Pope sets up Vatican money-monitoring commission

Eight experts 'to study structure, economic problems'

Pope sets up Vatican money-monitoring commission

Rome, July 19 - Pope Francis on Friday announced the appointment of a panel of eight experts, including a young female Ernst & Young accounting executive, to run a pontifical commission aimed at monitoring the economic and organizational structure of Vatican City. The new commission will "gather information, refer to the pope and cooperate with the Council of Cardinals to study the organizational and economic problems of the Holy See" and aims to "simplify and rationalize existing organisms and provide a more attentive program of the economic activities of all the Vatican administrations," said a Vatican statement. The commission's members, who are experts in "judicial, economic, financial and organizational matters", are President Joseph F.X. Zahra of Malta; Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda appointed to the post of secretary; Jean-Baptiste de Franssu of France; Enrique Llano of Spain; Jochen Messemer of Germany; Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui of Italy; Jean Videlain-Sevestre of France; and George Yeo of Singapore. The first meeting will likely take place when the pontiff returns from his trip to Brazil for World Youth Day at the end of the month. Last month the pope created a related commission to oversee the Vatican Bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), aimed at keeping the pontiff abreast the bank's activities and making sure it operates in harmony with "the Vatican's mission". The Vatican Bank has come under scrutiny for alleged money laundering and is now working with the Council of Europe's Moneyval anti-money-laundering agency in a bid to make it onto the international 'white list' of banking.

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