Pope Francis gave top Vatican financial officials three months to transfer their finances to another office.
Pope Francis gave the Vatican national secretariat three months to transfer all his finances to another Vatican office after managing hundreds of millions of euros in donations and investments that are currently the subject of a corruption investigation.
Pope Francis summoned the foreign minister, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, his deputy, as well as top Vatican financial officials to meet on Wednesday and gave a three-month deadline to complete the transfer. Vatican member Matteo Bruni said.
The Vatican released a letter Pope Francis wrote to Parolin on 25 August in which he announced that he would strip the national secretariat̵7;s ability to manage money independently.
Francis cited “reputational risks” due to the ministry’s previous investments in speculative activities that cost the Holy See tens of millions of euros, some of which were donated by Peter’s Pence from the faith Organic.
Pope Francis’ decision is a shameful blow to the state secretariat as the most powerful office of the Holy See, reducing it basically any other department that has to propose a budget and be others approve and supervise.
Its financial holdings are now held by the Vatican treasury office, known as the APSA, and included in the Holy See’s consolidated budget. The Ministry of Economy will oversee the expenditure.
Essentially, the results were sought years ago by Cardinal George Pell, Francis’ first economic minister, who clashed with the state secretariat over his financial reforms and efforts. power to gain control of the department’s out-of-book funds. In 2014, he famously boasted that he “discovered” hundreds of millions of euros that were “hidden in specific department accounts and not on the balance sheet” – a reference by the secretary. sign on a list of internal state assets.
Pell had to abandon those reform efforts in 2017 to face a trial of sexual abuse charges in his home country of Australia, but he was acquitted and triumphantly returned to Rome last month, where he is introduced to the public with Pope Francis.
Francis has turned against his own secretariat amid Vatican prosecutors a year-long investigation of the office’s € 350 million ($ 413 million) investment in a London real estate venture.
Prosecutors have accused some ministry officials of abusing their powers to participate in the deal, as well as some Italian middlemen accused of fleeing the Vatican with tens of millions of euros in fees.
The scandal has shown the Vatican deities’ inadequacy in money management since they signed the voting shares in the deal and agreed to pay unnecessary exorbitant fees to the Italians. famous in the business world for their shady deals.
In his letter to Parolin, Pope Francis cited the London joint venture as well as the state investment secretariat into an investment vehicle based in Malta, the Global Centurion Fund, led by external currency regulators. perennial Vatican head.
According to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Centurion has invested in projects such as the movie “Rocketman” about Elton John as well as the parent company led by Lapo Elkann, one of the more lavish members of the Agnelli family in Italy.