Pope backs Cardinal Pell with new financial statutes

Authority confirmed

Pope Francis has decided the future of his financial reform, issuing a new legal framework for three key oversight bodies which largely confirm the authority of Cardinal George Pell, whom he put in charge of his clean-up operation, reports Crux.

The decision, announced yesterday, came in the form of a new legal framework approved by the Pontiff for the Vatican’s three financial oversight bodies created in 2014: The Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy, and an independent auditor general.

Despite mounting calls from some quarters of the Vatican to rein in Cardinal Pell, such measures are largely missing from the new statutes, which were signed by Pope Francis on February 22 and became effective on March 1.

The only major concession is that while the Secretariat for the Economy has been confirmed as responsible for procurement and personnel, it will not administer Vatican real estate. That function, which had been assigned to Pell’s department last year, will be returned to another Vatican department.

In general, the results are likely to be taken as a show of confidence in Cardinal Pell at a time when the 73-year-old prelate had found himself under mounting fire.

Since his arrival in Rome one year ago, Cardinal Pell had ruffled feathers by moving aggressively to implement new transparency and accountability measures, including publicly disclosing the presence of assets that he claimed had previously been hidden by various departments.

FULL COVERAGE

Pope backs embattled financial reformer with new statutes (Crux)

Pope Francis cements financial reform in new laws, creates Vatican auditor general (NCR)

New rules for Vatican finance offices include protection for whistleblowers (The Catholic Herald)

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