Australian cardinal to head new Vatican Secretariat for Economy

2014-02-24 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has issued a Motu Proprio announcing the setting up of a new financial structure to coordinate and oversee the finances of the Holy See and Vatican City State.
Monday’s announcement comes after several days of meetings of both the Council of 8 Cardinals, established by Pope Francis to advise on reform of the Curia and governance of the Universal Church, and the Committee of 15 Cardinals which oversees the economic affairs of the Holy See.

Australian Cardinal George Pell of Sydney will head a new Secretariat for the Economy which will be responsible for annual budgets and have authority over all the Holy See’s administrative activities.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report:

Please find below the full English text of the statement from the Vatican Press Office on the new Motu Proprio entitled ‘Fidelis Dispensator et prudens’


The Holy Father today announced a new coordination structure for economic and
administrative affairs of the Holy See and the Vatican State.
Today's announcement comes after the recommendations of the rigorous review conducted
by the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic- Administrative
Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) were considered and endorsed by both the Council of 8
Cardinals established to advise the Holy Father on governance and the Committee of 15
Cardinals which oversees the financial affairs of the Holy See.
COSEA recommended changes to simplify and consolidate existing management structures
and improve coordination and oversight across the Holy See and Vatican City State. COSEA
also recommended more formal commitment to adopting accounting standards and generally
accepted financial management and reporting practices as well as enhanced internal controls,
transparency and governance.
The changes will enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in
financial administration, planning and reporting and will ensure better use of resources,
improving the support available for various programs, particularly our works with the poor and
marginalized.
The changes announced by the Holy Father include:
1. Establishment of a new Secretariat for the Economy which will have authority over all
economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The
Secretariat will be responsible, among other things, for preparing an annual budget for the
Holy See and Vatican City State as well as financial planning and various support functions
such as human resources and procurement. The Secretariat will also be required to prepare
detailed financial statements of the Holy See and Vatican State.

2. The Secretariat for the Economy will implement policies determined by a new Council for
the Economy - a 15 member Council comprised of 8 Cardinals or Bishops, reflecting various
parts of the world and seven lay experts of different nationalities with strong professional
financial experience. The Council will meet on a regular basis and to consider policies and
practices and to prepare and analyze reports on the economic-administrative activities of the
Holy See.

3. The Secretariat for the Economy will be headed by a Cardinal Prefect reporting to the
Council for the Economy. He will be supported by a Secretary-General in the management
of day to day activities.

4. The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Pell, the current Archbishop of Sydney, Australia,
to the role of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. Details for Cardinal Pell are attached.

5. New arrangements also include the appointment of an Auditor-General, appointed by the
Holy Father who will be empowered to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and
Vatican City State at any time.

6. The changes will confirm the role of APSA as the Central bank of the Vatican with all the
obligations and responsibilities of similar institutions around the world.

7. The AIF will continue to undertake its current and critical role of prudential supervision and
regulation of activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State.

The Prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy has been asked to start work as soon as
possible. He will prepare the final statutes and other related matters with the assistance of any
necessary advisors and will work with COSEA to complete the implementation of these changes
approved by the Holy Father