Why exactly is the IOR (Vatican Bank) so hard to manage?

If the Pope is the singular authority, why is the Vatican Bank so hard to get into shape?

The Popes have tried. It isn’t as if they haven’t. As the Pope is the supreme and absolute authority, shouldn’t it have been somewhat easier to get it to work the way it should? It’s not as if he has to answer to anyone who might oppose him.

As we know, Pope Benedict wasn’t even told when the man he chose to head it was sacked. He had to find out on the news. Doesn’t the Pope’s judgement always override everyone else’s?

If even Pope Francis admits that the IOR has been mismanaged, we cannot deny it. We have a lot to be proud about that the Popes have been working to reform it. Still, it’s strange that a body whose purpose is to support the mission of the Church and answers only to the prudent men who served as Pope could be so mis-managed and hard to tame.

My guess as to why it’s hard to manage is because its very deeply rooted in the culture of the Vatican and Church hierarchy. The people who oversee its operations are probably clergy, and there is probably a strict chain of command that encompasses not only the administrative/bureaucratic management of the bank, but also the spiritual lives of those who work in it.

A strong system of independent checks and balances, outside regulators and examiners probably doesn’t exist.

A parallel example: When the Korean Air jetliner crashed in California recently, it was theorized that the Asian crew’s culture of deferring decisions to the ranking pilot, of being unwilling to speak up, or disagree with a superior for fear of being disrespectful, may have played a role in the accident.

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