Rome Court Upholds Seizure from Vatican Bank Account; Holy See Questions the Ruling

Associated Press
October 20, 2010

A Rome court has upheld the seizure of 23 million ($33 million) from a Vatican bank account, and the Holy See says it is surprised by the ruling.

The seizure last month was based on alleged violations of Italy's laws against money laundering.

But the head of the Institute for Religious Works, the bank's formal name, denied the allegations. The Vatican has insisted its bank was trying to comply with international rules to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi says the Vatican believes the problem was a matter of confusion over how the rules are interpreted.

Regarding to Wednesday's court decision, Lombardi said the Holy See "learned of the ruling with astonishment" and that Vatican bank officials maintain they can clarify the matter soon.


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