Cardinal George Pell – Prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy
The Holy Father Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell to a new senior role in the Vatican on 25 February, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
This appointment and the creation of a new Vatican office is seen as one of the Holy See’s most significant reforms in a long time.
The former Archbishop of Sydney’s role will be to modernise and improve the Vatican’s financial processes to ensure they were more accountable and transparent.
Cardinal Pell will return to Sydney before relocating to Rome permanently to take up his new role.
Deeply honoured by the appointment the Cardinal; “If we can get things in order in a couple of years it will be a substantial achievement of this papacy.
“If we make better use of the resources entrusted to us we can improve our capacity to support the good works of the Church, particularly our works for the poor and disadvantaged.
A Faithful and Wise Manager
In appointing Cardinal Pell, Pope Francis issued his motu proprio or personal decree under the Latin title “fidelis dispensator et prudens” - a faithful and wise manager.
Soon after his election Pope Francis formed a Council of Cardinals to advise him on financial, business and matters of governance matters. Cardinal Pell was one of the eight cardinals and one of a committee of 15 to examine financial issues.
The Council recently submitted recommendations to the Holy Father including changes to existing structures, improvements in financial planning, reporting and auditing as well as the more formal involvement of senior lay experts in the policy making procedures.
The recommendations were accepted and the Holy Father asked Cardinal Pell to be the Cardinal Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. He will have authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and the Vatican City State. His responsibilities will also include preparing an annual budget for the Holy See and Vatican City State as well as financing planning and various support functions such as human resources and procurement.
Cardinal Pell’s extensive experience in business and economic management is widely recognised by those within and outside the church and amongst business leaders with whom, he has worked on various boards and committees.
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