The head of the Vatican bank has been forced to resign his post when the board passed a unanimous no-confidence vote against him. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was accused of letting standards slip too far.
Tedeschi was ousted on Thursday evening after the vote by bank overseers at the Vatican, which blamed him for a deterioration in standards of governance.
The Vatican said in a statement that Gotti Tedeschi had failed to carry out "various fundamentally important functions of his office."
Among other things, Gotti Tedeschi was blamed for failing to keep the board sufficiently informed about the bank, known also as the Institute for Religious Works.
"The board passed a unanimous no-confidence vote against the president... and believes the action is important to maintain the vitality of the bank," the statement said.
Italian police launched an investigation against Gotti Tedeschi in 2010 as part of a money laundering inquiry, although this is not thought to be a factor. The Vatican has said it believes that investigation to be motivated by political interests from outside.
Gotti Tedeschi - a former head of Banco Santander's Italian unit - has also been suspected of leaking documents to serve his personal and political interests. The Holy See has announced a criminal investigation into the leaks by its own police force.
The board said it would seek a president who could "help the institute establish efficient and extensive relations between it and the financial community based on mutual respect of accepted international banking standards."
In March, the US State Department put the Vatican on a list of countries considered vulnerable to money laundering.
That decision was a blow to the Vatican's efforts to be included in the European Commission's "white list" of states that comply with international standards against tax fraud and money laundering.
rc/mr (AFP, AP, Reuters)