Pope Francis has again clipped the wings of his finance czar Cardinal George Pell by effectively removing many of the administrative functions of the Vatican’s key financial office from his department.
In a new law on Saturday, Francis essentially reversed a 2014 law that had transferred the main operational section of the patrimony office to the Australian cardinal’s Secretariat for the Economy.
Francis, who was elected on a reform mandate, said he was restoring these administrative functions to the APSA office because he realised there needed to be an “unequivocable and full separation” between those who manage Vatican assets (APSA) and those who supervise them (Pell).
Pell, a longtime critic of the Vatican’s financial inefficiencies, had assumed control in a bid to assert authority over different areas of the Vatican’s finances.
Over time, Francis has trimmed his reach.