Action Alert!

The futile quest for Vatican transparency

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jun 25, 2018

In a wide-ranging interview, Reuters reports, Pope Francis “was concerned that ‘there is no transparency’ in the Vatican’s real-estate holdings...”

The Vatican’s real-estate holdings are managed by APSA: the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

“We have to move ahead with transparency, and that depends on APSA,” the Pope told Reuters.

Do you see the problem here? The agency crucial to the quest for transparency is itself a model of non-transparency.

And there’s a second problem. Pope Francis established the Secretariat for the Economy to bring transparency to Vatican finances. But over time, the powers of the Secretariat have been diminished, while those of APSA have increased. Now even the Pope says that APSA—not the hamstrung Secretariat—is the key to transparency. And again, in the eyes of the Holy Father himself, APSA is not transparent.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jun. 27, 2018 12:47 AM ET USA

    The Pope's recent renaming of the Secretariat for the Economy to a dicastery appears to put it back under the Secretary of State which is where it started. The non-transparent Pontiff appears to want his finances not to be transparent.