By Alessandro Speciale| Religion News Service, Published: May 24
In the past, the Vatican Bank, which operates under the protection of the Vatican’s status as a sovereign nation, has been often accused of involvement in shady financial operations, such as money laundering for Italian politicians and even mafia bosses.
According to Giuseppe Di Taranto, professor of finance with LUISS University in Rome, in recent years “Pope Benedict XVI has spearheaded an effort to bring more transparency to the Vatican,” seeking its entry into an international list of financially transparent countries.
A key step in this direction was the creation of an independent financial watchdog in December 2010. But according to internal Vatican documents leaked in recent months to the Italian press, the watchdog panel’s effective powers have been at the center of a heated Vatican power struggle.
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