The Vatican’s economy tsar says the Holy See’s finances are in better shape than he thought, revealing that hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away off the balance sheet and that reforms are forging ahead to make the Vatican “boringly successful”.
In a frank essay published on Thursday in The Catholic Herald, Australian-born Cardinal George Pell outlined his vision for a Vatican that follows international accounting standards, is transparent and audited externally, and uses its proceeds to help the poor.
Cardinal Pell said that the money was “tucked away” in various accounts and had been left off the Vatican’s main balance sheets.
“We have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed,” he wrote in the magazine.
Pope Francis was elected on a mandate to get the Vatican’s finances in order after years of scandal.
Pell, formerly the Archbishop of Sydney, was one of the most vocal in calling for reform, and was named by Francis to head the new Secretariat for the Economy to oversee the process.