On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Vatican Bank (IOR) presented its financial statements for fiscal 2013 and confirmed the nommination of Jean-Baptiste Franssu to succeed Ernst von Freyberg at the head of the IOR.
The IOR has also announced the “phase 2” of its reform, as 19 000 bank accounts have been cleaned. In the next three years, the statutes and activities of the IOR will be modified and redefined following these priorities:
1- Strengthen its business model;
2. Transfer its financial assets to a new entity named Vatican Asset Management ;
3- Focus its activities on the financial advice and payment services for the clergy, congregations, dioceses and lay employees of the Vatican.
In addition, Mr. Ernst von Freyberg, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said that “Through this work we have lad the ground for a new team to make the IOR a truly outstanding service provider in Catholic finance”.
The OFCCFO welcomes the explicit use for the first time, of the terms “Catholic finance” by a senior official of the first Christian bank in the world. Although the concept of “Islamic finance” has always been used, the wording “Catholic finance” was, meanwhile, remaining subject to doctrinal controversy. But the progressive extension of the scope of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church towards issues of economic and financial order, associated to the factual inventory of multiple financial actors and Catholic moral-financial principles (see the work of Antoine Cuny Verryère “Finance Catholic” published in July 2013) should trigger the consecration of the concept of “Catholic finance” to describe all the financial activities compliant with the Catholic dogma.
The OFCCFO will follow with great interest the means that will be implemented to reflect in the coming rules of organization and investment of the IOR and VAM, the voluntarism of the Church in economic and social areas.