German financier named new Vatican bank chief
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The Vatican on Friday named a German financier as the new head of its scandal-hit bank, saying he would help overhaul the secretive institution to comply with anti-money laundering rules.
Ernst von Freyberg replaces Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was unceremoniously sacked by the board on May 24 last year a day after the pope's butler was arrested for leaking hundreds of confidential papers from the Vatican.
Vatican watchers say Mr Gotti Tedeschi's ousting could have been linked to his drive to make the bank, the Institute for Religious Works, cooperate with an Italian money laundering inquiry but the circumstances remain mysterious.
Mr Von Freyberg, a trained lawyer, is chairman of the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg in northern Germany and an active member of the Knights of Malta, a lay religious order founded in the Middle Ages.