MOTU PROPRIO “FIDELIS ET DISPENSATOR PRUDENS” FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC ASSETS OF THE HOLY SEE
Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – We publish below the full text of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio, “Fidelis et dispensator Prudens”, and dated today, 24 February.
After having carefully consulted the results of the work of the Commission for Reference on the the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (cf. Chirograph of 18 July 2013), and after consultation with the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' and with the Council of Cardinals for the study of economic and administrative problems of the Holy See, by this Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio, I adopt the following measures:
COUNCIL FOR THE ECONOMY
1. The Council for the Economy is hereby instituted, with the task of offering guidance on economic management and supervising the structures and the administrative and financial activities of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, of the Institutions connected to the Holy See, and of Vatican City State.
2. The Council for the Economy is composed of fifteen members, eight of whom are nominated from among the Cardinals and Bishops in order to reflect the universality of the Church, and seven of whom are lay experts of various nationalities, with recognised professional financial competences.
3. The Council for the Economy shall be presided over by a Cardinal coordinator.
SECRETARIAT FOR THE ECONOMY
4. The Secretariat for the Economy is hereby instituted, as a Dicastery of the Roman Curia in accordance with the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus'.
5. Notwithstanding the provisions for the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat will report directly to the Holy Father and will undertake the economic audit and supervision of the Bodies indicated in point 1 above, along with the policies and procedures regarding procurement and the allocation of human resources, respecting the competences of each Body. The competence of the Secretariat will extend to all matters that in any way fall within this area.
6. The Secretariat for the Economy shall be presided over by a Cardinal Prefect, who shall collaborate with the Secretary of State. A Prelate Secretary General will assist the Cardinal Prefect.
7. The Auditor-General shall be appointed by the Holy Father and shall prepare the audit of the accounts of the Bodies referred to in point 1.
8. The Cardinal Prefect shall be responsible for drawing up the definitive Statues of the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy, and the Office of the Auditor-General. The Statutes shall be presented quam primum for approval by the Holy Father.
I dispose that all that is established herein have immediate, full and permanent value, abrogating any incompatible measures, and that the present Apostolic Letter issued Motu proprio be published in the Osservatore Romano of 24 February 2014 and subsequently in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given in Rome, St. Peter's, on 24 February of the year 2014, the first of my Pontificate.”
NEW COORDINATION STRUCTURE FOR THE ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS OF THE HOLY SEE AND VATICAN CITY STATE
Vatican City, 24 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has decided to establish a new structure for the coordination of the economic and administrative matters of the Holy See and Vatican City State, according to a communique issued today by the Holy See Press Office, the full text of which is published below:
“The Holy Father today announced a new coordination structure for economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See and the Vatican State.
Today's announcement comes after the recommendations of the rigorous review conducted by the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic- Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA) were considered and endorsed by both the Council of 8 Cardinals established to advise the Holy Father on governance and the Committee of 15 Cardinals which oversees the financial affairs of the Holy See.
COSEA recommended changes to simplify and consolidate existing management structures and improve coordination and oversight across the Holy See and Vatican City State. COSEA also recommended more formal commitment to adopting accounting standards and generally accepted financial management and reporting practices as well as enhanced internal controls, transparency and governance.
The changes will enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in financial administration, planning and reporting and will ensure better use of resources, improving the support available for various programs, particularly our works with the poor and marginalized.
The changes announced by the Holy Father include:
1. Establishment of a new Secretariat for the Economy which will have authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State. The Secretariat will be responsible, among other things, for preparing an annual budget for the Holy See and Vatican City State as well as financial planning and various support functions such as human resources and procurement. The Secretariat will also be required to prepare detailed financial statements of the Holy See and Vatican State.
2. The Secretariat for the Economy will implement policies determined by a new Council for the Economy - a 15 member Council composed of 8 Cardinals or Bishops, reflecting various parts of the world and seven lay experts of different nationalities with strong professional financial experience. The Council will meet on a regular basis and to consider policies and practices and to prepare and analyse reports on the economic-administrative activities of the Holy See.
3. The Secretariat for the Economy will be headed by a Cardinal Prefect reporting to the Council for the Economy. He will be supported by a Secretary-General in the management of day to day activities.
4. The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Pell, the current archbishop of Sydney, Australia, to the role of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. Details of Cardinal Pell are attached.
5. New arrangements also include the appointment of an Auditor-General, appointed by the Holy Father who will be empowered to conduct audits of any agency of the Holy See and Vatican City State at any time.
6. The changes will confirm the role of APSA as the central bank of the Vatican with all the obligations and responsibilities of similar institutions around the world.
7. The AIF will continue to undertake its current and critical role of prudential supervision and regulation of activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State.
The Prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy has been asked to start work as soon as possible. He will prepare the final statutes and other related matters with the assistance of any necessary advisers and will work with COSEA to complete the implementation of these changes approved by the Holy Father.”