Vatican bank board members plotted to oust their director, letters leaked to an Italian newspaper on Saturday showed, as prosecutors investigated possible money-laundering operations at the bank. The board dismissed Ettore Gotti Tedeschi on May 24, a day before Vatican police arrested Pope Benedict XVI’s butler for allegedly leaking sensitive papal documents to the press in an apparently unrelated case. Ahead of the board meeting, according to letters in the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano that could not be independently verified, the bank’s vice president Ronaldo Schmitz threatened to resign if Gotti Tedeschi was not dismissed. Gotti Tedeschi “does not have the necessary qualities to guide the Institute,” Schmitz wrote in the letter, referring to the bank’s official name, the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR under its Italian acronym. “He has aggravated the situation with his inertia and his lack of loyalty towards staff and lack of transparency to the board,” Schmitz said, addressing himself to the Vatican’s powerful Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. “I am confident that Your Eminence will immediately end president Gotti’s mandate. I do not want to continue to serve with Gotti Tedeschi. I will present my resignation by the end of May 2012 if he is not dismissed,” Schmitz wrote. His comments were backed up by Carl Anderson, another board member, who said: “I have reached the conclusion, after much prayer and reflection, that Gotti Tedeschi is no longer able to guide the Institute in difficult times. “His occasional communications with me are focussed not on the life of the Institute but on internal political manoeuvring and on denigrating others,” he wrote, adding that Gotti Tedeschi had shown “increasingly eccentric behaviour.” A letter from a psychiatrist, Pietro Lasalvia, also appeared to show he had been invited to a Christmas dinner in 2011 attended by Gotti Tedeschi and asked to assess the IOR director surreptitiously. “There were traits of egocentrism, narcissism and a partial disconnect from reality that could be a psychopathological dysfunction,” Lasalvia wrote. Meanwhile the Corriere della Sera daily said Italian prosecutors were probing a series of documents seized during raids on Gotti Tedeschi’s home and office this week as part of an investigation into money-laundering at the bank.