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Vatican bank opens doors to the press

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican bank, one of the most secretive institutions in the ­secrecy-obsessed Vatican, opened its doors to journalists Thursday in a bid to show it is serious about fighting money-laundering and being more financially transparent.

During a near three-hour PowerPoint presentation, the bank’s director, Paolo Cipriani, outlined the peculiar nature of the Institute for Religious Works, the bank’s official name, and sought to rebut media allegations that it has been less than cooperative with requests for financial information from Italian authorities.

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The bank has long been the subject of rumor and scandal — earned in part because of its role two decades ago in one of the most spectacular banking collapses in Italy.

Cipriani said that his aim was to ‘‘remove the veil and shadow of the past and do the utmost to respect the needs of the Holy See.’’

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