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Vatican

Cardinal says new Vatican budget rules improve stewardship of gifts

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The Vatican's new internal financial oversight procedures recognize that human beings can make mistakes, but that the Catholic church as a whole has an obligation to handle the money it receives with honesty and great care, said the head of the Vatican budget office.

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, head of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, told reporters Thursday that the new regulations for his office and its oversight of the budgets of all Vatican offices were designed to ensure "the correct and transparent use of the temporal goods of the church."

European austerity measures reach the Vatican budget

The Vatican must adopt "effective" cost reduction measures in the wake of the global economic crisis, Pope Benedict XVI's No. 2 official warned Tuesday.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretary of State, told employees of the Holy See's budget department that, in the face of "continuing inability to increase revenues," a "gradual, but effective, reduction of costs" was needed to reduce recent budget deficits.

Pope Benedict XVI promotes personal secretary to head of household

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday promoted his personal secretary to head of the papal household, giving Msgr. Georg Gaenswein even larger influence in organizing the aging pontiff's schedule and meetings.

Gaenswein has been Benedict's closest aide since his election in 2005, and also served as secretary when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the Vatican's doctrinal office.

The German-born Gaenswein was appointed prefect of the papal household, replacing American Archbishop James Harvey, who was recently made a cardinal.

With @Pontifex, pope reaches out to new kind of followers

To celebrate the launch of his new Twitter account, Pope Benedict XVI will tweet the answers to a handful of questions from his followers.

The pope's rare question-and-answer exchange on the social media site shows the church doesn't just want to teach the truth, but also to listen to others, said Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The archbishop and other Vatican officials spoke at a news conference Monday to reveal the pope's new Twitter account @Pontifex.

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