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Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Vatican City, 10 December 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Plenary Meeting of MONEYVAL (the “Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism”, established by the Council of Europe) has approved the Progress Report of the Holy See/ Vatican City State. The Progress Report follows the adoption of the Mutual Evaluation Report on 4 July 2012 and is part of the ordinary process in compliance with to the Rules of Procedure of MONEYVAL, according to a press communique published in the evening of Monday, 9 December by the Holy See Press Office.

The progress report, submitted for review during the Plenary, confirms that significant progress has been made. Upon request by the Holy See and the Vatican City State the MONEYVAL Secretariat agreed to carry out a full progress review. Therefore, the report contains an analysis of progress against the core and key recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force), regarding international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The adoption of the Progress Report confirms the significant efforts undertaken by the Holy See and the Vatican City State to strengthen its legal and institutional framework”, said Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Under Secretary for Relations with States, and Head of Delegation of the Holy See and Vatican City State to MONEYVAL. “The Holy See is fully committed to continuing to improve further the effective implementation of all necessary measures to build a well functioning and sustainable system aimed at preventing and fighting financial crimes.”

In accordance with the MONEYVAL Rules of Procedure, the Progress Report will be published in full by the MONEYVAL Secretariat on its website on Thursday.

At the legislative level, and among the principal results following the Mutual Evaluation report of 4 July 2012, Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF) has been strengthened by the amendment on 14 December 2012 of the Law on the Prevention and Countering of Laundering of Proceeds of Crimes and Financing of Terrorism. In addition to the Motu Proprio of Pope Francis on the Laws on Criminal Matters of 11 July 2013, the new laws cover all terrorist offences set forth in the Conventions annexed to the Terrorist Financing Convention as well as a new approach to the civil liability of legal persons arising from crime. In particular, a modern scheme on confiscation, freezing and seizure has been adopted. The Motu Proprio extended the jurisdiction of the Vatican Tribunal over criminal offences - including the financing of terrorism and money laundering - committed by public officials of the Holy See in the context of the exercise of their functions, even if outside Vatican territory.

A further step was the Motu Proprio of His Holiness, Pope Francis, of 8 August 2013 and the Decree of 8 August 2013 introducing norms relating to transparency, supervision and financial intelligence, confirmed by the Law of 8 October 2013 introducing norms relating to transparency, supervision and financial intelligence. This new Act of the Holy See and the Vatican City State introduces a comprehensive system in accordance with the international standards to fight money-laundering and financing of terrorism and is a further step towards strengthening the system to actively combat any potential misuse of financial activities within the Vatican City State. It deals with financial transparency, supervision and financial intelligence, clarifying and consolidating the functions, powers and responsibilities of the AIF.

The framework is completed by the Motu Proprio of 18 November 2013, by which Pope Francis, established a new organisational structure for the AIF.

In terms of operational achievements, important results have been achieved regarding international cooperation of financial supervisory organs. In July 2013, the AIF was admitted to the Egmont Group and over the last months has signed memoranda with Belgium, Spain, USA, Italy, Slovenia, the Netherlands and, most recently, Germany, and will continue to broaden its international network to fight money laundering and terrorism financing.

With regard to the procedures for review and remediation processes in institutions under supervision of AIF, the MONEYVAL analysis takes note of a preliminary review of the customer data base of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) concluded at the end of 2012. It acknowledges an in-depth audit of customer records and remediation, including analysis of transactions, based on the findings of this first phase and under the supervision of AIF that was launched at the beginning of 2013. Furthermore it was noted that the IOR has redefined the categories of customers entitled to IOR services.

In relation to the functioning of the reporting system for the combating of money-laundering and financing of terrorism, since the adoption of the Mutual Evaluation Report, an ongoing trend may be observed towards increased reporting of suspicious activity from different reporting entities, with a significant growth in 2013. Investigations based on reports of suspicious transactions have been undertaken and freezing orders initiated. Due to the remediation process and improved transaction monitoring processes the AIF recorded a significant rise in suspicious transaction reports.


Vatican City, 10 December 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has recorded a video message for the world campaign against worldwide hunger, launched today by Caritas Internationalis with the theme “One human family, food for all”.

Caritas’ campaign began with a “wave of prayer”. Starting on the Pacific Island of Samoa, at midday local time, Caritas organisations at midday in each country take part in a prayer service to pray and reflect on the issue of hunger. A press conference was held at 10.30 this morning in the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Rome, with the participation of, among others, the general secretary of Caritas Internationalis Michael Roy, the director of Caritas Senegal Abbe Ambroise Tine, the director of the diocesan branch of Caritas in Rome, Msgr. Enrico Feroci, and Ferruccio Ferrante, of Caritas Italiana. The conference included the screening of Pope Francis' video message, the full text of which we publish below:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today, I am happy to announce to you the launch of a campaign against global hunger by our very own Caritas Internationalis and to tell you that I intend to give my full support. This confederation, together with its 164 member organisations works in 200 countries and territories around the world and its work is at the heart of the mission of the Church and of Her attention towards all those who suffer because of the scandal of hunger, those with whom the Lord identified when he said, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”.

When the Apostles said to Jesus that the people who had come to listen to his words were hungry, He invited them to go and look for food. Being poor themselves, all they found were five loaves and two fish. But with the grace of God, they managed to feed a multitude of people, even managing to collect what was left over and avoiding that it went to waste.

We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion – one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist. The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone. The parable of the multiplication of the loaves and fish teaches us exactly this: that if there is the will, what we have never ends. On the contrary, it abounds and does not get wasted.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to make space in your heart for this emergency of respecting the God-given rights of everyone to have access to adequate food. We share what we have in Christian charity with those who face numerous obstacles to satisfy such a basic need. At the same time we promote an authentic cooperation with the poor so that through the fruits of their and our work they can live a dignified life.

I invite all of the institutions of the world, the Church, each of us, as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world.

This campaign is also an invitation to all of us to become more conscious in our food choices, which often lead to waste and a poor use of the resources available to us. It is also a reminder to stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger first-hand.

I ask you from the bottom of my heart to support our Caritas organisations in this noble campaign where they will act as one human family to ensure food for all.

Let us pray that the Lord gives us the grace to envisage a world in which no one must ever again die of hunger. And asking for this grace, I give you my blessing”.


Vatican City, 10 December 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father:

- appointed Msgr. Jesus Fernandez Gonzalez as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela (area 8,545, population 1,299,880, Catholics 1,191,800, priests 771, permanent deacons 11, religious 1,289), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Selga de Ordain, Spain in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1980. He holds a licentiate in psychology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest in the parishes of Senra and Lazado; formator, professor and rector in the minor seminary; ordinary professor in the Higher Centre for Theological Studies, formator in the San Froilan major seminary; priest in the parish of Cuadros and parish administrator of Valsemana, and episcopal vicar for pastoral for the clergy. Since 2010 he has served as vicar general of the same diocese, moderator of the Curia and advisor to the Pastoral Commission of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.

- appointed Fr. Urban Federer, O.S.B., as ordinary abbot of the territorial abbey of Maria Einsiedeln (area 1, population 70, Catholics 70, priests 48, religious 150), Switzerland. The abbot-elect was born in Zurigo-Fluntern, Switzerland in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a licentiate in German literature and history, and a doctorate in medieval German studies, both from the University of Fribourg. He also studied music and Gregorian chant at the Fribourg Conservatory of Music. He has served as a lecturer in religion, German language and history at the school in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, and of spirituality and Gregorian chant in the theological institute of the same abbey, as well as prefect of internships, teacher of novices, editor of the magazine “Salve” and director of the monastic choir. Fr. Federer is currently dean and vicar general of the same territorial abbey.

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