Today it was announced that the Vatican has established a five-person commission to study and advise Pope Francis about the reform of the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, commonly known as the “Vatican Bank.”
The commission includes two Americans: Harvard Law professor and former US ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon and Msgr. Peter Wells, who currently serves as assessor for general affairs for the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.
Holy See press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., stated that the Commission is tasked with carrying out inquiries and presenting the Holy Father with a report of their findings “in view of possible reform.”
Fr. Lombardi noted that the Commission of five people is not permanent. It will present the report to Pope and then be dissolved. He also added that no deadline has been set.
The new Pontifical Commission, which will begin its work in the coming days, is not involved in running the Institution, its main aim will be to study it to help Pope Francis ensure the IOR’s activities are in harmony with the Churches’ mission.
The five members of the new commission are: Cardinal Raffaele Farina, president; Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran, member; Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, coordinator; Monsignor Peter Wells, secretary; Professor Mary Ann Glendon, member.
For many years the Vatican Bank has been plagued by scandal and accusations of mismanagement, including investigations into money-laundering charges.