Bishop’s arrest exacerbates Vatican’s PR headaches

Nunzio Scarano is accused of illegally transporting 20 million euros from Switzerland to Italy. It’s ‘just the start’ of a corruption crackdown to come, says one expert.

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That list of challenges got a little, or maybe a lot, longer Friday. It now includes explaining and rooting out alleged financial fraud.

Italian police arrested Bishop Nunzio Scarano, an official in the Vatican bank, along with two other men, in connection with the illegal transport of 20 million euros (about $26 million) from Switzerland to Italy, possibly using an Italian government plane.

Italian police were apparently investigating Scarano for weeks. Pope Francis on Wednesday set up a five-person, internal committee to investigate Vatican corruption.

The Vatican Information Service issued a press release regarding the arrest, which included a statement from Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.

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