Vatican aims to keep charities, donations clean with new law

The Vatican's financial watchdog has taken on responsibility for evaluating suspicious donations to Vatican-based charities and foundations, an assignment that marks a new phase of Pope Francis' financial reforms.

An annual report released by the Financial Information Authority on Friday showed a progressive consolidation of efforts to bring the Vatican into compliance with international norms for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.

For its dual job of supervising the Vatican bank and serving as the Holy See's financial intelligence unit, the AIF, as the agency is known, collects and evaluates reports of suspicious transactions.

In its annual report, the agency noted a law that took effect in November requiring all Vatican-registered charities and foundations to report suspicious transactions to AIF or face sanctions of up to 20,000 euros.