(VATICAN CITY) — For those hoping to visit The Vatican in Rome, keep your plastic to yourself: the symbolic seat of the Catholic Church is going cash-only.
The decision was implemented after a lengthy review by the Italian Central Bank, which declared Vatican City — the independent city-state in Rome that’s home to the Pope — is unable to comply with a program meant to curb money laundering.
According to the BBC, Pope Benedict vowed greater transparency in Vatican finances after the Vatican’s official bank, the Institute for Works of Religion, was implicated in major money laundering scandals.
The measure means purchases of entry tickets, trinkets and other souvenirs from Vatican gift shops — as well as church donations — must be conducted using cash until Vatican City is determined to be in compliance.
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