Catholic World News

Vatican economics secretariat discovers $1.5 billion in unreported assets

February 16, 2015

Cardinal George Pell reported the discovery of more than $1.5 billion in Vatican assets, in a report to the extraordinary consistory of cardinals on February 13.

The Australian cardinal, who now serves as the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, briefed the cardinals on the work of his new office. In the process of taking a full account of Vatican finances, he said, the Secretariat found the $1.5 billion in accounts which had not previously been included in overall financial reports. The Secretariat for the Economy has consolidated Vatican accounts, which were previously divided among many different offices without central supervision.

Cardinal Pell told the cardinals that the value of Vatican real-estate holdings has probably been seriously underestimated, providing more good economic news. On the other hand, he said that a shortfall in the pension fund would eat into some of the newly discovered resources. Still the net result of his report was encouraging. “We’re sound,” on balance, the cardinal said.

Cardinal Pell told Crux that the Secretariat for the Economy had received strong support from the cardinals. He reported that his office had encountered strong resistance from some Vatican officials, but had been bolstered by solid support from Pope Francis. “Whenever there were things we couldn’t clean up on our own, he’s been there to support us,” he said.


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  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Feb. 17, 2015 10:39 AM ET USA

    Archbishop Jose Gomez of L.A. has an accounting degree. It would appear that the training of Catholic priests should include a better understanding of business practices. One of the basic tenets of "accepted accounting practices" includes access of at least two individuals to all monetary accounts. The practice of "Father" handling everything is no longer valid. If priests are genuinely "stewards" of the resources of Christ, then they had better have the expertise like Gomez.