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Pope Francis confirms ex-management consultant as Vatican’s auditor general

CNA 5e4efd0e506fe 182260 1 Dome of St. Peter's basilica, Vatican City./ Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis has confirmed a former management consultant as the Vatican’s auditor general.

The Holy See press office said May 5 that the pope had named Alessandro Cassinis Righini, who has served as acting auditor general since June 2017, to the role.

On his publicly accessible LinkedIn page, the auditor general lists the start date of his new position as March 2021.

He succeeds Libero Milone, who served as auditor general from 2015 to 2017.

Milone was dismissed just two years into a five-year mandate after being hired as the Vatican’s first auditor general in a move to introduce more financial transparency in the Vatican City State.

Three months after stepping down, Milone claimed that he was “threatened” into resignation by an “old guard” opposed to his work.

Although he declined to give details due to non-disclosure agreements, he claimed that he had been targeted after launching an investigation into a possible conflict of interest involving an Italian cardinal.

Describing his version of the events that led up to his resignation, Milone said that he was called to the office of Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, then a senior official at the Vatican Secretary of State, on June 19, 2017, and told that the pope had lost faith in him and requested his resignation.

Becciu accused the auditor general of “spying” on the finances of senior officials -- a claim Milone strongly rejected.

Becciu, who received the red hat in 2018, resigned in September 2020 as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights extended to members of the College of Cardinals.

The Vatican’s new auditor general was born in Rome on Dec. 29, 1965. After graduating in economics and commerce from the University of Rome La Sapienza, he gained an MBA from the School of Business Management of Bocconi University in Milan.

Married with three children, he taught strategic management at the University of Rome La Sapienza and at the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli.

After gaining experience at the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, he worked as a researcher at the Fondazione Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali (Censis).

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He then served as a management consultant for Braxton Associates in London and the Deloitte Group.

In March 2016 he was appointed as a deputy auditor, serving under Milone.

In September 2020, as acting auditor general, he signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vatican’s prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy on the fight against corruption.

The auditor general is responsible for auditing the financial statements of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.

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According to the Vatican website, the Office of the Auditor General consists of the auditor general, “who directs and represents the office,” and a group of auditors “with solid and proven professional experience,” assisted by support personnel.

It says: “The auditor general is appointed ad quinquennium [for five years] by the Holy Father and chosen among persons of proven reputation, who do not exercise activities that are incompatible with the appointment, who are free from any conflict of interest, and who have recognized professional competence and skills in the relevant areas concerning the work of the Office.”

“The auditor general may be appointed only for two terms.”

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