To try to fight that reputation, Francis gave the new commission carte blanche, reporting directly to him and bypassing normal secrecy rules. He has told aides that he is considering radically restructuring the bank or even closing it, according to Reuters.
"Saint Peter," Pope Francis said recently, "did not have a bank account."
The Vatican Bank, which is called the Institute for Works of Religion, "must become an accepted member of the international financial system," the bank's new chief executive, Ernst von Freyberg, recently told Vatican reporters. "My role is to improve our reputation, so that the Church is no longer darkened by bad news from us. ... We have to be clean on all legal fronts."
But the allegations of impropriety continue. The Vatican says it has caught seven attempts of money laundering already this year. Last year, it caught six attempts.
Police arrested Scarano on the outskirts of Rome and locked him up in the city's Queen of Heaven jail, said his lawyer, Silverio Sica.