The Vatican denied media reports Saturday claiming that cardinals tasked with deciding the fate of its bank's president were struggling to come to an agreement as an internal rift widens.
The commission of cardinals must decide whether or not to uphold the bank board's decision to oust Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was fired for allegedly failing to clean up the institution's image amid accusations of corruption and money-laundering.
But media reports had said the cardinals were split, with two of the four siding with Gotti Tedeschi, widening the bitter rift between the financial ethics expert and Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican number two.
"It's not true, there is no split. The commission has taken note of the board's decision and has written to Gotti Tedeschi," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told a press conference in Milan during the Church-sponsored World Meeting of Families.
Lombardi made no reference to other media reports suggesting the cardinals were being forced to choose sides in the "Vatileaks" scandal, a whistle blowing operation reportedly aimed at removing Bertone from power.
It was Bertone who reportedly pushed the bank's board to fire their president as internal divisions over financial transparency came to a head.
Gotti Tedeschi's mission was to get the Vatican on to the "white list" of financially virtuous countries, but tensions grew after Bertone resisted reform and pushed for a new transparency law to be watered down.
Cardinal Attilio Nicora, head of the Vatican's internal watchdog and a member of the commission, particularly resents Bertone for such interference, according to Vatican watchers.
Moneyval, the Council of Europe's expert body on fighting money laundering, is due to rule at the beginning of July on whether the Holy See has managed to clean up its act and meet international monetary standards.
Gotti Tedeschi was put in charge of the bank -- also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) -- in 2009, in an effort on the part of the Vatican to rid the institution of scandal, but was unceremoniously ousted last week.
The 67-year old came under suspicion himself in 2010 when he was investigated as part of an inquiry by magistrates into money-laundering and was more recently also suspected of leaking secret papal documents to the press.
The pope's personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, has been arrested in connection with the leaks but media reports say he was not alone.