Vatican Marks 83rd Year of Tribunal

Event Highlights Changes in Norms Dealing With Finances

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 16, 2012 ( This morning a celebration was held to inaugurate the 83rd judicial year of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, which was presented as an invitation to reflect on divine and human justice.

According to the Vatican Information Service, the event was attended by a number of religious and civil authorities, including representatives of the Italian government and legal system led by Paola Severino, minister of justice.

The Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, began the event with Mass.

«With the beginning of a new judicial year … we are again invited to reflect upon the relationship between divine and human justice, so that our consciences may be illuminated and our actions may, as far as possible, correspond to the divine will and its plan of love for each individual and for the community of man,» the cardinal said in his homily.

He also mentioned the specific vocation of the Church, as a sign and instrument of God’s love, and his justice, «which is always an expression of his merciful love.»


Nicola Picardi, promoter of justice of the tribunal, then presented his inaugural report in which he gave a brief overview of Vatican judicial history and recent innovations.

A broad-ranging reform of the Vatican penal code, together with certain innovations in the field of administration and finance, were made necessary by the 2009 Monetary Convention between Vatican City State and the European Union. In 2010, measures were adopted to harmonize legalization with European standards in the field of combating money laundering, fraud and the falsification of means of payment.

New norms were introduced into the Vatican penal code in March 2011 (regarding fraud and the counterfeiting of euros) and April 2011 (concerning the prevention and countering of the laundering of proceeds resulting from criminal activities and financing of terrorism). These latter norms also impose new obligations on Vatican entities that undertake economic, financial and monetary activities.

Another important aspect of recent reforms concerns the Dec. 30, 2010, papal document on the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the area of monetary and financial dealings.

Finally, the promoter of justice also noted that the jurisdiction of the tribunal now extends beyond the limits of the state and covers ecclesiastical persons and entities which, in principle, are beyond the reach of Vatican law.

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