Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Professor David Baulcombe
Pope to Moneyval: merchants must be prevented from ‘speculating’ in the temple

It is a task which is “particularly dear to my heart”, carried out “to promote a ‘clean finance’, in which the ‘merchants’ are prevented from speculating in that sacred ‘temple’ which is humanity”.

Pope Francis made that remark on Thursday in an address to the evaluators of the Moneyval Programme.

The Committee of the Council of Europe arrived in the Vatican on 30 September to evaluate measures against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The visit was agreed upon in 2019, and takes place in the cycle of periodic evaluations to which all jurisdictions belonging to Moneyval are subject according to a pre-established schedule.

Following the lead of St Paul VI, Pope Francis reiterated the proposal to set up a global Fund to relieve the needs of the poor and hungry by “setting aside the monies spent on military expenditures”.

The Pope also recalled that the Church’s social teaching has pointed out “the error of the neoliberal dogma”, according to which the economic and moral orders are so “completely distinct from one another that the former is in no way dependent on the latter.”


Prof. David Baulcombe: putting science at the service of Church and society

Professor David Baulcombe is one of the newest members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. As such, he hopes – in collaboration with other academicians – to learn, discuss, and help work for the benefit of all people.

Born in Solihull, England, Mr Baulcombe studied at the Universities of Leeds and Edinburgh, and was awarded a research doctorate. He has focused his research on gene regulation and gene expression during normal development and in disease resistance. He is the recipient of several awards including the Balzan Prize for Epigenetics (2012) and the Wolf Prize in Agriculture (2010). In 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

“I have always been interested in the ways that science influences perspectives on the natural world and the ways we can use science to improve the well-being of people,” says Prof. Baulcombe, in an interview with Vatican News.

Pope Francis appointed him as an ordinary member of the Academy on September 26, 2020.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences aims to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences. It also seeks to stimulate an interdisciplinary approach to scientific knowledge and provide authoritative advice on scientific and technological matters, among other things. It is currently holding a plenary meeting, from October 7-9.


Holy See at UN advocates debt relief for poor countries

“Every decision and policy on economic or financial issues impacts the lives of individuals, families and the well-being of society as a whole.” With this premise, the Holy See is encouraging debt restructuring, and ultimately debt cancellation for the most vulnerable countries, to address the growing economic imbalances and the other crises they face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, made this call on Thursday during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Archbishop Caccia said there is extensive evidence that developing nations, faced with the obligation of diverting scarce resources towards debt repayment, risk undermining “integral development, weaken healthcare and education systems, as well as reduce the capacity of States to create conditions for the realisation of fundamental human rights”.