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Mission of Vatican bank a key point in cardinal meetings
Fr. Federico Lombardi in the Vatican Press Office Feb 26, 2013. Credit: David Uebbing/CNA.
Fr. Federico Lombardi in the Vatican Press Office Feb 26, 2013. Credit: David Uebbing/CNA.
By Elise Harris
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.- Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi says that the council of eight cardinals spent their second day of meetings discussing the so-called “Vatican Bank,” however no decisions have yet been made.

The council was chosen by Pope Francis to advise him on matters of church governance and curia reform, and are meeting with the pontiff for the third time following an initial meeting in October, and a second in December. This week's meetings began on Feb. 17, and will conclude on Feb. 19.

During the Feb. 18 press briefing, Fr. Lombardi revealed that after meeting with the Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See yesterday, the cardinals continued today by hearing reports from the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly referred to as the Vatican Bank.

Noting that Vatican Secretary of State and soon-to-be cardinal Pietro Parolin was present and will be for the remainder of the meetings, Vatican Radio reports that the cardinals began the day as usual by celebrating Mass with the Holy Father in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.

Following the Mass, the council of eight met at 9:30 a.m. in the same room as yesterday, where they listened to reports from representatives of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the IOR.

This commission was initially called as the result of the Pope's desire to learn in more detail both the legal position, and the activities of the institute in order to create a greater harmony between the latter with the mission of the universal Church and the Apostolic See.

It was also done within the wider context of reforms involving some of the institutions that offer support to the Apostolic See, Vatican Radio reports, noting that the task of the commission is to gather information on the functioning of the institute and to report the results to the Pope.

According to the news agency, the presentations provided were received “with great interest by the cardinals,” and centered on giving information on the current situation of the Institute and the problems that it must face.

One of the main areas of discussion was the mission of the IOR as it relates to the actions of the Church in the world, both within and outside of an economic perspective. Although suggestions were offered by the cardinals for future changes, no decisions were made.

Attending the session this morning was the commission’s president, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, its coordinator Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, its secretary Msgr. Peter Bryan Wells, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who is a member.

Fr. Lombardi, states Vatican Radio, commented on the importance of understanding, given the work of the two commissions, that their aims are different, but that both fit within the “contextual reality of the Holy See.”

It is for this reason, Fr. Lombardi noted, that Pope Francis desires to have an overall view regarding the re-organization of the Vatican Bank’s governance and structures.

The council of eight cardinals will continue to meet in the afternoon, and will conduct their final day of meetings tomorrow with the council of fifteen, who are currently preparing for the upcoming Synod of Bishops dedicated to the family.

Tags: Vatican Bank

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