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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Fidelis Dispensator et Prudens (For the Management of the Economic Assets of the Holy See)

by Pope Francis

Descriptive Title

Pope Franics Apostolic Letter Establishing a New Coordinating Agency for Economic and Administrative Affairs


With this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio on February 24, 2014, Pope Francis, in his first major structural reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, has created a new Secretariat for the Economy, which will supervise the financial affairs of all Vatican departments. The Secretariat for the Economy will be responsible for financial planning, budgeting, and purchasing. It will be supervised by another new body, the Council for the Economy, which will include 15 members, eight bishops and seven lay experts, drawn from different parts of the world. Pope Francis named Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, to be the 1st prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. He will be assisted by a secretary-general, who will handle the daily activities of the office. The Secretariat will also include an auditor-general, appointed by the Pope, who will have authority to audit any Vatican office.

Publisher & Date

Vatican, February 24, 2014

Fidelis dispensator et prudens (Lk 12:42)

As the faithful and prudent administrator has a vocation to care attentively for those goods that have been entrusted to him, so the Church is conscious of her call to safeguard and carefully administer her goods in light of her mission of evangelization, with special care for the needy. In particular, the responsibility of the economic and financial sectors of the Holy See is intimately linked to its own particular mission, not only in its service to the Holy Father in the exercise of his universal ministry but also with respect to how they correspond to the common good in light of integral human development.

After having considered carefully the findings of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (Chirograph, 18 July 2013) and having conferred with the Council of Cardinals in drafting a reform of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus and having heard the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Questions of the Apostolic See, with this Apostolic Letter in the form of a Motu Proprio I adopt the following measures:


1. The Council for the Economy is established as an entity having oversight for the administrative and financial structures and activities of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the institutions linked to the Holy See, and the Vatican City State.

2. The Council for the Economy is composed of 15 members, of whom 8 are chosen from Cardinals and Bishops reflecting the catholicity of the Church and 7 are lay experts of various nationalities with recognized professional financial competence.

3. The Council for the Economy is chaired by a Cardinal Coordinator.


4. The Secretariat for the Economy is established as a dicastery of the Roman Curia in conformity with the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.

5. In keeping with the policies established by the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat is directly responsible to the Holy Father and is competent for the economic control and vigilance over the agencies mentioned in Point 1, including policies and procedures concerning purchasing and the suitable allocation of human resources, with due regard to the competencies proper to each agency. The competence of the Secretariat therefore extends to all that in whatsoever manner concerns such material.

6. The Secretariat for the Economy is presided over by a Cardinal Prefect, who acts in collaboration with the Secretary of State. A Prelate Secretary General is charged with assisting the Cardinal Prefect.


7. An Auditor General is appointed by the Holy Father and is empowered to conduct audits of the agencies mentioned in Point 1.


8. The Cardinal Prefect is responsible for the preparation of the definitive Statutes of the Council for the Economy, the Secretariat for the Economy and the office of Auditor General. The Statutes are to be presented quam primum for approval to the Holy Father.

I dispose that everything here established have immediate, full and lasting force, also abrogating all norms to the contrary, and that the present Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio be published in the 24-25 February 2014 edition of L’Osservatore Romano and thereafter in Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 24 February of the year 2014, the first of my Pontificate.


© Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2014

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