POPE FRANCIS APPOINTS NEW ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA – EGMONT GROUP LIFTS SUSPENSION ON VATICAN’S AIF

President Trump at March for Life: In a first for the American presidency, President Trump will address tomorrow’s 47th March for Life in Washington, D.C. This annual march is the largest pro-life event in the world. Trump will be the first sitting president to address the March for Life.

POPE FRANCIS APPOINTS NEW ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA

Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson Perez, currently the Bishop of Cleveland (USA), as Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia. He succeeds Archbishop Charles Chaput, whose resignation was accepted by the Holy Father. (Vaticannews)

Biography of Bishop Nelson Jesus Perez

Nelson J. Perez was born in Miami, Florida, on June 16, 1961 to David and Emma Perez and is the brother of the late Dr. David Perez and Louis Martin Perez. He was raised in West New York, NJ. Bishop Perez earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1983. He taught at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, prior to entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

Bishop Perez’s first assignment after ordination to the priesthood was as parochial vicar of Saint Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia (1989-1993). He also served as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics (1990-1993), founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization (1993-2002), Pastor of Saint William Parish, Philadelphia (2002-2009), and Pastor of Saint Agnes Parish, West Chester, PA (2009-2012).

His work in education included teaching courses in psychology and religious studies at LaSalle University, Philadelphia (1994-2008). Bishop Perez also taught Developmental Psychology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Fall, 2011), in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Reverend Monsignor Nelson J. Perez Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on June 8, 2012. He was ordained a bishop on July 25, 2012 in Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, NY by Bishop William F. Murphy.

As Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, Bishop Perez served as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate, representing the Diocesan Ordinary and overseeing sixty-six parishes. He served as the Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Ministry, overseeing fifty-four parishes with pastoral ministry to Hispanics; Formation Programs, and Ecclesial Movements.

In addition, Bishop Perez served as a member of the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Priest Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council, corporate member of Catholic Health Services; vice-chair of Catholic Charities Board of Directors and member of its Executive and Governance Committees, member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, chair of the Diocesan V Encuentro Planning Committee, chair of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry, and was formerly a member of the Diocese’s TeleCare TV Board.

As a part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Perez serves as Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, a member of the Administrative Committee of the USCCB, and a member of the Bishops’ Committee of Religious Liberty. He is former Chair of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs and former member of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for the Campaign for Human Development.

He speaks English and Spanish.

EGMONT GROUP LIFTS SUSPENSION ON VATICAN’S AIF

Following is the statement released today from the President of the Vatican’s AIF, Financial Information Authority, Carmelo Barbagallo:

“I am pleased to announce that, last night, the President of the Egmont Group, Mr Mariano Federici, decided to revoke the decision taken on 13 November 2019 to suspend the Financial Information Authority (AIF) from the international information circuit, Egmont Secure Web. This is a very important step, one which demonstrates the confirmed trust of the Egmont Group in the financial information system of the Vatican. This decision follows the explanations provided by AIF to Egmont concerning the extraordinary nature of the facts that gave rise to the suspension and AIF’s assurances that the information received from the Egmont circuit will be treated in a manner that is consistent with the rules that apply to that circuit, partly thanks to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Promoter of Justice. The decision to revoke the suspension makes it possible for AIF to resume its collaboration with foreign financial intelligence units in full transparency and in the spirit of active cooperation.”

Vaticannews: The President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, Carmelo Barbagallo, announces the lifting of the suspension placed on it by the Egmont Group, and says it can now resume its collaboration with its peers in other countries.

In a statement released on Thursday, the President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority announced that a previous suspension of its participation in the Egmont Group, had been lifted:

“I am pleased,” President Barbagallo said in his statement, “to announce that, last night, the President of the Egmont Group, Mr Mariano Federici, decided to revoke the decision taken on 13 November 2019 to suspend the Financial Information Authority (AIF) from the international information circuit, Egmont Secure Web.”

Barbagallo called this news “a very important step” and said it expresses “the confirmed trust of the Egmont Group in the financial information system of the Vatican.”

VATICAN ANNOUNCES NEW AIF PRESIDENT

VATICAN ANNOUNCES NEW AIF PRESIDENT

Statement of the new president of the (Vatican’s) Financial Information Authority (Autorità di Informazione Finanaziaria – AIF) following his appointment:

“I am honored to have received this appointment, aware of the full weight of the moral and professional responsibility it carries, and I thank the Holy Father for the trust he has placed in me,” the new president of the Financial Information Authority, Carmelo Barbagallo, said when speaking to Vatican News after publication of the news of his appointment.

“In carrying out my service of responsibility in leading the AIF,” Barbagallo added, “I will work to bring all my experience accumulated in forty years working at the Bank of Italy, as an inspector, as head of vigilance of the Italian banking and financial sector and in the context of the supervision of the European banking system.”

“I am sure,” he explained, “that the AIF will be able to give its own contribution in its role as a supervisory authority, so that the fundamental values of fairness and transparency of all the financial movements in which the Holy See is engaged may continue to be affirmed and recognized.”

“I intend to reassure the international system of financial information,” the AIF President concluded, “that all cooperation will be given in full respect of the best international standards. I will be at work already today to ensure continuity in the work of the AIF in pursuing its important institutional objectives.”

(Click here and scroll down to read what the Holy Father told journalists in regard to the AIF, Vatican finances, corruption, Peter’s Pence, etc. during the press conference on the papal plane yesterday as he was returning to Rome from Japan: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-pope-francis-in-flight-press-conference-from-japan-36598)

COMMUNIQUE FROM VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY

COMMUNIQUE FROM VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY

On 1 October 2019, the Director of the Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF), Tommaso Di Ruzza, and his offices were searched by the Corps of the Gendarmerie of the Vatican City State in relation to an investigation initiated by the Promotor of Justice following two complaints lodged in July and August this year by the I.O.R. and the Office of the Auditor General within their respective institutional competences.

The search, which resulted in the seizure certain files and records, is in connection with an ongoing institutional activity carried out by AIF based on a Suspicious Activity Report involving several foreign jurisdictions.

Immediately following these events, the President of AIF, René Brülhart, having consulted with the members of the Board of Directors, opened an internal investigation to gain a thorough understanding of the relevant operational activity of AIF.

Based upon that internal investigation, the Board of Directors has determined:
– First, that the activity carried out by AIF and its Director was properly institutional in nature and conducted in conformity with the AIF’s governing Statute.
– Second, that in the exercise of its institutional authority, neither the Director nor any other employee of AIF improperly exercised his authority or engaged in any other wrongdoing.
– Accordingly, the Board of Directors reaffirms its full faith and trust in the professional competence and honorability of its Director and, moreover, commends him for the institutional work carried out in the handling of this particular case. As AIF continues to conduct its operational activities at the domestic and international levels, it remains fully cooperative with competent authorities. The Board of AIF is confident that potential misapprehensions will be clarified soon.

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL AUTHORITY ISSUES 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL AUTHORITY ISSUES 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

AIF Press Release – Annual Report 2018
Adhesion to SEPA and increased effectiveness of the reporting system

The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2018. The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2018.

Significant achievements were made in 2018, both within the regulatory framework as well as regarding the reporting system. Focusing on the regulatory framework, the conclusion of the adhesion process of the Holy See/Vatican City State to the geographical area of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) represents a relevant step forward towards the harmonization and the efficiency of transfers of funds within the European area. Regarding the reporting system, a first conviction for self-laundering by the Tribunal of the Vatican City State, triggered by a suspicious activity report, as well as the enhanced quality of the suspicious activity reports indicate an increased effectiveness of the reporting system.

“The successful application to SEPA is a very positive sign” said René Brülhart, President of AIF. “It helps to facilitate payments and harmonizes such services. Furthermore, it demonstrates the Holy See’s efforts to enhance financial transparency.”

The reporting system has seen a continued decline in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports as in the previous years. In 2018, 56 Suspicious Activity Reports were filed with AIF in comparison to the previous year with 150 SARs. “Such a decline and tendency in the last years was expected. Very positive is the enhanced quality of the suspicious activity reports filed with our authority and the increase of disseminations to the Vatican Office of the Promotor of Justice,” said Tommaso Di Ruzza, Director of AIF. In 2018, 11 reports were submitted to the Vatican Office of the Promoter of Justice for further investigation by the competent law enforcement authorities. “International cooperation remains of key importance to AIF”, says Di Ruzza, indicating that “In 2018, AIF signed 8 Memoranda of Understanding with its counterparts in foreign jurisdictions and exchanged information in 488 cases”.

Moreover, the regulatory framework has been further strengthened, in particular with the introduction of Regulation no. 3 on payment services, Regulation no. 4 on due

About AIF The Financial Information Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activities in accordance with its new Statute introduced by Pope Francis with a Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013 and Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013.

AIF has signed MOUs with Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Honduras, Hungary, India, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan (Republic of China), United Kingdom and the United States of America, Uruguay. AIF has been a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT

At 11.00 this morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held for the presentation of the Annual Report of the Financial Information Authority (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria – AIF) of the Holy See and Vatican City State on the activity of supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Presenters included René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, respectively president and director of the AIF.

Here is the press release/annual Report furnished by AIF for the year 2017:

AIF press release | Annual Report 2017
Robust reporting system and effective regulatory framework

The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2017. The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2017.

2017 confirmed robust reporting system and an effective application of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. Furthermore, AIF continued its pro-active approach to cooperate and exchange of information with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities.

“2017 has been a year of consolidation and normalization of our institutional activities”, said René Brülhart, President of AIF. “Consolidation of the measures taken to establish an effective regulatory framework and its full and sustainable implementation. Normalization of the reporting system, which is considered to be robust.”

The system has seen a progressive decline in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). In 2017, 150 Suspicious Activity Reports were filed with AIF in comparison to the previous year with 207 SARs. “Such tendency is positive because in parallel the quality of the reports increased, showing a growing awareness and strengthening of the control functions of the reporting subjects”, said Tommaso Di Ruzza, Director of AIF.

In 2017, 8 reports were submitted to the Vatican Office of the Promoter of Justice for further investigation by the competent law enforcement authorities. “Considering the uniqueness of the jurisdiction, international cooperation is a key element of the activity of AIF”, reported Di Ruzza, indicating that “In 2017, AIF signed 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with its counterparts in foreign jurisdictions and exchanged information in 268 cases”.

Furthermore, the regulatory framework has been further strengthened, in particular with the introduction of Regulation no. 2, which sets the rules in regard of the data and information accompanying transfers of funds and the technical requirement for credit transfers and direct debits in Euro.

About AIF

The Financial Information Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activities in accordance with its new Statute introduced by Pope Francis with a Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013 and Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013.

AIF has signed MOUs with supervisory Authorities and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hungary, India, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan (Republic of China), United Kingdom and the United States of America.

AIF has been a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.