After a sweeping overhaul of the Vatican’s financial operations on Wednesday, one thing seems clear: If Australian Cardinal George Pell fails in getting the Vatican, as he puts it, “off the gossip pages” due to chronic financial scandals, it won’t be because the 73-year-old prelate lacks the power to do the job.
One way or another, changes announced Wednesday bring most of the Vatican’s important financial centers under Pell’s influence, including purchasing and human resources as well as administration of the Vatican’s several billion dollars of investments. They also place Pell confidantes in key positions.
Among the moves unveiled on Wednesday:
• A downsizing of the troubled Vatican Bank, formally known as the “Institute for the Works of Religion”. Administering investments from its estimated $8 billion in holdings will be taken over by a new Vatican Asset Management office, reporting to Pell.
• The “ordinary section” of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), responsible for personal and procurement, will be transferred to Pell’s Secretariat for the Economy.
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