A detailed report was published last week on the Vatican’s commitment to join the international system of controls and measures to fight new forms of crime in the economic and financial field: laundering and the funding of terrorism. The report is formulated by Moneyval, the organisation of the Council of Europe responsible in this field. The assessment says that the Vatican has already accomplished a great deal and is on the right track, even though much remains to be done.
For the Holy See, taking this path was a bold and innovative decision, which corresponds to the line of consistent transparency requested by the Pope in all areas.
As we know, money can be used to do many good things, and, in fact, it is often necessary in order to realise wonderful projects. At the same time it is not salvation, and often its use is risky: Sometimes due to a lack of prudence, sometimes because it unleashes a disordered passion for its acquisition. The fact that the international community is concerned with establishing rules and controls to protect the common good is very positive, even necessary. The fact that ecclesiastical institutions humbly participate together in this journey is right and proper, because there is no reason to think that they are more expert and able than others in establishing such controls; in fact, sometimes confidence in good intentions can cause people to drop their guard.
Exactness and good administration, transparency of budgets and procedures, respect for the law. On all levels, in all parts of the world and in all fields - charity, education, health… The road is a long and complex one for everyone, even for Catholic organisations. It is difficult in its assortment of situations; but that it is the right path there is no doubt, given that it is also a requirement for the credibility of the spiritual and moral mission, which is the most important. We hope that the experience set up by the Vatican in its relationship with Moneyval is a positive step and good example for the whole Church.