Pope Francis appointed on Saturday eight cardinals and seven expert laypersons to the new Council of the Economy – a quasi-Ministry of Finance for the Vatican that Pope Francis established last month.
The Vatican said the new members will serve for a five-year period. The Holy Father created the new council on Feb. 24 through his motu proprio, ‘Fidelis dispensator et prudens.’
The appointed members are:
– Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany (coordinator);
– Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru;
– Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.;
– Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa;
– Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France;
– Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico;
– Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China;
– Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;
– Joseph F. X. Zahra, Malta (deputy coordinator);
– Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, France;
– John Kyle, Canada;
– Enrique Llano Cueto, Spain;
– Jochen Messemer, Germany;
– Francesco Vermiglio, Italy;
– George Yeo, Singapore.”
In a separate statement, the Vatican stressed that Cardinals Cipriani Thorne, Napier, Rivera Carrera, Tong Hon, and Vallini, along with Cardinal Pell, new Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, were previously all members of the Council for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See (Council of 15), which has ceased to exist.
It also pointed out that Cardinal Marx and Cardinal Pell are both members of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, and for assisting the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Church – the so-called C8, or Council of 8.
The Vatican further stressed that the council is to be understood as a body with its own decision-making authority, not merely an advisory organ of the Secretariat for the Economy.
It also drew attention to the fact that members appointed to the council are from various geographical areas, reflecting, as requested by the ‘Fidelis dispensator et prudens’ the universality of the Church.
The laypersons, selected on the basis of their professional experience and capacity, will become voting members of a dicastery, one of the governing organs of the Roman Curia. The lay members will work on an entirely voluntary and pro bono basis, and shall receive compensation only for travel and lodgings in Rome, the Vatican added.
“The constitution of the Council for the Economy is a key step towards the consolidation of the current management structures of the Holy See, with the aim of improving coordination and oversight of economic and administrative matters,” the Vatican said.
“The institutions of the Holy See related to these matters will depend on the council. The latter will adopt practical measures used by other public organisations and shall aim at greater transparency and appropriate management.”
The Vatican announced that the council will begin work immediately, and its first meeting is scheduled for May.