Vatican Bank profits soar but it turns down wealth accumulation

Tim Wallace
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Pope Francis has promised to clean up the Vatican Bank after a series of scandals
Scandal-hit lender the Vatican Bank yesterday reported surging profits for 2014, as its leaders continue to try to turn the troubled institution around.

The bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), made €69.3m (£49m) in the year, up from €2.7m in 2013. Of that profit, €15.3m is retained by the bank with €55m sent to the Holy See.

“It is of vital importance to remember the IOR’s purpose. That purpose is not to pursue the accumulation of wealth,” said the bank’s prelate Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca. “Rather, it is to honestly and faithfully serve the universal mission of the Church by supporting those who work in the vineyards of the Lord ... to feed, to educate, to heal, and to permit the gospel to be known.”

Last year prosecutors had probing allegations of embezzlement froze the bank accounts of several former executives at the bank. Its current bosses say they are implementing anti-money laundering rules and working closely with tax authorities.

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