Vatican's bank: Another day, another scandal

Bishops and cardinals attend the mass for the 'Evangelium Vitae' Day at St. Peter's Square on June 16, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.

A monsignor is behind bars today, along with an Italian Secret Service Agent and a financier.

They're accused of plotting to smuggle tens of millions of dollars from a Swiss bank into Italy on a private jet.

That monsignor, Nunzio Scarano, was recently suspended from his job as a senior accountant to the Holy See.

And so, the Vatican bank is the subject of another scandal.

"It's a very strange story to say the least," said Jason Berry, a religion reporter for GlobalPost and the author of "Render Unto Rome," a book on the church's finances. "I think it sadly demonstrates that the bank is still not under a sort of workable control."

Just this week, Pope Francis announced an investigation into corruption.

"This has got to be embarrassing for the Italian government as well. It's a huge black eye for the Holy See. You’ve got the Italian Secret Service in bed with the Vatican bank at the very time that the European banking regulators are expecting, demanding, that the Holy See open up its books and change its banking practices. It's a rather double-edged sword," Berry said.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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