Washington: Cardinal George Pell, who is Vatican Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper on June 17, 2016, that: ““The Vatican is committed to transparency, international cooperation and the use of contemporary international standards in financial reporting.”
Cardinal Pell further praised Jean Baptiste de Franssu, the director of the Vatican Bank as one who had done “an excellent clean out job.”
Pell further stated: “Pope Francis continues to insist that the financial reforms must continue.”
Nowhere in Pell’s message was there any mention of the Nazi linked Ustasha Treasury first identified by the US State department in 1998 as a suspicious World War Two era transaction involving gold and other valuables looted from Serbian, Jewish, and Roma victims of the Holocaust in former Yugoslavia and deposited at the Vatican for safekeeping.
The Ustasha Treasury was the subject of a decade long lawsuit against the Vatican Bank by Holocaust survivors and resulted in the four-day testimony of former US Special Agent William Gowen who investigated a mysterious ten truck treasure convoy that unloaded its contents at St. Peter’s Square in 1946. The lawsuit however was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. A later inquiry by the European Commission resulted in a referral to the Vatican Financial Intelligence Unit which resisted all efforts by Holocaust survivors to force an inquiry.
This office has filed a canon law petition with the Vatican in an attempt to compel Cardinal Pell to do his job and audit the bank accounts identified with Holocaust loot. Cardinal Pill and the Vatican however have so far denied the Holocaust victims an accounting.
Only further pressure on the Vatican by the international community will have any effect stated Jonathan Levy, one of the lead counsel for plaintiffs since 1999. When asked who might take the lead, Levy suggested, “There are those at the highest levels of the Serbian, Vatican and US governments who have personal knowledge the Ustasha treasury and its facts. It is time they finally act on their conscience. There is a time for diplomacy and a time to call out the cleaners at the Vatican who seek to bury historical facts no matter how painful they may be to acknowledge.”
The canon law petition alleges much of the Ustasha Treasury was recycled through the Vatican Bank to covertly assist CIA backed Croatian nationalists in their decades long effort to reestablish an independent Croatian state.
For a copy of the Canon Law Petition please see:
Dr. Jonathan Levy
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