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Pope removes cardinals in shake-up of Vatican bank

Published on Jan 16, 2014 3:15 AM
 
Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps at the Vatican on Jan 13, 2014. Pope Francis shook up the scandal-plagued Vatican bank on Wednesday, removing four of five cardinals from an oversight body in a break with the clerical financial establishment he inherited from his predecessor. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

VATICAN CITY (REUTERS) - Pope Francis shook up the scandal-plagued Vatican bank on Wednesday, removing four of five cardinals from an oversight body in a break with the clerical financial establishment he inherited from his predecessor.

It was his latest move to get to grips with an institution that has often been an embarrassment for the Holy See and which he has vowed to either reform or close. The four cardinals were removed just 11 months into their five-year terms as commissioners, which began under former Pope Benedict, who resigned last February.

The changes came as Pope Francis approached the first anniversary of a pontificate marked by austerity and sobriety, underlined by his decision to give up the papal apartments in favour of a modest suite.

The new team includes two cardinals - Toronto's Thomas Christopher Collins and Vienna's Christoph Schoenborn - from relatively rich dioceses who have had extensive dealings with financial affairs. The others are Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's new secretary of state, who will be elevated to the rank of cardinal next month, and Santos Abril y Castillo, a Spaniard who is based in Rome and is a close friend of the pope's.

 
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