Pope Francis has delivered a message to Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan.
Speaking at the Vatican at the end of his Angelus address he said: “I would like to greet Muslims all around the world, our brothers. I wish that Christians and Muslims will commit to promote mutual respect, especially through education of new generations.”
Tens of thousands of Romans and tourists turned out in the square in sweltering heat for the papal appearance and blessing.
Pope Francis has decided to spend summer at the Vatican instead of at the customary papal villa in Castel Gandolfo, a hill town southeast of Rome where the weather is usually cooler, especially on summer evenings.
Through the summer the pope plans to work on plans to clean up the scandal-plagued Vatican administration. That was one of the central goals the pope has indicated he will pursue since his election in March.
The Vatican bank is one of the priorities.
Pope Francis recently unveiled a strengthened of the monitoring of the bank to prevent money laundering or the financing of terrorism as part of his campaign to clean it up after decades of scandal.
Issuing a “Motu Proprio” – a decree at his own initiative, Francis said the Vatican’s internal watchdog, the Financial Information Authority (FIA), would have increased powers of supervision over the bank and other Holy See departments
involved in financial activities.
The move will lead to closer monitoring of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) – the formal name of the Vatican bank – and responds to a recommendation from the European anti-money laundering committee Moneyval last year.
He has also brought in international experts to advise him on economic affairs, improve transparency and enforce accounting principles.
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