Loading
CNA's Vatican Observer
Cardinals council zeroes-in on Vatican management, finances
Cardinals greet each other Nov. 24, 2012 in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: CNA.
Cardinals greet each other Nov. 24, 2012 in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: CNA.
By Andrea Gagliarducci
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On the second of four days of meetings, the council of eight cardinals discussed the management of the Vatican State and of the Curia, including the so-called “Vatican Bank,” whose process of reform is ongoing.

Pope Francis, along with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, is involved in the meetings with the group of cardinals who he selected last year to help in Church reform efforts.

The Pope was present at the entire meeting Wednesday morning, having suspended his Wednesday general audiences for a summer break.

Although no document has yet formalized Cardinal Parolin's membership in the council, Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi said “Pope Francis told Cardinal Pietro Parolin he is a full member of the Council, and so we can consider him fully a member of the council.”

Fr. Lombardi reported that in these first two days of meetings the cardinals discussed “three main themes.”

Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the head of the Vatican City State administration and a member of the council, reported about a series of matters relating to Vatican City's governorate, of which he is the president. Cardinal Parolin made a presentation about the Secretariat of State.

The council also discussed in depth the issue of the Institute for Religious Works, known as the IOR and referred to informally as the “Vatican Bank.” In two sessions, the council spoke with the members of the IOR's Supervisory Commission of Cardinals.

All of the members of the supervisory commission were present except for Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the Archbishop of Vienna.

The commission is chaired by Cardinal Santos Avril y Castellò, Archpriest of Rome’s Saint Mary Major Basilica. Its members include: Cardinal Parolin; Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto.

The supervisory commission will have one of its periodic meetings this week. It is likely the meeting will discuss the IOR annual report that should be released next week.

The report will “clarify the steps that have been made in the course of the year” and “will show the state-of-the-art of the IOR commitment to transparency,” according to an IOR spokesperson.

Fr. Lombardi's comments responded to several speculations about the Vatican finances and about the eventual dismissal of Vatican Bank president Ernst von Freyberg.

He stated that the IOR is “in a time of natural and peaceful transition.”

“The contribution of Ernst von Freyberg continues to be deeply appreciated and highly valued, and further clarifications are possible, indeed likely, next week after the meeting of the Council for the Economy on Saturday,” Fr. Lombardi said.

President von Freyberg’s mandate will expire this September. The issuance of the IOR annual report and the update of the IOR statutes could in any event lead to a changing of the guard at the IOR’s Council for Superintendency, which von Freyberg chairs.

The new IOR statutes would require a full time president. While von Freyberg acted as a de facto full time president, he is said to be desirous to return to his business and family in Germany.

The Council for the Economy is the 15-member council Pope Francis established to supervise the Vatican’s economic management. It also oversees the structures and the administrative and financial activities of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, of the institutions connected to the Holy See, and of Vatican City State.

The council is chaired by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich-Freising and member of the Council of Cardinals. It is composed of seven laymen and eight cardinals. The council will likely issue a first draft of it's statutes in their July 5 meeting.

Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for Economy, will also be present at the meeting. Cardinal Pell’s presence is a signal that the discussion will address the relations between the two separate bodies Pope Francis established with the Motu Proprio “Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens,” issued Feb. 24.

The Council for the Economy establishes policies, while the Secretariat for Economy implements them.

Fr. Lombardi said the council will also be informed on “developments relating to the IOR.” The Prefecture for Economic Affairs will inform the council about the 2013 budget and the 2014 provisional budget.

Economic matters are not the only focus of leading Vatican commissions and councils.

Fr. Lombardi also announced that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors will meet July 6. The commission is now working to enlarge its eight-member board and to draft its statutes.

The July 6 meetings will likely prepare for Pope Francis’ meetings with victims of sex abuse by clergy, scheduled for July 7 in the Vatican.

Pope Francis established the commission in December 2013 following the suggestion of the council of cardinals.

The council will continue its meetings, taking into consideration and systematically developing the reflections it formulated about the review of the different bodies of the Roman Curia.

According to Fr. Lombardi, “a draft of a new pastoral constitution to re-design the Roman Curia may not be expected at the end of the meeting.”

At the moment, many possible ways to streamline the Vatican offices have been discussed.

The council of cardinals is holding its fifth meeting since its establishment. This marks the first time they have met for four consecutive days.

Tags: Vatican Finances, Pope Francis, Council of Eight Cardinals

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
23

Liturgical Calendar

November 23, 2014

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 25:31-46

Gospel
Date
11/23/14
11/22/14
11/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 34: 11-12, 15-17
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28
Gospel:: Mt 25: 31-46

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 19:45-48

Homily
Date
11/21/14
11/20/14
11/19/14