UPDATE: We’ve posted a story with more information about the Vatican credit crunch, which was triggered by a claim by Italy’s central bank that the Vatican still doesn’t have tough enough laws to prevent money laundering.
In other money-related Vatican news, the Vatican post office proclaimed glad tidings bringing great joy to those with feet wearied by standing in the long lines of Italian post offices. Beginning Monday it will be possible to pay Italian utility and other bills at the Vatican post office using the Italian post office forms.
The Vatican post office communiqué says that the bills can be paid in cash or with a debit card, “once the service is restored.”
VATICAN CITY — Although the Vatican didn’t say whether the new year snuck up on them or negotiations hit some kind of snag, as 2013 began the Vatican Museums, supermarket and other Vatican City State offices were no longer accepting credit or debit cards.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said, “The arrangement between several Vatican City State offices and one of the POS (point of sale) providers, whose services were employed to facilitate payments by tourists and pilgrims inside the Vatican, is about to expire. Contacts with several service providers are currently under way and the interruption of the POS service should be short.”
While there are lines and lines of pilgrims and holiday travelers visiting the Vatican — and filling the Vatican Museums — the museums’ press director, Lucina Vattuone, said there haven’t been any major problems with the temporary “no plastic” policy.
The museums posted a notice on their homepage and, Vattuone said, “everything’s fine; people are adapting.”
The price of a normal admission ticket to the museums, which includes the Sistine Chapel, went up to 16 euros (about $21) Jan. 1.