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ROME, Italy, April 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The former president of the Vatican Bank says that he almost lost his faith and feared he could be assassinated at the instigation of some members of the Roman Curia, the Church’s administrative body, as he attempted to tackle corruption within the banking organization. 

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, a banker, economist, and theologian, headed the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), popularly known as the Vatican Bank, from 2009 until he was forced out by its board in 2012. He gave an interview to the Le Iene news company in March in which he said that he believed members of the Roman Curia, the governing body of the Vatican, were capable of murdering him.  

When asked whether the curia could commission an assassination, Tedeschi laughed and replied:

“There were people inside about whom I wouldn’t be surprised at anything they would do,” he said. “Things that one couldn’t imagine are perpetrated within the Church.”

The interview took place as part of a series of stories Le Iene produced about the mysterious death of David Rossi, the communications chief of Siena-based bank Monte dei Paschi (MDP) who fell from a window in 2013. 

When questioned about the Vatican Bank’s ties with MDP, Gotti Tedeschi told journalists that he believed four accounts at the Vatican Bank were held by key players of the Sienese bank. He believes, too, that the accounts contained bribes, “dirty money”, from politicians to be laundered, and that the Curia knew about it. 

“But nobody will confirm the existence of those accounts because everything was there,” Gotti Tedeschi said. 

“It’s about the Vatican Curia. There is everything that you can imagine inside it. There were people who were changing in a second the names on all the accounts. A system that didn’t allow anyone, if not of the “Cupola”, to get back into the accounts,” he continued 

“It’s very probable that the accounts were there. I was losing my faith.”

“When you say the Vatican Curia was making you lose your faith,” interjected his interviewer before Gotti Tedeschi, interrupting, said: “And my life!”  

Gotti Tedeschi explained that he never wanted to know who the account-holders were because the knowledge would put both him and his family in danger. 

“I always refused to see the accounts so as not to find myself one day ashamed before a judge who asked me, ‘Did you know about these accounts?’” Gotti Tedeschi said.

“If you had seen the accounts and you tell the judge whose accounts they are, the real [owners], where would you put your family?” he asked. 

“To protect them you need the greatest security system imaginable.”

Tedeschi reminded his interviewer of the journalist Carmine “Mino” Percorelli, who was gunned down in the streets of Rome forty years before. 

“Remember why he’s dead? He put his hand on what? On names. I’d be dead,” he stated. 

According to Edward Pentin, now of the National Catholic Register, Gotti Tedeschi was hired by Benedict XVI to reform the Vatican Bank by “implementing an international anti-money laundering law.” After his 2012 dismissal, the Vatican said that the economist had “failed to fulfill the primary functions of his office.”

Gotti Tedeschi denied this and said that the real reason the board of the Vatican Bank dismissed him was because the anti-money laundering policy would involve shutting down non-religious accounts. 

Accused himself of money-laundering, Gotti Tedeschi was both acquitted by Roman judges and given credit for his attempts to help the Church.