Pope appoints Knight of Malta Ernst von Freyberg as new Vatican bank head
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed German lawyer Ernst von Freyberg to head the Vatican’s embattled bank, officials have announced.
Mr Freyburg’s selection is one of the last major appointments of the Pope’s tenure in office.
The bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion, has been dogged by scandal in recent years.
The pontiff, 85, shocked the world’s biggest Christian Church on Monday when he announced his resignation.
A Vatican statement said Mr Freyberg brought “a vast experience of financial matters and the financial regulatory process”.
Correspondents say that he has solid financial and Catholic credentials as a member of the Knights of Malta military order, an ancient chivalrous organisation drawn from European nobility which last week celebrated its 900th birthday in Rome.
The Vatican said that Mr Freyberg had been appointed by the bank’s commission of cardinals and that the Pope had “expressed his full consent”.
The appointment ends a nine-month search after the previous president of the Institute of Works of Religion, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was removed from his post for dereliction of duty,
In 2010 Italian police launched an investigation against Mr Tedeschi as part of a money-laundering inquiry.
It said in May last year that a new director was required to restore relations with the international financial community, “based on mutual respect for accepted international banking standards”.
Mr Tedeschi said that he was being victimised because he wanted more transparency.
In January the Italian central bank suspended all bank card payments in the Vatican, citing its failure fully to implement anti-money laundering legislation.
The Holy See was required to meet European Union safeguards on finances by the start of 2013.
Pope Benedict has promised greater transparency in Vatican finances and the operations of its bank.
A group of experts from the Council of Europe said last year that the Vatican had made progress in reforming to meet EU standards but that a lot of work remained to be done.
Ernst Conrad Rudolf von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen (* 26 October 1958 in Genf) is a German manager and current head of the Vatican Bank.
von Freyberg is the eldest of three sons of Ulrich von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen and Brita Gertrud Blohm. He is married and a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
one of the last things benny will do is make sure the right person runs the Vatican bank..a knight of malta fits that description perfectly..after celebrating their 900 hundred year history they probably expect to go on for another 900..i dont think so..
these reforms requested by the EU are very significant i believe..the launderers are trapped in the spotlight..