Regarding Certain Competencies in Economic-Financial Matters

by Pope Francis

Descriptive Title

Pope Francis Motu Proprio I Beni Temporali

Description

On 4 July 2016, the Holy Father approved a Motu Proprio to implement reform of the organisms engaged in control and vigilance as well as the administration of Holy See assets. The new legislative document is intended to continue on the path begun with the Motu Proprio “Fidelis dispensator et prudens” dated 24 February 2014, by which Pope Francis created three new bodies: the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy and the Office of the Auditor General. As is well known, the respective competencies of these organisms were subsequently specified in the Statutes of 22 February 2015. The statutes in question were approved ad experimentum with the knowledge that the new system was to be built through subsequent verifications.

Publisher & Date

Vatican, July 4, 2016

The temporal goods of the Church are intended to fulfil her aims, and these are divine worship, the just compensation of the clergy, the carrying out of apostolic works and works of charity, especially at the service of the poor (cf. can. 1254 § 2 CIC). Consequently, the Church is keenly aware of her responsibility to ensure that the administration of her economic resources is always directed to those ends.

For this reason the Holy See pays special attention to the oversight of her patrimony. Thus, on 24 February 2014, with the publication of the Motu Proprio Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens, I established three new offices, namely the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy, and the Office of the Auditor General, specifying the competencies of each. Subsequently, on 22 February 2015, I approved ad experimentum the respective Statutes of the above mentioned entities.

Since that time, the practical experience of implementing the said Statutes has shown the necessity of further intervention in order to clarify how they are to be correctly interpreted and concretely applied in light of the fundamental competencies previously established in the Letter Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens. In particular, there is a manifest need to better delineate the respective spheres of activity of the Secretariat for the Economy and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, their respective procedures, and their mutual coordination.

Thus, with the present Letter, by further detailing and amending as needed what has been previously decreed, I intend to emphasize the fundamental directive that it is necessary to separate in a clear and unequivocal way the direct management of the Holy See’s patrimony from the control and vigilance over the activity of management. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that the entities responsible for oversight be separate from those being overseen. Hence the primary rule is the summa divisio of the respective competencies of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Secretariat for the Economy, in the sense that the former is responsible for the administration of assets and management of finances; and the latter for control and vigilance over the activities of administration and management.

Therefore, having carefully examined the matter in question and after due consultation, I hereby decree as follows:

1. In the Secretariat for the Economy, the Section for control and vigilance is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the activity of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. This includes:

a) issuing general executive decrees and instructions in conformity with art. 6 § 1 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, after appropriate consultation as established by art. 7 of the same Statutes;

b) providing assistance and support in conformity with art. 6 § 2 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy;

c) carrying out the activities of monitoring, verification, analysis and offering recommendations in conformity with art. 8 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy;

d) submitting annually to the Council for the Economy the budget and balance sheet of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, in conformity with art. 9 § 1 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy;

e) formulating recommendations and/or requesting information and documentation pursuant to art. 9 § 2 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy;

f) approving, on the basis of the criteria established by the High Authority in conformity with art. 11 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, every act of alienation, acquisition, and extraordinary administration undertaken by the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;

g) ensuring that adequate corrective measures are taken whensoever potential harm to the patrimony comes to light, in conformity with art. 12 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy;

h) requesting that the Office of the Auditor General make specific inspections in conformity with art. 13 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy;

i) carrying out the provisions of art. 14 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, regarding the exchange of information of a fiscal nature that may involve the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

2. With regard to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the Administrative Section of the Secretariat for the Economy is responsible for:

a) formulating guidelines, models, procedures, and indicating best practices with regard to contracts, according to art. 15 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, which the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See must follow in the acquisition of goods and services both for itself and for the Dicasteries and Institutions that consult it;

b) fulfilling — with due respect for the competencies of the Secretariat of State — all aspects regarding personnel in conformity with art. 16 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, except for the payment of salaries, which will continue to be the responsibility of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;

c) ensuring that the norms in force are respected, including those regarding the remuneration of personnel;

d) providing assistance, in conformity with the respective Statutes, to the Pension Fund (Fondo Pensioni) and the Health Care Fund (Fondo di Assistenza Sanitaria), in conformity with art. 18 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy.

3. The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See is responsible for:

a) administering the patrimony, including both movable assets and real estate, both of the Holy See and of entities that have entrusted their assets to it, in conformity with the revised text of art. 172 of Pastor Bonus (cf. art. 1 of the Motu Proprio Confirming a centuries-old tradition of 8 July 2014);

b) acquiring goods and services from external suppliers for itself, for the Dicasteries of the Holy See and associated Institutions, in accordance with the appropriate procedures and internal controls, with due regard for point “2. a” above;

c) paying invoices, acquiring them in the original form, and entering them into the balance sheet of each Dicastery, following the methodology indicated by the Secretariat for the Economy;

d) carrying out treasury services, paying salaries to personnel; thus it is the responsibility of the Secretariat for the Economy to calculate salaries, and it is the responsibility of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See to pay them;

e) following the norms and guidelines given by the Secretariat for the Economy in keeping accounts payable and in preparing balance sheets;

f) preparing its own balance sheet, separate from that of Dicasteries, in such a way that each maintains separate balance sheets, provided that all follow the methodology indicated by the Secretariat for the Economy;

g) arranging for auxiliary personnel to serve the Dicasteries of the Holy See and to maintain property;

h) exercising responsibility for the Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem.

4. In light of the above, I hereby abrogate art. 17 of the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy.

5. I entrust the implementation of the foregoing to the mutual collaboration of the Superiors of the two Dicasteries. Any questions that may arise shall be submitted to the decision of the Delegate of my choosing, with the support of his collaborators.

I mandate that whatsoever has been considered in this Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio be observed in all of its parts, notwithstanding anything to the contrary — even if worthy of specific mention — and I direct that it be promulgated by the publication in the daily edition of L’Osservatore Romano and enter into effect on the day of publication, before its publication in the official register Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

From the Vatican, 4 July 2016, fourth year of my Pontificate

Francis

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2016

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