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Pope: new law on the management and supervision of Vatican finances


The objective of the papal decision is “a better organisation of the administration, supervision and surveillance of the economic and financial activities of the Holy See to ensure transparent and efficient management and a clear separation of responsibilities and functions.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis has decided to reorganise the management and supervision of the Holy See’s economic activities. For this purpose, a Motu Proprio was published today that converts into law what he had already written in the letter of 25 August 2020 to the Secretary of State.

The objective of the papal decision is “a better organisation of the administration, supervision and surveillance of the economic and financial activities of the Holy See to ensure transparent and efficient management and a clear separation of responsibilities and functions.” This objective “represents a fundamental point in the reform of the Curia.”

“On the basis of this principle, it is not appropriate that the Secretariat of State – which also supports more closely and directly the action of the Supreme Pontiff in his mission and represents an essential point of reference for the activities of the Roman Curia – to perform those functions in economic and financial matters already attributed to other dicasteries.”

Consequently, “starting 1 January 2021, the ownership of funds and bank accounts, securities and real estate investments, including investments in companies and investment funds, held hitherto in the name of the Secretariat of State, is transferred to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which will look after their management and administration. They will be subjected to an ad hoc supervision of the Secretariat for the Economy, which from now on will also perform the function of Papal Secretariat for Economic and Financial Matters.”

The new law, says a note from the Holy See’s Press Office, “reduces the number of economic decision-makers in the Holy See and concentrates administration, management and economic and financial decisions in the Dicasteries suited for that purpose.”

In particular, “the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See will constitute a balance-sheet provision called Papal Funds, which, for greater transparency, will be part of the consolidated financial statements of the Holy See, for which separate accounts must be kept, with the opening of specific sub-accounts for : a) the Fund called ‘Peter’s Pence’, with all its various subdivisions and forms; b) the Fund called the “Holy Father’s Discretionary Fund”; c) each of the funds known as the ‘Entitled Funds’, which have a special use constraint set by the will of the donors or regulatory provisions.”

The allocation of these funds is subject to “the prior authorisation by the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, who exercises specific supervision by checking in advance that instructions received from the Holy Father on the use of his funds are followed.”

“With these decisions,”  reads the press release, “ the Holy Father expresses his personal commitment, and that of the Roman Curia, to greater transparency, a clearer separation of functions, greater effectiveness in supervision and greater compliance of the economy of the Holy See to the mission of the Church, so that the People of God who, with their generosity, help to support the mission of the Bishop of Rome can do so with the confidence that their contributions are administered in an adequate and transparent way, subject to the necessary checks.” (FP)





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