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Vatican working to increase financial transparency, reduce spending

Catholic World News - December 18, 2012

The Vatican has made “an increasing commitment to transparency and accuracy” in all financial dealings, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in a December 18 address on the work of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs.

The Vatican’s Secretary of State recalled that Pope Paul VI established the Prefecture for Economic Affairs to supervise the financial affairs of the Holy See. The goal, Cardinal Bertone said, was always to ensure adequate material resources were available to fulfill the needs of the Church’s spiritual mission. Over time, however, the duties of the Prefecture changed, so that it became an office of “general economic planning and coordination” for the Vatican.

Last year, with the imposition of new rules designed to ensure transparency and accountability in Vatican financial affairs, the Prefecture for Economic Affairs began to recover “its original spirit,” the cardinal said. The office now supervises all the economic affairs of the Vatican, and works to ensure that the business of the Holy See is conducted honestly and efficiently.

Cardinal Bertone said that in addition to promoting transparency, the Vatican is also working to reduce spending, since the global economic downturn has caused a decline in the revenues available to support the work of the Church.

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