Pope replaces financial watchdog head amid fallout from raid

Pope Francis has replaced the head of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency amid continuing fallout from a controversial Vatican police raid on his offices

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has replaced the head of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency amid continuing fallout from a controversial Vatican police raid on his offices.

Francis thanked Rene Bruelhart for his work as president of the Financial Intelligence Authority as his term ends. The Vatican said Monday his replacement’s name would be released next week.

The AIF board had given its full support to AIF management after the Oct. 1 raid, which was sparked by a police investigation into a Vatican real estate deal.

But international damage to the Holy See’s reputation was done. AIF works with financial intelligence units around the world in the fight against financial crimes. Countries will be less willing to share confidential information if it could so easily end up in the hands of Vatican police.