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Leaked stories of financial mismanagement are outdated, misinterpreted: Vatican spokesman

November 04, 2015

The Vatican has downplayed the significance of new claims of financial mismanagement, pointing out that most of the information contained in two new books on the subject is outdated, since it comes from a period before Vatican economic reforms were in place.

At a November 4 briefing, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, noted that “some of the information in these two volumes has already been made public.” He also observed that the two books, based on leaked confidential documents, are “the result of illegal activities.”

The leaked material comes primarily from the Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA), Father Lombardi said. That commission was set up by Pope Francis to suggest economic reforms, and then dissolved after making its recommendations. Thus the information was collected at the request of the Pontiff, and intended to promote greater transparency, he said.

The financial reports also require careful interpretation, and opinions can differ as to their significance, the Vatican spokesman continued. For instance, he said, the Vatican’s pension fund “has been described as both a worrying black ‘hole’ and a reassuring situation.”

Father Lombardi went on to say that it is misleading to suggest that money from the Peter’s Pence collection has been diverted to pay for Vatican office expenses, since that worldwide collection is earmarked for all of the expenses of the Holy See, including administrative costs.

Father Lombardi said that despite the strides that the Vatican has made toward financial reform, and the commitment of Pope Francis to that goal, the new leaks have had “the result-- unfortunately largely intentional-- of creating the contrary impression, that of a permanent reign of confusion, lack of transparency or indeed the pursuit of particular or inappropriate interests.”


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Nov. 05, 2015 1:52 AM ET USA

    So sorry the leaks resulted from "illegal activity" to quote Fr.Lombardi. If "most of the information... is outdated",what about the rest? How else would the faithful know what criminal activity goes on with these high living clerics if it weren't for leaking information. Get your house in order and you have nothing to fear.