Vatican Tribunal opens new judicial year

Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Tribunal opened its 86th session on Saturday morning. At the Mass to mark the occasion, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the application of the law must be both rigorous and compassionate. But its application must also be free of vengeance and of popular notions of justice, he told the judges and members of the Vatican Tribunal. …

Following the Mass, the Tribunal’s Promoter for Justice, Gian Piero Milano, gave his opening address for the new judicial year. He spoke of the disturbing increase in the case law of financial crime and corruption. This is “a veritable plague,” which affects an inviolable right of the individual to his human dignity, he said.

He spoke of the process of reform launched by Benedict XVI and intensified by Pope Francis citing, for example, the establishment of the Council and of the Secretariat for the Economy. He also referred to the Motu Proprio of July 2013, which punishes certain crimes committed against the security, fundamental interests or assets of the Holy See and creates significant changes for the Vatican Tribunals.

Regarding crimes against minors, the promoter said there are ongoing investigation measures being put in place, including an initiative related to crimes against children committed abroad by a public official of the Holy See, including those with diplomatic duties and archbishops. This initiative is assumed to activate tools of international judicial cooperation, he said.

Regarding the prevention and fight against money laundering, the promoter noted that a Motu Proprio in August two years ago introduced “strict requirements” on cross-border transportation of cash. As a result, he said, checks were performed on more than 4,000 people and 7,000 vehicles entering and leaving the Vatican in the past year.

With the globalization of crime, the Promoter said the Vatican Tribunal has experienced an increase in international cooperation, with 10 requests for legal assistance from foreign countries, of which eight were from Italy.

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