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Interview with Cardinal Pell on reform of Vatican finances

August 07, 2014

Cardinal George Pell, the new prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, discussed the reform of Vatican finances in a lengthy interview with Catholic News Service.

“We're attempting to put into place the best available set of management practices,” he said. “There are international standards for accounting and money management … all the appropriate, prudential systems and procedures that are acceptable across the world, we're introducing here.”

These procedures, he continued, include “regular audits” and “the ‘four eyes’ principle, so that any significant piece of business cannot be conducted only by one person.”

“None of this is rocket science, but we're very well aware that when people donate to the Church, they expect the money to be used wisely, for good purposes,” he said.

“If we are going to help the poor we need to have the wherewithal, and the better we manage our finances, the more good works that we can do,” he added. “I remember Margaret Thatcher's comment, that the Good Samaritan, if he hadn't been a little bit of a capitalist, had his own store of money, he couldn't have helped. We can do more if we generate more.”

Cardinal Pell also invoked the principle of subsidiarity, stating that “many, many things that can be done locally should be done locally.”


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  • Posted by: normnuke - Aug. 07, 2014 3:10 PM ET USA

    It's a little jarring to hear that these prudential constraints have been absent since the AD's. You go! , Cd. Pell.