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The tower of the Institute for Works of Religion, often referred to as the Vatican bank (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis issued a decree yesterday aimed at improving the financial accountability of funds, foundations and other legal entities inside the Vatican. Source: CNA.

In the future, these entities – also known as juridical persons – will be controlled by bodies such as the Secretariat for the Economy and not just supervised by their respective institutions.

The motu proprio is complemented by a law covering entities in the Vatican City State. Both were published yesterday and come into force on Thursday.

Pope Francis noted in his apostolic letter that foundations and other affected entities “are instrumental in the realisation of the ends proper to the curial institutions at the service of the ministry of the Successor of Peter”.

It was therefore necessary, he added, “that they be subject not only to the supervision of the curial institutions from which they depend, but also to the control and surveillance of the economic bodies of the Roman Curia”.

Already existing instrumental juridical persons will have to comply with the provisions of the motu proprio within three months.

The scope of the law is limited, according to Vatican News: It does not extend to “curial institutions and offices of the Roman Curia, institutions connected with the Holy See, the Governorate of Vatican City State, and entities professionally engaged in activities of a financial nature.”

The news follows the announcement on November 30 that Pope Francis has appointed Spanish layman Maximino Caballero Ledo, 62, to lead the Secretariat for the Economy following the resignation of Fr Juan Antonio Guerrero SJ.


Pope Francis decrees better control of Vatican funds and foundations (By AC Wimmer, CNA)


Pope approves new law strengthening oversight of Vatican-related entities (CNS)