In yet another story that seems like something straight out of a James Bond movie, a Vatican accountant, a former Italian spy, and a financial broker have been arrested and charged with tax evasion and possibly money laundering. A complex scheme involved the former Italian spy moving over $26 million from Switzerland to Italy by airplane and then having it transported via armored car to the home of the Vatican accountant. Scratch the reference to James Bond, this may be something more out of Fast & Furious.
The Vatican Bank has been under fire for decades thanks to many high-profile money-laundering schemes that have come to light that includes everyone from high-ranking priests to the Italian Mafia. Since Pope Francis took control of the papacy, many things have already been changed about the tone of the Catholic Church. But just a few days ago, Pope Francis created an "unprecedented" commission to investigate the Vatican Bank for any crimes it might be committing. This commission has been given a carte blanche to dig for the truth as it needs, to bypass all traditional secrecy rules, and to report directly to the Pope.
The Vatican accountant has already been suspended, the others are now in custody, and the Pope is in full control of any investigations that happen within the bank in a manner that is more open and more pervasive than ever before. To top off this new Pope's radical change from the conservative, traditional running of the church, Pope Francis has even considered shutting the bank down if it is deemed too corrupt. "Saint Peter did not have a bank account," the Pope said recently.