role as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he ignored complaints of abuse. Getting the Pope to resign would have taken something more damning. Did Angelo Sodano stumble on a scandal? It seems unlikely. A more pl...

Pope Emeritus Benedict has returned to the Vatican, two months after becoming the first pontiff to resign in 600 years

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Pope Emeritus Benedict has returned to the Vatican, two months after becoming the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. The former pope was flown by helicopter from the Castel Gandolfo papal summer residence to live permanently in Vatican City. Greeted by Pope Francis as he arrived, Benedict was driven the short distance to his new accommodation. Ex-Pope Benedict, 86, was last seen in public on M...

Pope Francis has decided to put on public display nine tiny fragments of bone which may belong to St Peter, the world's first Pope

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...finally been decided to produce the bones for the public, but these relics have a low profile at the Vatican,” said Marco Ansaldo, a Vatican expert at Italy’s La Repubblica. “It seems clear the Vatican is not yet sure about the relics and is therefore rather embarrassed” he added. The Vatican also has an ambivalent view of the Turin Shroud, the length of cloth bearing the i...

Pope Francis has appointed a group of cardinals to advise him on how to reform the Vatican's often arcane bureaucracy

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Pope Francis has appointed a group of cardinals to advise him on how to reform the Vatican’s often arcane bureaucracy. The Catholic Church’s new leader chose eight cardinals and a bishop who between them represent nearly every continent, and only one of whom is currently a Vatican official. The bureaucracy, or Curia, has been blamed for the Church’s hesitant response to sex abuse and...

Claudio Sciarpelletti has been accused of helping Paolo Gabriele leak the confidential documents while working in the Vatican's Secretariat of State

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...e church and the Pope. Paolo Gabriele is serving his sentence in a special detention room inside the Vatican’s police station, amid talk that he may be pardoned by Pope Benedict XVI. Claudio Sciarpelletti, 48, handled secret communications in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, the nerve centre of the Roman Catholic church. His lawyer said an anonymous tip-off led Vatican police to sea...

Pope Benedict XVI wanted to reach out to everyone with tweets translated into eight languages

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...Sunday blessings and homilies on key Church holidays as well as papal reaction to world events. The Vatican has long shown interest in using the latest communications technologies to spread the faith with the inventor of radio, Guglielmo Marconi, setting up Vatican Radio in 1931. The Catholic Church also already uses several social media platforms, including text messages and YouTube, to communic...

Italian media have named the arrested man in Vatileaks scandal as Paolo Gabriele, a personal butler and assistant to Pope Benedict XVI and one of very few laymen to have access to the Pope's private apartments

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...the Holy See. The leaks have revealed alleged corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts. The Vatican said the person detained was being questioned by Vatican magistrates. Last month, Pope Benedict XVI set up a special commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks. “The inquiry carried out by Vatican police… allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential docum...

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that Pope Benedict was not stepping down because of any specific illness

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...day he officially retires on February 28. He is due to officiate at an Ash Wednesday service at the Vatican. “The last general audience [on 27 February] will be held in the square since a lot of people will come,” AFP news agency quotes Father Lombardi as saying. After that the Vatican has said he will retire to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo before moving into a renovated mon...

Pope Francis will set up a Vatican committee to fight abuse of children in the Catholic Church and offer help to victims

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Pope Francis will set up a Vatican committee to fight abuse of children in the Catholic Church and offer help to victims. The announcement, by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, follows a meeting between Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers. It comes days after the Vatican refused a UN request for information on alleged abuse by priests, nuns or monks. Pope Francis ha...

Vatican has decided to suspend Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst over his alleged lavish spending

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...cused of spending more than 31 million euros ($42 million) on renovating his official residence. The Vatican said it deemed “appropriate… a period of leave from the diocese” for the bishop. The suspension comes two days after he met the Pope to discuss the matter. “A situation has been created in which the bishop can no longer exercise his episcopal duties,” a Vatican...

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano has been arrested in connection with an inquiry into the Vatican bank scandal over allegations of corruption and fraud

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...or Nunzio Scarano, a senior Italian cleric, has been arrested in connection with an inquiry into the 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 20 million euros illegally into Italy. Pope Fran...

Pope Francis prepares to tackle some of the Catholic Church's major problems and he starts with the Vatican Bank, which has been accused of laundering money

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..., speaking on the condition of anonymity, say that he is considering plans to remove the head of the Vatican Bank, Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, who is the Vatican’s second-in-command and is largely blamed for failing to stop infighting and corruption within the Holy See. The officials warned that it would take time to change the bank, or to close it, but that it could certainly happen. One of...

Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict XVI's former butler, is set to go on trial in the Vatican on charges of aggravated theft

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...e could be pardoned by the Pope. If he is jailed, he will serve his sentence in an Italian prison as Vatican City has no long-term detention facilities on its territory. Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler, is set to go on trial in the Vatican on charges of aggravated theft Paolo Gabriele is standing trial along with Vatican computer technician Claudio Sciarpelletti, who is ac...

Pope Benedict XVI's resigned starting with February 28

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Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation today is forcing the Vatican to consider some unusual questions. Here are 10 answers: 1. Name and title. He will be known as Pope emeritus, or Roman pontiff emeritus, the Vatican announced on Tuesday. He will also continue to be known by his papal title of Benedict XVI, rather than reverting to Joseph Ratzinger, and he will continue to be addressed as “...

John Paul II could be declared a saint this year after a Vatican committee approved a second miracle attributed to him

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..., which this year falls on a Sunday. John Paul II could be canonized at the same time as John XXIII, Vatican sources suggested. Venerated by Catholics as “the good pope”, John XXIII was elected in 1958 and convened the Second Vatican Council in 1962, but died the following year before it was finished. John Paul II could be declared a saint this year after a Vatican committee approved...

Pope Francis has acknowledged the existence of a "gay lobby" inside the Vatican

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...Liberation. According to the report, Pope Francis was extremely open as he discussed problems at the Vatican. He is said to have told the Latin American delegation that there were good, holy men in the administration, but that there was also corruption. The Vatican would have to “see what we can do” about the “gay lobby” operating in the bureaucracy, he said. Pope Francis...

Pope Francis named Monsignor Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca to oversee Vatican bank management

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Pope Francis has taken his first major step towards reforming to the troubled Vatican bank, naming Monsignor Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca, a trusted cleric, to oversee its management. The Vatican said Monsignor Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca had been approved as interim prelate of the Institute for Religious Work (IOR)s, as the bank is known. Monsignor Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca currently r...