Oh, but how innocent, broke & powerless they are...
Vatican Bank Mired in Laundering Scandal
VATICAN CITY — This is no ordinary bank: The ATMs are in Latin. Priests use a private entrance. A life-size portrait of Pope Benedict XVI hangs on the wall.
Nevertheless, the Institute for Religious Works is a bank, and it's under harsh new scrutiny in a case involving money-laundering allegations that led police to seize €23 million ($30 million) in Vatican assets in September. Critics say the case shows that the "Vatican Bank" has never shed its penchant for secrecy and scandal.
The Vatican calls the seizure of assets a "misunderstanding" and expresses optimism it will be quickly cleared up. But court documents show that prosecutors say the Vatican Bank deliberately flouted anti-laundering laws "with the aim of hiding the ownership, destination and origin of the capital." The documents also reveal investigators' suspicions that clergy may have acted as fronts for corrupt businessmen and Mafia...
The bulk of the money, €20 million ($26 million), was destined for JP Morgan in Frankfurt, with the remainder going to Banca del Fucino.
Prosecutors alleged the Vatican ignored regulations that foreign banks must communicate to Italian financial authorities where their money has come from. All banks have declined to comment...