Secretariat for the Economy: L'Espresso Claims Are 'Complete Fiction'

Vatican Dicastery Says Audited Financial Statements Will Be Presented Shortly

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Responding to last week’s article from L’Espresso, the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy dismissed claims of internal struggles between the dicastery and members of the Roman Curia as «complete fiction.»

The article, «Santa Romana Spesa» (Holy Roman Expenditures) published an alleged internal document that shows struggles within Curia members regarding financial reforms carried out by Secretariat for the Economy and its head, Cardinal George Pell.

«Reports of a discussion between the Holy Father and Cardinal Pell about expenditure by the Secretariat are completely false – there has been no discussion between the Holy Father and Cardinal Pell about such matters,» a statement by the Secretariat read. 

«Claims of a conversation are a complete fiction.»

The Secretariat for the Economy also addressed accusations by the article that the dicastery carried out their work inefficiently by spending lavish amounts of money on their offices. The Secretariat stated that, in fact, the operational costs and initial set up costs were «below the budget set when the office was established.»

«The Secretariat currently has twelve staff working on implementing new financial management routines to improve transparency and accountability,» the statement read. «The Secretariat will shortly present to the Council for the Economy the Audited Financial Statements for 2014.  This will include a detailed account of all Vatican entities, including the Secretariat for the Economy. 

The article’s author, Emiliano Fittipaldi, also claimed to have seen receipts, among them a 2,508 euro bill from Gammerelli, a local clerical tailor, assuming that it was for a Cappa Magna, a long flowing cape worn sometimes by Cardinals during processions.

«Finally and for the record, Cardinal Pell does not have a Cappa Magna,» the Secretariat stated.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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