Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, has said he is “deeply honoured” to be appointed prefect of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy.
The Vatican announced yesterday that Pope Francis had established a new structure to coordinate the economic and administrative matters of the Holy See. The decision follows last week’s meeting with the Council of Cardinals (G8) and the Council of 15 Cardinals who oversee the financial affairs of Vatican City State.
“The changes will enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in financial administration, planning and reporting and will ensure better use of resources, improving the support available for various programs, particularly our works with the poor and marginalized,” the Holy See said.
In a statement released by the Archdiocese of Sydney, Cardinal Pell said the changes are an important move in the right direction.
“If we make better use of the resources entrusted to us we can improve our capacity to support the good works of the Church, particularly our works for the poor and disadvantaged,” he stated.
“The review has highlighted that much can be achieved through improved financial planning and reporting as well as enhancements in governance, internal controls and various administrative support functions,” he said. “I am looking forward to implementing these recommendations as requested by the Holy Father.”
Regarding his new role as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal Pell said he looks forward to working with the new members of the Secretariat, which will include 8 Cardinals or Bishops and 7 lay experts in the field of finances.
“We need to be open to expert advice and aware of any opportunity to improve the way we conduct our financial administration,” he said. “It is an enormous task and it is important we embrace and implement the recommended changes as soon as practicable.”
Cardinal Pell is expected to return briefly to Sydney and will begin his new position at the end of March. (J.A.E.)