The Vatican

A crucial law for the reform of the Curia arrives: financial management

David Fernández Alonso-December 28, 2020-Reading time: 2 minutes

At the end of a year that will be marked by the coronavirus pandemic, the Holy See continues to work in all areas. And today we have been able to see another of its fruits: has been enacted the law in the form of motu proprio regulating certain competences in economic matters and financial reform of the Holy See, which closes another stage of the long-awaited reform of the Curia.

The Holy Father has already had anticipated in a letter to Secretary of State Mons. Parolin the the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) for the management of financial and real estate assets..

Better organization

The Pope assures that "a better organization of the administration, control and supervision of the economic and financial activities of the Holy See, in order to guarantee a transparent and efficient management and a clear separation of competencies and functions, is a fundamental point in the reform of the Curia".

In this way, and based on this principle, the Holy Father affirms that the Secretary of StateThe Roman Curia, which supports it more closely and directly in its mission, and represents an essential point of reference for the activities of the Roman Curia, should not perform these functions in economic and financial matters already attributed by competence to other Dicasteries..

Transfer of assets

Therefore, this new apostolic letter issued today by Pope Francis takes up in a concrete way what he had already announced:

  • As of January 1, ownership of funds and bank accountsand real estate investments, including participations in investment companies and funds. will be transferred to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA)..
  • The Secretariat of State will transfer, no later than February 4, all its liquid availability in current accounts attributed to the Institute for the Works of Religion in foreign bank accounts.
  • The APSA shall establish a budget appropriation called ".Papal Funds"This will be part of the consolidated balance sheet of the Holy See, for greater transparency. And it will have a separate accounting for the "St. Peter's obolus"and the "Holy Father Discretionary Fund".

Towards total transparency

All funds and economic-financial management will be supervised by the Secretariat for the defined by its own statute and by the regulations in force, with the sole exception of those entities for which the Holy Father has provided otherwise.

Finally, the so-called Administrative Office of the Secretary of State maintains only the human resources necessary to carry out activities related to its internal administration, the preparation of its budget and final accounts, and other non-administrative functions performed to date.

Therefore, it is clear that the path towards total transparency in the economic and financial management of the Holy See.The reform of the Roman Curia is being carried out by Pope Francis.

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