Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See

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The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (Italian: Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica, abbreviated APSA) is the office of the Roman Curia that deals with the "properties owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function" (Pastor Bonus, 172).[1] It was established by Pope Paul VI on 15 August 1967. It also serves as the central bank of Vatican City.[2][3]

According to a Catholic News Service (CNS) online news release article by Cindy Wooden, dated and accessed on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), in order to meet reform and transparency goals set by Pope Francis and a commission of Cardinals formed by him in July of 2013 (namely, the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See), has announced that it is forming a supervisory board. It is unclear what responsibilities or powers they will have; they are five chosen lay commissioners of APSA with expertise in real estate, banking, and investments. Further, in keeping with the recommendations, which were suggested by Moneyval, the Promontory Financial Group has been chosen to conduct an independent "due diligence" review, which it is already doing for the separate IOR, the Vatican Bank.[4]


It is composed of two sections. The Ordinary Section continues the work of the Administration of the Property of the Holy See (Italian: Amministrazione dei Beni della Santa Sede), a commission that Pope Leo XIII set up in 1880, initially as an advisory body, and to which in 1891 he gave direct responsibility for administering the property remaining to the Holy See after the complete loss of the Papal States in 1870. The Extraordinary Section administers the funds given by the Italian government to implement the Financial Convention attached to the Lateran Treaty of 1929. Before the establishment of the APSA, these latter funds were managed by the Special Administration of the Holy See.[5]

It is distinct from the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

After World War II, the International Monetary Fund recognized the Administration of the Property of the Holy See, as the central bank of Vatican City.[6]

It is quite distinct from the Institute for Works of Religion, commonly called the "Vatican Bank".

An organizational chart of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, with the names of its senior officials, is given on the website of the Holy See, which also gives the regulations that govern its functioning.

The present heads ("Delegates") of the two sections are Massimo Boarotto for the Ordinary Section and Paolo Mennini for the Extraordinary.

On July 9, 2014, Cardinal George Pell, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, announced that with the approval of Pope Francis, the Ordinary Section of APSA was transferred to the Secretariat for the Economy. According to Cardinal Pell, this was an important step to enable the Secretariat for the Economy to exercise its responsibilities of economic control and vigilance over the agencies of the Holy See, including policies and procedures concerning purchasing and the suitable allocation of human resources. Cardinal Pell also announced that the remaining staff of APSA would begin to focus exclusively on the administration's role as a Treasury for the Holy See and the Vatican City State. [7]

Assets of the Extraordinary Section[edit]

The assets entrusted to the Extraordinary Section were initially 750 million Italian lire (at that time equivalent to 8,152,000 pounds sterling) in cash and 1000 million Italian lire (at that time equivalent to 10,869,000 pounds sterling) in Italian State bonds, an amount less than Italy would have paid under the Law of Guarantees of 1871, if the Holy See had accepted this.[8]

According to an article by David Leigh in the Guardian newspaper, a 2012 report from the Council of Europe identified the value of a section of the Vatican's property assets as an amount in excess of €680m (£570m); as of January 2013, a papal official in Rome named Paolo Mennini manages this portion of the Holy See's assets—consisting of British investments, other European holdings and a currency trading arm. The Guardian newspaper described Mennini and his role in the following manner: "... Paolo Mennini, who is in effect the pope's merchant banker. Mennini heads a special unit inside the Vatican called the extraordinary division of APSA – Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica – which handles the so-called "patrimony of the Holy See"."[9]

List of Presidents[edit]



  1. ^ Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (A.P.S.A.)
  2. ^ "New Coordination structure for the economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See and Vatican City State". Vatican Information Service. February 24, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Pope revolutionizes Vatican by opening finances to scrutiny". Reuters. February 24, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 1847. The same text is given on the website of the Holy See
  6. ^ Pollard, 2005, p. 200.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ The Times, 12 February 1929, "End of Roman Question".
  9. ^ David Leigh (21 January 2013). "How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millions". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 


  • Malachi Martin - Rich Church, Poor Church (Putnam, New York, 1984) ISBN 0-399-12906-5
  • Pollard, John F. (2005). Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: Financing the Vatican, 1850–1950. Cambridge University Press.