Secretariat for the Economy
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of the Catholic Church
Pope Francis ordered the establishment of the secretariat in a motu proprio, Fidelis dispensator et prudens, published on 24 February 2014. It is headed by a cardinal-prefect, who reports directly to the Pope. It is, after the Secretariat of State, the second dicastery named a secretariat, an indication of its importance relative to other parts of the Curia. The seat of the secretariat is in Saint John's Tower in the Vatican Gardens.
George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, was named the secretariat's first prefect and "asked to start work as soon as possible." Pell said he would begin work at the Vatican "by the end of March." The Pope also announced the formation of a Council for the Economy to set policy guidelines for the secretariat and analyze its work. The council comprises eight cardinals or bishops and seven lay persons "with strong professional financial experience," chosen so that the body represents the global church. These members were named on 8 March. The council was headed by a cardinal coordinator, Reinhard Marx. On Friday, 5 June 2015, Pope Francis appointed Libero Milone as Auditor General.
A meeting of the Council for the Economy was held in September 2014 to discuss the statutes of the new secretariat. During the meeting, the Council also discussed the transfer of competences from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See to the Secretariat for the Economy and the criteria for drawing up a budget balances system.
On 3 March, Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Alfred Xuereb as the first General Secretary of the Secretariat. Xuereb later left this post in February 2018 to serve as Nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia. On 22 March, Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Brian Ferme, an Australian-born jurist and head of the St. Pius X Faculty of Canon Law in Venice, as the first Prelate Secretary of the Council that oversees the Secretariat.
In a motu proprio issued on 9 July 2014 the responsibilities of the Secretariat for the Economy were extended considerably, since it decreed that the Ordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) is to be transferred to the Secretariat, giving the latter control over purchasing and human resources.
Both the Secretariat and Council were given formal status in February 2015.
Cardinal Leadership and Membership
- George Pell- Prefect
- Reinhard Marx- Coordinator
- Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne- Member
- Daniel DiNardo- Member
- Wilfrid Napier- Member
- Jean-Pierre Ricard- Member
- Norberto Rivera Carrera- Member
- John Tong Hon- Member
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- "Australian Cardinal to head new Vatican Secretariat for Economy". News.va. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- Rocca, Francis X. (24 February 2014). "Pope establishes panel, with lay members, to oversee Vatican finances". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Motu proprio "Fidelis dispensator et prudens" for the Management of the Economic Assets of the Holy See". Vatican Information Service. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- Tornielli, Andrea (3 March 2014). "Francis appoints Fr. Xuereb as secretary general of the Vatican's new economy secretariat". Vatican Insider. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Mickens, Robert. "Vatican's New Finance Expert is a Man of Myster". Global pulse magazine. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "New Economic Framework for the Holy See". Vatican Information Service. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- John L. Allen, Jr. (9 July 2014). "After scandals, Vatican aims to be model on finances". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- Cardinal Pell's Vatican economy office gets new statutes