A German pope may be vacating the Vatican but a German lawyer is about to head its bank, an institution some say is as important if not more, and whose shady dealing some say may have been the reason for the pope premature departure. Per Reuters, "The Vatican appointed German lawyer Ernst von Freyberg to be the new president of its bank on Friday, filling a post left vacant since May when the previous head was ousted from the scandal-tainted institution. The appointment was made by a commission of cardinals and approved by Pope Benedict and is likely to be one of his last major decisions before he resigns at the end of the month. The Vatican has been trying to shed a reputation for a lack of financial transparency at the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), but has been dogged by scandals for decades." And no, apparently he does not work for Goldman.
A Vatican statement said Freyberg brought "a vast experience of financial matters and the financial regulatory process." Born in 1958, he is on the advisory board of temporary employment agency Manpower GmbH and of asset management firm Flossbach von Storch AG.
In May, the board of the IOR unanimously passed a no confidence motion against then head Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, an Italian.
Like Gotti Tedeschi, the new bank chief is a devout Catholic.
The Vatican said some 40 people from around the world were considered for the post.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, in answer to a question at a news briefing, said Freyberg was not a personal friend of the pope's.
Von Freyberg's bio as reported by Bloomberg:
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