ITALIAN magistrates investigating the 1982 collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano are looking into the possibility that the Vatican bank may be legally responsible in the collapse, making it financially liable to Ambrosiano stockholders.
Italian newspapers reported that Milan magistrates Renato Bricchetti and Antonio Pizzi had sent a "citation of civil liability" to the president of the Vatican bank, US Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, asking him for information. Within a month, aid the press reports, Archbishop Marcinkus or his delegate will travel to Milan to respond to accusations by some small Ambrosiano stockholders that the Vatican bank should be held civilly liable. Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia, after a March meeting of a committee of cardinals which advises the Vatican on financial matters, said the Vatican planned to pay $250 million to Ambrosiano's creditor banks. Vatican sources said the sum would be a "goodwill" payment and that the Vatican considered itself to have no legal responsibility int he Ambrosiano case.
The citation of civil liability is a separate mater from the 5250 million payment, and it raises the possibility that the Vatican bank could be held legally responsible in the Ambrosiano' collapse, with a consequent financial liability to Ambrosiano stockholders.