Secretariat of State stonewalling Pope’s orders on investment funds: report
May 31, 2021
CWN Editor's Note: The Vatican’s Secretariat of State has not yet moved to comply with a papal directive to turn over control of investment funds, the Pillar news site reports. In December, Pope Francis ordered the Secretariat of State to cede control of financial assets, making the funds subject to supervision by the Secretariat for the Economy, and setting a February deadline for the full transfer. But State has not yet allowed oversight of its financial affairs, several Vatican officials told Pillar.
The Secretariat of State has been at the center of recent financial scandals, prompting the Pope to relieve the powerful dicastery of its investment powers. But Pillar finds that efforts to enforce the papal order have been “met with evasion, obstruction, or just silence.” In particular the Secretariat of State has refused cooperation with the Secretariat for the Economy. An official of the Secretariat of State told Pillar that the refusal to cooperate—and thus the defiance of the Pope’s order—was an “open secret” at the Vatican.
The conflict between the two Vatican secretariats began almost as soon as the Secretariat for the Economy was established in 2014. Cardinal George Pell was stymied in his efforts to audit the State budget, and the auditor general, Libero Milone, was forced to resign under intense pressure from the Secretariat of State.
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