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Thursday, February 9, 2012


Vatican City, 9 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office has issued a communique rejecting claims made in an article entitled "Money Laundering: Four Priests under Investigation. The Silence of the Vatican" which appeared yesterday in the Italian newspaper "L'Unita". Extracts from the communique are given below.

"The article ... unfortunately reveals a considerable lack of serious research by the author.

"We must begin by making two introductory observations. The title of the article refers to silence on the part of the Vatican. ... This is completely groundless because the Holy See and the authorities of the Vatican have duly cooperated with magistrates and other Italian authorities. The claims made in the article are merely a reworking of past criticisms. ... They are, in fact, 'recycled' accusations which the same journalist has already published on a number of occasions in the past. Repeating them once again does not make them true; rather, we must ask ourselves whether the article was not intended as a kind of advertisement for an evening television show.

"As to the contents of the article, we must clarify the following".

"The principal accusation is that the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) has been involved in illegal activity and that is has failed to assist the Italian authorities who were pursuing these individuals" (the alleged money launderers).

"This is incorrect. Firstly, the article fails to report that, beginning in the years 2006-2007, the IOR has been determinedly committed to analysing accounts and verifying clients in order to ascertain and report the presence of any suspicious transactions. These efforts by the IOR (which, strangely, the media seem to ignore) to identify suspect operations pre-date by several years the adoption by Vatican City State, on 30 December 2010, of Law No. 127 to Counter Money Laundering.

"Moreover, as the Italian authorities are aware, and as emerges from documentation in the possession of officials both of the Holy See and of the Republic of Italy, the IOR has repeatedly cooperated with the Italian authorities at all levels. ... The IOR supplied information, even outside official channels, in the period preceding the establishment of the Vatican Financial Information Authority (AIF). The cooperation of Paolo Cipriani, director general of the IOR, has been described as 'punctual and complete' in documents written by Italian officials. Indeed, in one case, it was precisely rapid action on the part of Mr. Cipriani that enabled one of the individuals identified to be accused".

"Following consultation with the AIF, we can confirm the following:

"(1) It is not true that the IOR failed to provide information to the AIF on the issues in question.

"(2) It is not true that the AIF failed to forward this information to the Italian Financial Information Unit.

"(3) The Italian authorities have never made a request to the AIF regarding one of the individuals mentioned in the article, Msgr. Messina; therefore it is clearly impossible for the AIF to 'respond' to its Italian counterpart.

"These points regarding communication between the AIF and its Italian counterpart are all confirmed by documents held by the AIF, identified with specific protocol numbers.

"Furthermore, the article does not report that on 6 June 2011 one of the individuals mentioned therein - Fr. Bonaccorsi - was declared innocent, a sentence confirmed on appeal.

"The sadly defamatory effect of the article arises from the use of the term 'incriminated' to refer to Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, president of the IOR, and to Paolo Cipriani. Neither of them has ever been incriminated, but merely investigated".


Vatican City, 9 February 2012 (VIS) - The logo for World Youth Day 2013 has been revealed in the John Paul II Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. WYD 2013 will be held in that Brazilian city next year.

Vatican Radio has announced that the logo, work of a young Brazilian artist Gustavo Huguenin, portrays a heart (symbol of youth) in the colours of the national flag (green and yellow). At the centre of the heart is the silhouette of the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro. At the top is a cross, in recollection of the fact that the core of WYD is Christ Himself.


Vatican City, 9 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, apostolic nuncio to Tanzania.

- Eighteen prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Cardinal Francis Eugene George O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Francis J. Kane, George J. Rassas, Andrew Peter Wypych and Alberto Rojas.

- Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville.

- Bishop Robert Daniel Conlon of Joliet in Illinois, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Siegel, and by Bishop emeritus Joseph Leopold Imesch.

- Bishop Daniel Robert Jenky C.S.C. of Peoria.

- Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois.

- Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, auxiliary of Indianapolis.

- Bishop Charles C. Thompson of Evansville, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Gerald Andrew Gettelfinger.

- Bishop Kevin Carl Rhoades of Fort Wayne - South Bend, accompanied by Bishop emeritus John Michael D'Arcy.

- Bishop Dale Joseph Melczek of Gary.

- Bishop Timothy L. Doherty of Lafayette in Indiana.
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