The Associated Press has learned that Vatican bank told dozens of widows and pensioners to close their accounts or risk losing access to their money, then back-tracked and said it was all a "technical error."
The embarrassment comes as the institution is trying to fend off accusations of mismanagement and corruption.
"In some cases old ladies got nasty letters," Max Hohenberg, spokesman for the Institute for Religious Works told The AP.
Bank President Ernst Von Freyberg penned a terse letter to clients telling them to their money out because they no longer fit the criteria of account-holders set by the board. Somehow former Vatican employees and their widows got caught up in the sweep, apparently because of the way their accounts were classified by the bank internally.