Vatican signs financial transparency accord with U.S. officials

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st. peter's square

St. Peter's Square - Rome. During the process to elect a new pope, Cardinals will stay in the Casa Santa Marta, a $20 million hotel-style residence inside the Vatican walls built by Pope John Paul II. Cardinals may not leave the Vatican grounds until a conclave concludes. RNS photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons (http://bit.ly/XqMJiW) / Public Domain.

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a bid to improve its checkered record on financial transparency, the Vatican on Tuesday (May 7) signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. agency that fights against financial crimes. The Vatican Bank has a long history of secrecy and scandals, and it has reportedly been involved in several shady operations during the course of its history.