Vatican denies risk of default over structural deficit

AP NEWS | 10/22/2019 | Staff
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VATICAN CITY (AP) — A top Vatican administrator is denying the Holy See risks default over its structural deficit, saying claims in a new book about possible financial ruin are overblown.

Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, president of the office that manages the Vatican’s real estate and other assets, told the Avvenire newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference Tuesday that all that is needed is a “spending review” to bring down costs.

Galantino - Claims - Book - Monday - Judgment

Galantino was responding to claims in a new book published Monday, “Universal Judgment” by Italian author Gianluigi Nuzzi, that has added to speculation about the Vatican’s finances and the state of Pope Francis’ promised reforms.

The Vatican hasn’t published a budget since 2015 and has been without an in-house auditor or economy minister for more than two years, fueling conspiracies about its financial health.

Conspiracies - Scandal - Month - Vatican - Police

Those conspiracies have only grown following a new financial scandal that erupted this month, after Vatican police raided the secretariat of state and the financial intelligence unit in search of documentation about a problematic 150 million-euro London real estate investment.

The search warrant, excerpts of which were published this weekend by L’Espresso magazine, alleges fraud, money laundering and abuse of office connected to the London venture and efforts by the Vatican to renegotiate the terms and identify money managers who were fleecing the Holy See in the deal.

Scandal - Amount - Money - Holy - See

The scandal has laid bare both the vast amount of money the Holy See has at its disposal for investment — including donations from the faithful for charity — and the seeming incompetence of the Vatican monsignors responsible for managing it.

Citing the warrant, L’Espresso reported the secretariat of state was managing off-balance sheet assets of some 650 million euros “derived mostly...
(Excerpt) Read more at: AP NEWS
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