Pope Francis insisted on the need for clean finance which serves humanity, especially the weakest memebrs of society. While addressing evaluators of the Moneyval Programme, the Head of the Catholic Chuch said that merchants should be prevented from speculating on humanity.
The Vatican received the inspectors as part of its efforts to get on the white list of countries with a clean bill of health on money laundering and other financial wrongdoing such as funding terrorism.
The Committee of the Council of Europe arrived in the Vatican on 30 September to evaluate measures against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The visit was agreed upon in 2019, and takes place in the cycle of periodic evaluations to which all jurisdictions belonging to Moneyval are subject according to a pre-established schedule.
Pope Francis told them it is a task which is “particularly dear to my heart”, carried out “to promote a ‘clean finance’, in which the ‘merchants’ are prevented from speculating in that sacred ‘temple’ which is humanity.”
He recalled that “the Vatican recently introduced into its legal system measures aimed at ensuring transparency in the management of money and preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
In his address, the Pope expressed his desire for a financial system “that does not oppress those who are weakest and in greatest need.” He also re-iterated the need to “reflect anew on our relationship with money”, because “in many places the supremacy of money over human beings is taken for granted.”
“Sometimes, in the effort to amass wealth, there is little concern for where it comes from, the more or less legitimate activities that may have produced it, and the mechanisms of exploitation that may be behind it. Thus, situations can occur where, in touching money, we get blood on our hands, the blood of our brothers and sisters. It can also happen that financial resources are used to spread terror, to shore up the strongest, the most powerful and those prepared to sacrifice the lives of their brothers and sisters without a scruple, all in a bid to hold onto their power.”
Following the lead of St. Paul VI, Pope Francis returned on the proposal to set up a global Fund to relieve the needs of the poor and hungry by “setting aside the monies spent on military expenditures.”