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Pope approves German lawyer to head embattled bank

/ 08:26 PM February 15, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI AP FILE PHOTO

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has signed off on one of the last major appointments of his papacy, approving a German lawyer to head the Vatican’s embattled bank.

Ernst Von Freyberg has solid financial and Catholic credentials as a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an ancient chivalrous order drawn from European nobility.

The appointment ends a nine-month search after the Institute of Religious Works ousted its previous president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, for incompetence. The ouster came just as the Vatican was submitting its finances to a review by a Council of Europe committee in a bid to join the list of financially transparent countries.

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The Vatican said Von Freyberg had been appointed by the bank’s commission of cardinals and that the pope had “expressed his full consent.”

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