(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.
Please find below the full English text of the statement from the Vatican Press Office on the new Motu Proprio entitled ‘Fidelis Dispensator et prudnes’
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- AdministrativeStructure 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 15Cardinals which oversees the financial affairs of the Holy See.
COSEA recommended changes to simplify and consolidate existing management structuresand improve coordination and oversight across the Holy See and Vatican City State. COSEA also recommended more formal commitment to adopting accounting standards and generallyaccepted 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 alleconomic 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 theHoly 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 preparedetailed 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 variousparts 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 andpractices 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 theCouncil 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 andVatican 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 andregulation 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 anynecessary advisors and will work with COSEA to complete the implementation of these changes approved by the Holy Father