High Vatican official arrested in €20M plot

Photo credit: AP | An undated photo of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano in Salerno, Italy. A Vatican official already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank was arrested Friday, June 28, 2013, in a separate operation: Prosecutors allege he tried to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane, his lawyer said. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a recently suspended accountant in one of the Vatican’s main financial departments, is accused of fraud, corruption and slander stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground, attorney Silverio Sica told The Associated Press. He said Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked him to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euros they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Giovanni Maria Zito, went to Switzerland to bring the cash back aboard an Italian government aircraft. Such a move would presumably prevent any reporting of the money coming into Italy. The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said. (AP Photo/Francesco Pecoraro)

The Vatican has been dealing with issues surrounding their ethics for years. We seem unfazed when information is released regarding misconduct within the Vtican walls. Friday, the Associated Press reported that a Vatican cleric and two other people were arrested by Italian police for allegedly trying to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into the country from Switzerland by private jet. It’s the latest scandal to hit the Holy See and broadens an Italian probe into its secretive bank.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank, is accused of corruption and slander and was being held at a Rome prison, prosecutor Nello Rossi told reporters.

Nicole Winfield(AP) of in Newsday reported that, Pope Francis has made clear he has no tolerance for corruption or for Vatican officials who use their jobs for personal ambition or gain. He has said he wants a “poor” church and a church that is for the poor, one that goes out to the “peripheries” to minister to those most needy. He has also noted, tongue in cheek, that “St. Peter didn’t have a bank account.”

The DailyMail said today that, “

The high profile arrests come just 48 hours after Pope Francis announced the line up for his commission into the Vatican Bank.

The so-called ‘Bank of God ‘ has been tarnished by scandal and suspicion for 30 years.

Any attempt to investigate by Italian authorities was viewed as an attack on the sovereignty of the Vatican state. “

These are problems. But maybe these are issues that should be highlighted in order to dissect the actions of an religious organization. Religion, by default, are exempt from established taxes. The Vatican is not only exempt from taxes but also privy to their own rules and regulations. This gives the illusion, to those looking o gain, that they are exempt from laws and rules generally instituted within society. We need to target some of these organizations and dissect their operations to see as to if they are abusing their privileges.   

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