Those who are hired to work in the Holy See , which includes the Vatican City State, must sign a declaration and renew it every two years as they have not been convicted in the Vatican or abroad, they have no pending charges , they are not being judicially investigated, they do not possess assets of illicit origin or assets that are contrary to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Once assumed, they will not be able to receive gifts of more than 40 euros .
These are some of the measures to put an end to corruption that Pope Francis has included in a personal document that this Thursday he has ordered published in the ‘Osservatore Romano’, the official newspaper of the Holy See. The new regulations correct, replace or add any previous provisions that do not contemplate them.
They also affect all staff, at least 3,000 people, including those who are not subject to the General Regulations of the Roman Curia, for which the body on which they depend must update its own internal regulations.
The “apostolic letter” of the Pope, entitled “Provisions on transparency in the management of public finances”, is published shortly before the committee of the Council of Europe that assesses the transparency of the finances of States (Moneyval) decides whether includes the Holy See in the so-called white list.
It is a procedure that usually lasts for years and that implies the approval of several various laws and consequent bodies, on the financial control of a State, with the aim of preventing and controlling internationally the laundering of black or dirty money.
The papal document describes in seven sections the assumptions that can prevent them from being hired by the Holy See . In addition to the aforementioned, a figure that may not be employees who “have benefited from pardon, amnesty, pardon and other similar measures or have been acquitted of them by prescription.”
The new rule includes cases (prior to hiring) of corruption, fraud, terrorism and participation of a criminal organization, such as money laundering . It also includes the exploitation of minors, human trafficking, tax evasion and avoidance (avoiding declaring).
The property chapter includes as an impediment the possession of “cash or investments” of any kind in “companies and businesses in countries included in the list of jurisdictions with high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing” (tax havens and others).
The Financial Information and Surveillance Authority will decide on specific cases. It is a body currently available to almost all states, including the Vatican.
The personal property of anyone who wants to work or live in the Vatican must come “from lawful activities” and do not constitute “the product or benefit of a crime.” At the same time, the applicant must not have “participations or interests of any kind in companies or companies that operate for purposes and in sectors contrary to the Social Doctrine of the Church.”
It was recently revealed that the Vatican had invested for 20 years in pharmaceutical companies that produced the so-called morning-after pill.
Loyalty and honesty
The declaration to be signed by the interested party will be made before the Economic Secretariat -a kind of super-ministry of Economy and Finance-, which will send a copy to the Secretary of State, similar to the cabinet of a prime minister. The first will be able to control the veracity of the statements.
Faced with the past history of the Vatican, where you could, for example, enter without controls with money in your pocket and send it immediately to another country, or use non-own money to buy houses and rent them, the Papal State is no longer a paradise prosecutor .
It was used regularly by some central banks, by politicians and sometimes by gangsters and sometimes by surprising states, such as a recent triangulation between the Iranian embassy in Rome, the Vatican and an unknown recipient.
The papal document begins with a phrase that says: ” Fidelity in things of little importance is related (…) to fidelity in things important. Just as being dishonest in things of little importance is related to being dishonest in things of importance”.