On Wednesday, Pope Francis established a Pontifical Commission that is charged with gathering “accurate information” on the legal position and various activities of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the Vatican’s financial institution. Details of the commission’s duties were outlined in a chirograph, a papal decree whose circulation is limited to the Roman Curia written by the Holy Father.
Pope Francis stated that the commission’s findings will allow for “a better harmonization of the [IOR] with the universal mission of the Apostolic See. The Pontifical Commission will be composed of 5 people.
Cardinal Raffaele Farina, S.D.B., the Archivist Emeritus of the Vatican Secret Archives, will serve as president of the commission. Also serving in the commission will be Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Msgr. Peter Bryan Wells, Assessor for General Affairs for the Secretariat of State, and Dr. Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law professor and former US Ambassador to the Holy See.
A statement from the Holy See said that the Chirograph expresses the Pope’s desire to “learn more about the Institute’s juridical standing and activities”. “The Commission’s purpose is to gather information on the Institution’s operations and present the results to the Holy Father,” the statement read.
Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said that the purpose of the inquiries and final report presented to Pope Francis by the Commission will be “in view of possible reform.” Fr. Lombardi also noted that the Pontifical Commission is not permanent and will be dissolved upon the completion of the report on their findings. No deadline has been set for them to conclude their report.
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On ZENIT’s web page:
For the full text of Pope Francis’ chirograph, go to: