Back in the days when Jesus threw out the money changers (early bankers) in Jerusalem, it was one of the primary ‘nails on His cross’ that would lead to an eventual death sentence by the Pharisees and the San Hedrin. And as the bible attests that the root of many evils is the love of money, so too will there always be a conflict and temptation between spiritual matters and the intoxication of wealth.
For years the Vatican Bank has been a poster child for corruption and fraud, where even a movie was produced (Godfather Part III) that intimated that the death of John Paul I in 1978 after just 33 days in office was due to his intended investigation of the bank, and the revealing of corruption that extended to all corners of the Catholic church.
But with a new Pope that appears to be much less a materialist than his predecessors, the power the bank held over the world may be slightly waning as Francis has now signed an agreement on June 10 with the United States to give over any and all information on American citizens who have accounts with the Vatican Bank, and cede authority to Washington under its FACTA legislation to seek out money and accounts that reside offshore.
The Vatican has signed its first inter-governmental deal with the US known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), aimed at curbing offshore tax evasion and cleaning up the reputation of its scandal-plagued bank.
Under the new agreement the Holy See has agreed to automatically report information on Vatican Bank accounts held by American citizens. For a long time the bank has been accused by Italian authorities of being an offshore tax haven.
More than 15,000 American are said to have accounts at the Vatican Bank, though the exact number is unknown.
The Vatican joined 62 countries which have signed FATCA agreements along with 50 others that have reached “agreements in substance.” The FATCA was passed by the US Congress in 2010. – Russia Today
FACTA was passed in part to create a set of capital controls which would make it much harder for Americans to move their money offshore, and to protect themselves from dollar devaluation. Additionally, the banking system desperately needs the public to keep their money in U.S. banks, since at any time the government may need to confiscate these funds via bank holiday or any declared Emergency Order.
The Pope’s new agreement with the U.S. is a two-edged sword for the religious denomination that also acts as a sovereign state. In giving up sovereign power to Washington, it threatens its foundation of trust with the over one billion Catholics who rely upon the Vatican for separation between church and state. Yet in giving U.S. regulators access to American accounts, it also validates the Pontiff’s goal in divesting the church from many former activities they were doing in the secular realm that have little purpose towards the spiritual mission that is the church’s primary scope.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.