From The Daily Beast comes the news that JPMorgan Chase has closed a Vatican bank account on speculation that the account is being used to launder money.
Back in February, Chase sent a notification to the Vatican stating that the account was being closed due to the Vatican not being able to answer questions about certain money transfers.
JPMorgan Chase sent a letter to the Vatican on Feb. 15 to notify them of the closure after the Vatican bankers were “unable to respond” to a series of requests about questionable money transfers from the account. The JPMorgan Chase account was a “sweeping facility” that was zeroed out at the end of each business day. The account, which was opened in 2009, had processed some $1.5 billion in funds to other Vatican accounts—mostly in Germany—during the short time it was openEvidently, ever since an investigation by Italian tax authorities caused the city of Rome to seize $33 million in church assets in 2010 (since returned, by the way) for the way the Church moved money around and kept it's books, the bankers have been getting nervous and started doing some investigations of their own.
Despite the efforts to prove otherwise, the damage to the church’s financial reputation has already been done. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department named the Holy See on a list of its own, as a “jurisdiction of concern” for money-laundering practices in its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, alongside countries like Honduras and Syria. The Vatican shrugged off the State Department’s scolding and instead said being a “jurisdiction of concern” was far better than being a “primary concern.” But Reuters financial columnist Pierre Briançon disagrees. “The best way for the Vatican to come clean would of course be to close the bank: it’s hard to see why it’s needed other than to shroud the Church’s financial dealings in a veil of obsessive secrecy,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “Barring such a radical exorcism, a clean sweep is in order.”Money laundering, usually connected with drugs and other illegal activity. Sounds like the old days in England, when the church had it's hands in all manner of things.
The Catholic church is regressing at a faster rate than Republicans.