Vatican admits infighting in financial watchdog

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has acknowledged infighting at its financial watchdog agency that recently led its president to step down.

Rome daily Il Messaggero on Tuesday cited a Jan. 16 letter from the agency's board of directors to the Vatican secretary of state complaining that it had been kept in the dark about the agency's activities investigating suspect financial transactions inside the Holy See. The letter said the downward spiral began with the arrival of Swiss anti-money-laundering expert Rene Bruelhart as director.

The board is made up of Italians with close ties to Italy's financial institutions, which have long had a contentious relationship with the Holy See.

The founding statute of the Financial Information Authority says the board and president have strategic oversight over the agency, but aren't involved in operational activities.