Australia's Cardinal George Pell has taken personal control of the Vatican’s finances in a reform unprecedented in living memory – but says he is facing 'sadness and antagonism' from the old guard writes The Sydney Morning Herald.
In an exclusive interview with respected Vatican reporter John L Allen Jr, Cardinal Pell said his mission was 'to be boringly successful, to get off the gossip pages.'
On Wednesday, Cardinal Pell held a press conference to announce his economic plan for the Holy See, building on a reform framework approved by the Pope earlier this year.
In February, Cardinal Pell was appointed prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. He revealed on Wednesday he had brought in Danny Casey, his former business manager of the Archdiocese of Sydney, to head a new office to oversee some of the reform projects. One of the biggest challenges is the restructure of the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank, which has previously acted as a conduit for money laundering.
Cardinal Pell’s plan gives the bank a new, smaller role in the Church’s finances, sets up a new office to administer billions of dollars’ worth of investments, and reviews of the Vatican’s pension fund.
Cardinal Pell has also put the Vatican’s ponderous communications department under review, with a plan to expand on digital channels such as the ‘Pope App’ and the Pope’s Twitter account in order to reach more young people.
'Basically, the ambition is to be boringly successful, to get off the gossip pages,' Cardinal Pell said in the interview with the Boston Globe.
'The idea is to introduce modern accounting standards, to strengthen transparency, to increase self-sufficiency and coordination, and eventually to generate more income with lower costs.'
Cardinal Pell said most of the people in the Vatican were 'thoroughly good, and they realise that in many ways the old world couldn’t go on'. However, he said: 'There’s sadness and a bit of antagonism in some quarters, that’s for sure.'
IOR: De Franssu announces more help for the poor and more transparency (Vatican Insider)