(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, offered a clarification on Friday in response to journalists’ questions regarding statements made by the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, in connection with the ongoing financial review and reform efforts in the Vatican. In an exclusive piece for the new Catholic Herald Magazine (a preview of which appeared on December 3rd in the Herald’s online pages), Cardinal Pell wrote, “[S]ome hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet.”
Responding to journalists asking follow-up questions, Fr. Lombardi specified, “It should be noted that Cardinal Pell did not speak of illegal or mismanaged funds, but of funds that were not in the official accounts of the Holy See and Vatican City State, and of the existence of which the Secretariat for the Economy learned in the course of the ongoing process of study and review of the Vatican administrations, in order to achieve a more adequate [and] comprehensive understanding of [matters] with a view to the streamlining of operations.”
“This,” his statement continued, “is precisely the sign and fruit of constructive cooperation among the different institutions of the Vatican.”
Fr. Lombardi went on to stress that, as the Prefecture for Economic Affairs had already amply explained and made known to the public, the yearly consolidated financial statements of the Holy See and Vatican City State, which are presented to the Council of 15 Cardinals for review, have never been exhaustive, but have included only the principal institutions of the Curia and the Vatican City State.
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