Rorate Caeli

First great change in Roman Curia:
Pope establishes Secretariat of Economic Affairs
Cardinal Pell to head Secretariat
Text of Motu Proprio Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens

The first major change made by Pope Francis in the permanent structure of the Roman Curia is the establishment of a Segreteria per l'Economia (Secretariat for the Economy) to oversee and assemble all financial and economic operations of all administrative affairs of the Holy See - details to be known shortly in a motu proprio published this afternoon in the Tuesday edition of L'Osservatore Romano.

This Economy Secretariat, under an overseeing Council (8 prelates, 7 laymen), will be headed by a PrefectCardinal George Pell, up to now Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, and one of the eight members of the Council of Cardinals. [Update: Pell will leave his position in Sydney in March.]

Updates throughout the day.


First Update (1300 GMT): Press release of the Holy See Press Office:



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 comprised 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 analyze 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 for 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 advisors and will work with COSEA to complete the implementation of these changes approved by the Holy Father.


Second Update (1305 GMT): Text of the Motu Proprio Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens establishing the Segreteria per l'Economia and other economic measures:


For the establishment of a new structure of Coordination of the Economical and Administrative Affairs of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State

Fidelis dispensator et prudens
(Lc 12,42).

Like a faithful and prudent manager who has the task of carefully looking after what has been entrusted to him, the Church is aware of her responsibility to protect and manage her assets, in the light of her mission of evangelisation and with particular care for those in need. In a special way, the management of the economic and financial sectors of the Holy See is intimately linked to its specific mission, not only in the service of the universal ministry of the Holy Father, but also in relation to the common good, with a view to the full development of the human person.

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:


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.


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.