- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Burke confirms rumours he is to leave Vatican's top court for Order of Malta
- Nichols says synod is developing pastoral language and opening pathways for divorced and remarried
- Catholic head teachers call for more support as recruitment dries up
- Church backs ecumenical campaign for organ donation as ethical concerns are addressed
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
Pope Francis has approved recommendations to keep the Vatican bank operative, ending a year of speculation over whether he would close the scandal-hit institution formally known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).
"The IOR will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialised financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide. The valuable services that can be offered by the Institute assist the Holy Father in his mission as universal pastor and also aid those institutions and individuals who collaborate with him in his ministry," the Vatican said today in a statement.
The bank’s purpose is to manage funds for orders of priests and nuns, missions, charities and Vatican staff. But in 2012 the European watchdog Moneyval found that it fell short of global norms on combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and tax evasion.
The bank has been at the centre of a major clean-up effort under its president Ernst von Freyberg, who was one of the last people appointed by former Pope Benedict before he resigned in February 2013.