The Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State passed a new law yesterday that fully enforces new measures of financial transparency and supervision. The law, labelled Law Number XVIII, continues reforms that began under the pontificate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and continued under Pope Francis.
In a statement released by the Holy See today, the law implements rules that were enforced by Pope Francis in his Motu Proprio, which was released in early August. A Motu Proprio, which in Latin means “on one’s own initiative, is a document released solely by the Holy Father. The document reaffirmed the Vatican’s commitment in preventing such illegal activities, such as money laundering and terrorism financing, which began with Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio issued in December 2010.
The new law implements several measures which includes broadening the scope of the Vatican laws to include all dicasteries of the Roman Curia as well as other entities that are dependent on the Holy See.
“Law No. XVIII enhances the current internal system of preventing and combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism in line with international standards and, in particular , with the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (GAFI) and the relevant sources of the European Union,” the communique stated.
Among the existing rules that Law Number XVIII consolidated are measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, supervision and regulation of financial activities, and cooperation, both domestically and internationally, of the Financial Information Authority,
The law also places several measures “against those who threaten peace and security” as well as regarding the ” transportation of cash across borders.”
A Role of Guidance and Example
Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, explained to journalists today that the new law will also consolidate and clarify the responsibilities of Financial Information Authority, a measure that was established in the Motu Proprio published by Pope Francis
“This law renews, integrates and modifies various parts of the first law passed on Dec. 30th, 2010 that has been re-adjusted [taking into account] the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force, the recommendations made by Moneyval, and to take into account the legislative updates that have [recently] been made,” Fr. Lombardi said. “ Hence, this is a renewal that is, somewhat, more robust and complex of the legislative system on financial transparency, supervision and information.
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, also released a statement explaining the new law and its various measure. The primary purpose of the law, Archbishop Mamberti said, “is to contribute, in a concrete way, to the growth of the international community, within which the Holy See is called to play a role of guidance and example.”