Catholic World News

Cardinal Pell: Vatican reforms are like nothing anyone has seen before

July 09, 2014

Cardinal George Pell expressed confidence that reforms to the Vatican’s financial structure will succeed in an exclusive interview with John Allen of the Boston Globe.

After announcing a series of reforms to the Vatican’s financial institutions, and a plan for restructuring the offices of communications, the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy told Allen that plans were “moving in the right direction.”

Although he acknowledged some resistance to change within the Vatican bureaucracy—saying that there was “sadness and a bit of antagonism in some quarters”—Cardinal Pell said that in general the effort to enlist cooperation from Vatican officials has been “not going too badly at all.”

Cardinal Pell said that rumors circulating in the Italian press, charging that newly appointed officials are hoping to profit from the control of Vatican finances, were “Alice-in-Wonderland stuff.” He said that he did not know either the source or the motivation for such charges, but conceded that they would not have received popular coverage if not for resistance to his program for reform.

The Australian cardinal said that his overall goal for the Vatican’s financial operation is modest: “to be boringly successful, to get off the gossip pages.” However, he also said that the scope of reform was ambitious: “Nobody in living memory has seen anything like this before.”

In answer to specific questions about his plans, Cardinal Pell said that it would likely require a new infusion of capital in order to put the Vatican’s pension fund on a sound footing. He said that proposals for reform of the media operations would look for greater efficiency, but would probably lead to an increase in staffing, particularly in handling opportunities in the new media.

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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jul. 09, 2014 8:45 PM ET USA

    “Nobody in living memory has seen anything like this before.” The Cardinals remarks sound unnecessarily melodramatic.

  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Jul. 09, 2014 6:55 PM ET USA

    Is it too much to hope that the reform will remove usury from the bank? If not then please refer to Dante's poem for the fate of those who commit usury. Catholics should be leading by our example instead of following the procedures of non-Christians. Pray for our church.