A spokesperson for the European Commission [official website] on Friday said that the Vatican [offical website] will implement the European Commission's laws against money laundering and financial fraud [EU materials] by the end of the year. According to Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn [European Commission website], EU and Vatican officials discussed a draft law consistent with the EU rules [Bloomberg report] on October 15. Negotiations began after the Vatican bank was accused of a series of financial improprieties. In addition, the Holy See must set up an implementing body for the new legislation that will control the Vatican and the Holy See's financial institutions. Pursuant to the agreement, the Vatican must implement the new laws by December 31.
Italian law enforcement officials seized €32 million from a Vatican bank account [CBC News report] in September and allege that the Vatican violated laws by not indicating where the money in some transactions was coming from. Italian prosecutors working on that case have expressed that recent actions by the Holy See to harmonize its legislation with EU law will not affect their position [AP report] on case related to the €32 million that have been seized. In addition to dealing with allegations of financial crime, the Vatican is still addressing allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic church. Since 2007, in the US alone the Church has settled over 500 cases [JURIST news archive] of abuse for over $900 million.