Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Vice Pope" Cardinal Oscar's Soros funding-Has the Vatican Bank acted as conduit , is it in breach of international AML,CTF and KYC regulations?

by Ganesh Sahathevan

The Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR),commonly known as the Vatican Bank,operates as a single customer private banking service, only accepting deposits from organisations within the Vatican.

In its own words:
The purpose of the IOR is one that sets the Institute apart from any commercial financial service provider. It is to serve the global mission of the Catholic Church by way of protecting and growing its customers’ assets and providing them with dedicated worldwide payment services. 

Given the IOR's standing it is in a position to relay funds to almost any part of the world, and with little or no scrutiny. It is not likely to have to face the same questions about source  and use that secular commercial banks and their customers would encounter.

This then brings us to the matter of "Vice Pope" Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga ,his Soros funding, and their financing of  the "Catholic Spring " movement

That the Vatican has off-balance sheet funds is a matter that has now been acknowledged by the Vatican itself(see story below).

It is then not unlikely that Soros and others funding Cardinal Oscar diverted funding into the IOR accounts of one or more of these off-balance sheet funds, from where it could be easily transferred into subsidiary and external funds in any part of the world.

These transfers may well be illegal, for the actual source of funds may not be known.Hedge funds like George Soros's Quantum Funds exist to make money for highly secretive investors. Transferring money that originates from these types of  investors is likely to expose even IOR to breaches of international Know Your Customer (KYC)laws, and possibly Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF)laws. As many a bank has discovered, the fines imposed on those breaching these laws can run into the billions.

Of course, even if these laws have not been breached, there is the not so small matter of not disclosing and not accounting for funds in accordance with Canon Law, and of undermining the Church.


Vice Pope" Cardinal Oscar's Soros funding and Cardinal Pell's discovery of secret off-balance sheet funds within the Vatican

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga

As reported yesterday
"Vice Pope" Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga does not deny being funded by George Soros,and working with the "Catholic Spring " movement

In the above story it was concluded that Oscar appears to be in charge of a slush fund financed by George Soros, which is intended to be used for purposes Oscar sees fit, which may include financing of a "Catholic Spring".

While that story was the result of an independent investigation by this writer
it does seem that the Vatican's Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, may have uncovered the existence of similar financial structures, even if he did not quite understand what it is he had uncovered.
In late 2014 Pell announced that he had " discovered that ...... some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts (of departments within the Vatican ) and did not appear on the Vatican's balance sheet."

What was even more interesting than that revelation was the reaction of the Vatican's Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J, presumably acting under instructions from the  Vatican;s Secretary Of State  Cardinal Pietro Parolin:

It should be observed that Cardinal Pell has not referred to illegal, illicit or poorly administered funds, but rather funds that do not appear on the official balance sheets of the Holy See or of Vatican City State, and which have become known to the Secretariat for the Economy during the current process of examination and revision of Vatican administration, to acquire a more comprehensive knowledge of the latter in view of the planned rationalisation. It is indeed a sign and result of constructive cooperation between the various Vatican institutions.

Moreover, it was known and had been previously explained, also publicly by the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, that the consolidated balance sheets of the Holy See and Vatican City State, presented every year to the College of Cardinals, do not in any way encompass the totality of the numerous administrations under Vatican auspices, but only the main institutions of the Roman Curia and the State.

This statement was curious for Pell did not actually say that the accounts were "illegal".If anything Pell seemed not to understand that financial entities of any sort often have secret reserves, In fact, Pell concluded with some satisfaction that his discovery meant that the Vatican was well able to finance its activities:

“It is important to point out that the Vatican is not broke. Apart from the pension fund, which needs to be strengthened for the demands on it in 15 or 20 years, the Holy See is paying its way, while possessing substantial assets and investments.“In fact, we have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed, because some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet. It is another question, impossible to answer, whether the Vatican should have much larger reserves.”

It does seem as if there is some concern within the Vatican that slush funds such as that which appear to be controlled by Cardinal Oscar ,  that ought to have been reported and accounted for as required by Canon Law, remain secret. Wikileaks and in time other publications are going to make that task  near impossible, and hence it is best that all concerned come clean,

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