by PressTV documentaries
February 12, 2014

from YouTube Website







The Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome.


Encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy the city covers just over 100 acres, making it one-eighth the size of New York's Central Park.


Vatican City is governed as an absolute monarchy with the Pope as its head. And is one of the most sacred places in Christendom. The Vatican mints its own Euros, prints its own stamps, issues passports and license plates, operates media outlets and has its own flag and anthem.


The Vatican also has its own bank.

The Vatican bank serves thousands of Catholic charities, religious orders and dioceses around the world, in addition to roughly 500 people living in the tiny city-state. It has some 33,400 accounts and about $8 billion in assets.


Yet the Vatican bank's murky finances, which has been suspected for years of being a channel for the laundering of mob profits, perhaps has a skeleton in the closet.


In this movie we look into financial scandals that have always plagued the Bank of Vatican.


In July, 2013, during the Pope's visit to Brazil a letter was delivered to his secretary. However this was not a standard letter.


It has been sent from the prison Regina Coeli in Rome and addressed to the Holy Father himself. On July 25th, the Pope's delegation in San Paolo was awakened at dawn.


A problem came up at the Holy See.


The letter was not just a plain letter, it was not sent by any of the many prisoners who write every day to the Pope to ask for comfort. The sender was Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a high priest who leads the special section of the accounting at APSA - the authority which manages the whole patrimony of the Holy See. He is a very influential figure, not just an average priest.


Scarano is also very well known at the IOR - the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank. At the time when he wrote the letter to the Pope, Monsignor Scarano had been in jail for a month with the charges of bribery, slander and money laundering.


According to the Italian Finance Police inspectors, Scarano tried to bring a bag containing 26 million dollars into Italy from Switzerland and according to the prosecutors that money would have been used to do a favor to a Napolitan family of ship-owners.


Monsignor Scarano had two accomplices during this operation:

  • a broker operating mainly abroad

  • a non-commissioned officer of the Italian Carabinieri working for the intelligence and security services

The operation also involved a private jet and an armed guard.


Monsignor Scarano is the first high priest in history to be imprisoned for financial crimes that never occurred before.


The Vatican state is surrounded by walls and covers 44 hectares of land in the heart of Rome. It has a population of 839 people whose per capita income is about 470,000 Euros. About half a million dollars this is the highest per capita income in the world.


The Vatican state owns a daily newspaper, a radio and a bank. Its structure is very complex.


The sovereignty lies within the Holy See which is under the Pope's authority.