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English canonist named prelate-secretary of new Council for the Economy

Catholic World News - March 24, 2014

Pope Francis has named Msgr. Brian Ferme the prelate-secretary of the Council for the Economy, a new body whose creation he announced in his recent motu proprio Fidelis et Dispensator Prudens.

A priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth, England, Msgr. Ferme has served as dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the Catholic University of America, as well as head of the St. Pius X Faculty of Canon Law in Venice. He is a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

The Council for the Economy, according to Fidelis et Dispensator Prudens, is entrusted with the task of “supervising 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.”

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising as the coordinator of the Council. Cardinal Marx is among the eight prelates and seven laity who serve on the Council for the Economy.

The Council for the Economy is related to, but distinct from, the new Secretariat for the Economy, which is entrusted with the audit, economic supervision, policies, procedures, and human resources of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, of the institutions connected to the Holy See, and of Vatican City State. The cardinal prefect of the new Secretariat for the Economy is Cardinal George Pell; the secretary general is Msgr. Alfred Xuereb.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a recent statement that “the relations between the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy will be defined by the statutes, and in any case the Council is to be understood as a body with its own authority for policy decisions, not merely an advisory organ of the Secretariat for the Economy.”

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