Pope Francis on Tuesday approved a set of new legislative norms that formalize his moves to bring financial accountability and transparency to the Catholic church's central bureaucracy.
Council for the Economy
As Pope Francis and Vatican officials try to revamp the Vatican's economic policies, differences of opinion are normal, but leaking documents is illegal, the Vatican spokesman said.
Taking little for granted, the 45-page document defines basic terms of international accounting standards and generally accepted governance and reporting practices, beginning with "budget."
The Vatican's final budget figures for 2013 showed a deficit on the part of the Roman Curia, but a strong performance by entities falling under the separate Vatican City State budget covered the deficit and helped the Vatican end the year 8.5 million euros ($11.6 million) in the black.
The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, the Vatican's budget management office, presented the consolidated budgets for the Holy See and for Vatican City State to members of the new Council for the Economy on Saturday, and a summary was released by the Vatican press office Tuesday.
One thing the pope and his Council of Cardinals discussed was how bishops currently are chosen for dioceses around the world.
In its previous meetings, the Council of Cardinals has reviewed the work of Vatican congregations. The council will now shift its attention to studying the Vatican's 12 pontifical councils.
Pope Francis named Msgr. Brian Ferme, a former dean of the School of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, to be the new prelate secretary of the Vatican Council for the Economy.
In his new position, the British priest will assist German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, head of the council Pope Francis established Feb. 24 to set policies for the administrative and financial activities of all Vatican offices and bodies.
The Vatican announced the monsignor's appointment Saturday.
Pope Francis has appointed the first members of the Vatican's new Council for the Economy, including seven lay experts in the fields of business, management and finance.
Pope Francis has approved a set of sweeping moves to reorganize the financial and administrative structures of the Catholic church's central bureaucracy.