(Source: CD/Vatican News)

In a press release issued on Monday, the Institute for Works of Religion (Istituto per le Opere di Religione, or IOR) – commonly known as the ‘Vatican Bank’ – announced a doubling of its profits in 2019 to 38 million euros, up from 17.5 million in 2018.

The figure was contained in the financial statements in the IOR’s annual report, which also revealed that the Institute was holding at the end of last year 5.1 billion euros in client assets and 630.3 million euros in net equity.

The 2019 IOR financial statements were audited by Mazars, an independent international auditing firm.

The statement from the IOR highlighted “the soundness and the strength of IOR financials (capital and liquidity level) and its compliance with international best practices”.

The press release continued, “in line with the indications of His Holiness Pope Francis, the Commission of Cardinals decided again this year for a full distribution of profits”.

The Institute for Works of Religion provides financial services to the Vatican City State and to the Catholic Church worldwide

In its operations, it works to ensure adherence to “the ethical and social principles of Catholic Teaching” in its management and in the “investment policies of its own account” and “those of its clients”.

The press release also noted that the IOR “has continued to strengthen its senior management team and has increased its investments in IT including those related to the membership of the European SEPA [Single Europe Payments Area] payment platforms.”

For links to the press release and to the full text of the Annual report, visit the website of the Institute for Works of Religion

Vatican arrests Italian middleman over London property deal

In other news on Vatican finances, the Vatican’s Gendarmerie police on June 5 arrested an Italian middleman who was part of a controversial property deal in London involving the Vatican. 

“Today the Office of the Promoter of Justice of the Vatican Court, at the end of the interrogation of Mr. Gianluigi Torzi, who was assisted by his personal lawyers, issued an arrest warrant against him”, the Holy See Press Office said in a statement on Friday. 

“The order, signed by the Promoter of Justice, Prof. Gian Piero Milano, and his Adjutant, Advocate Alessandro Diddi, was issued in relation to the well-known events connected with the sale of the London property on Sloane Avenue, which involved a network of companies in which some officials of the Secretariat of State were present”, the Press Office said.

Torzi has been “charged with various counts of extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and money laundering, crimes for which the Vatican Law provides for sentences of up to twelve years imprisonment”.

At present, Torzi is being detained in the barracks of the Gendarmerie Corps.

More on Novena on Vatican financial scandals:

Pope goes all out against corruption in the Vatican with new Holy See procurement law

Holy See puts into action in Switzerland promise of “rigour, clarity and sobriety” in finances

Vatican ‘Economy Minister’ denies rumours Holy See at risk of default

Holy See projecting coronavirus loss of up to 146 million euros: report

Vatican names new director, deputy for fight against money laundering, tax evasion


PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.