SIGNING OF THE AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THE HOLY SEE,
ACTING ALSO IN THE NAME AND ON BEHALF OF THE VATICAN CITY STATE,
AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
TO IMPROVE INTERNATIONAL TAX COMPLIANCE AND TO IMPLEMENT
THE UNITED STATES' FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT (FATCA)
REMARKS BY H.E. ARCH. PAUL
SECRETARY FOR RELATIONS WITH STATES OF THE HOLY SEE,
AT THE SIGNING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT
WITH THE UNITED STATES OF
10 June 2015
At the outset, let me welcome you and your delegation to the Secretariat of
State on the occasion of the signing of the Agreement between the Holy See,
Acting Also in the Name and on Behalf of the Vatican City State, and the United
States of America to Improve International Tax Compliance and to Implement the
United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”).
The signing of this agreement is unquestionably an historic event. This is in
fact the first time that the Holy See and the United States of America have
concluded a formal intergovernmental agreement, thus raising to an even higher
level the broad cooperation and friendship that already exist between the
Apostolic See and the Government of the United States. Moreover, the subject
matter of this agreement – designed to contrast tax evasion through the exchange
of relevant information – is of key importance to both the Holy See and the
United States. As Pope Francis frequently reminds us, evading just taxes is
stealing both from the State and from the poor (cfr.
Homily at Domus
Sanctae Marthae, 11 November 2013). Every person has in fact the duty to
contribute, in charity and justice, to the common good, according to his own
abilities and the needs of others, by promoting and assisting the public
institutions dedicated to bettering the conditions of human life (cfr.
Gaudium et Spes 30). We must then not forget the injunction of the Apostle:
“Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is
due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due” (Rm 13,7).
As you know, in the course of the last five years, the Holy See and the Vatican
City State have adopted the highest international standards to ensure
transparency and legality in the financial sector, while bearing in mind that “man
is the source, the center, and the purpose of all economic and social life”
(Gaudium et Spes 63). Signing the present agreement is thus a further
step in the Holy See’s long-term strategy to ensure and promote legality, transparency and
ethical behaviour in the economic and financial fields.
Finally, I would like to thank you personally, as well as all those who took
part in the negotiations, for the constructive spirit and the strenuous efforts
that have enabled us to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.