On June 22, previewing an evaluation of the Vatican’s financial transparency by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body, I (John Allen of NCR) wrote: “The report is probably destined to trigger confusing and conflicting headlines about how well the Vatican did.”
On cue, these headlines ran shortly after the report’s release on Wednesday, July 18:
- Associated Press: “Vatican passes key financial transparency test”
- AGI: “Moneyval flunks the Vatican”
- L’Espresso: “Moneyval passes the Vatican”
- RTE: “Serious failings identified in Vatican Bank”
- Sunday Times: “Report cites progress in Vatican anti-money laundering efforts”
Sometimes the juxtaposition actually came in the same piece. The Italian daily Il Messaggero ran a headline (“Moneyval: Still little transparency at Vatican Bank”) which was at odds with its own opening paragraph (“The Vatican Bank is not quite transparent, but almost, the report says.”)
Why the confusion? In reality, the Vatican probably did about as well as was reasonable to expect, but the report contains plenty of criticism too. As a result, it’s a Rorschach test for broader attitudes, open to being spun in whichever direction someone feels like taking.
And then there is theZENIT follow-up story.
Vatican Waiting for an Official Word From Lefebvrians
Holy See Has ‘Taken Note’ of Declaration From Society’s General Chapter
VATICAN CITY, JULY 19, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican announced today that it is waiting for an official response from the Society of St. Pius X in the latest development in Benedict XVI’s ongoing attempt to bring the traditionalist society into communion with Rome.
“The recently concluded General Chapter of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X has addressed a declaration regarding the possibility of a canonical normalisation in the relationship of the Society and the Holy See,” the Vatican statement noted. “While it has been made public, the declaration remains primarily an internal document for study and discussion among the members of the Society.
“The Holy See has taken note of this declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official communication of the Priestly Society as their dialogue with the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ continues.”
Various blogs have published translations of the SSPX declaration, which includes a reference to “all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors.”