Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Fr Massimo Fusarelli Photo: Siciliani-Gennari/SIR
Vatican’s financial watchdog highlights ‘increasing trend’ in reports to Promoter of Justice

The Vatican’s financial watchdog authority reported last Thursday that it received 89 suspicious activity reports in 2020, 16 of which it forwarded to the Promoter of Justice for possible prosecution.

In a 52-page annual report, released July 15, the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF) said that the figures underlined “an increasing trend” in the proportion of reports sent onwards compared to the number received.

“As regards financial intelligence, in 2020 the Authority received 89 suspicious activity reports (SARs), 85 of which from the supervised entity, 2 from public authorities, 1 from a non-profit organisation (NPO), and 1 from another entity,” the report said.

“It forwarded 16 reports to the Office of the Promoter of Justice (OPJ), of which 10 were first reports and 6 supplementary ones. This confirms an increasing trend in the proportion of reports sent and SARs received, demonstrating a steady improvement in the quality of SARs.”

The watchdog authority previously reported that it received 64 suspicious activity reports in 2019, 15 of which it forwarded to the Promoter of Justice.

Pope sends blessing to new Minister General of Friars Minor

Members of the general chapter of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), simply known as the Franciscans, last Tuesday elected their new minister general. Italian priest Fr Massimo Fusarelli, 58, will head the worldwide order for the term 2021-2027.

Pope Francis sent a message conveying his prayers and blessings to the new Minister General of the Franciscan order of the Friars Minor.

“Having learned of your election,” the Pope said in a telegram, “I congratulate you and assure you of my prayers and blessings, that the Lord may assist you and protect you in the performance of your service.”

The Pope further prayed that St Francis may be an encouragement to Fr Fusarelli in leading his friars.

The news of the election was made public on by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, designated by Pope Francis as the Cardinal delegate to preside over the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor.

The newly-elected Minister General is the 121st successor of St Francis of Assisi, succeeding US Franciscan Fr Michael Perry, who was elected minister general in 2013 to continue the term of the then minister general Fr José Rodríguez Carballo, whom Pope Francis transferred to the Vatican as secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.


Pope sends condolences to German president after flooding deaths

The Pope sent a telegram of condolence on July 15 to the German president, following flooding in the country’s west that has killed scores of people.

Rivers overflowed their banks in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands after heavy rainfall.

Most of the dead are in Germany, though at least 11 persons in Belgium has died as this paper went to print.

“Deeply affected, the Holy Father has learned the news of the severe storm and floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate,” read a July 15 telegram sent on Pope Francis’ behalf to Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“His Holiness remembers in prayer the people who have lost their lives and expresses his profound closeness to their families.”