Harvard professor will lead inquiry into troubled Institute for Religious Works

Pope Francis has set up a commission of inquiry into the activities of the Vatican Bank following recent allegations of money-laundering.

It comes after the Holy Father named a Harvard law professor from outside to oversee the management of the Institute for Religious Works, as it is officially called.

Professor Mary Ann Glendon will head the commission, along with four senior clerics: Cardinal Raffaele Farina, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Spanish Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru and American Monsignor Peter Bryan Wells.

The new commission hopes to ensure the bank, which has 114 employees and £4.6 billion worth of assets, operates in “harmony” with the mission of the Church.

In February German lawyer Ernst von Freyberg was named the bank’s new chairman by Pope Benedict, one of his last acts as pontiff. On June 15 Francis appointed Monsignor Mgr Mario Salvatore Ricca as his representative at the institution.