Whither accountability and transparency in the Vatican? A high-ranking Vatican official has been transferred after he exposed a web of corruption in the Vatican.

As deputy governor of the Vatican, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganohe reportedly discovered “corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts to outside companies at inflated prices”.

Not surprisingly, his moves to impose tighter controls to curb malpractice or abuse ruffled feathers.

His ‘reward’? A transfer to become the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States.

Reuters reports:

In another letter to the pope on April 4, 2011, Vigano says he discovered the management of some Vatican City investments was entrusted to two funds managed by a committee of Italian bankers "who looked after their own interests more than ours."Vigano said Vatican-employed maintenance workers were demoralized because "work was always given to the same companies at costs at least double compared to those charged outside the Vatican."For example, when Vigano discovered that the cost of the Vatican’s nativity scene in St Peter’s Square was an exorbitant 550,000 euros $720,000in 2009, he chopped 200,000 euros off the cost for the following Christmas. $1 = 0.7615 euros

It is demoralising to hear of this. As the seat of Catholic Christianity, the Vatican should be doing all it can to support those who want to eliminate corruption and abuse in its bureaucracy and banking matters. But instead this report raises all sorts of questions over its commitment to transparency and accountability.

If this can happen in the Vatican, what about churches elsewhere?

Predictably, the Vatican has denied the claims of corruption. See this NCR report and a letter from the director of the Vatican press office.

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