As you know, Pope Francis set up a Secretariat for the Economy (SftE) and has appointed Card. Pell to head it up. Since this Secretariat will control money it will, if it gets off the ground, be very powerful. This SftE could wind up “Pellverize™” many of the Curia’s dicasteries.
Here is a curious take on what Pope Francis might be up to.
I saw this at MondayVatican:
Pope Francis observes, judges, and acts. And begins establishing a parallel Curia
Watch, judge, act. These are the three steps put into action by Pope Francis. After almost one year of pontificate, Pope Francis has decided on a way forward on how to reform the Curia. Those who were thinking of a wide reform, built on a solid legal framework, will be perhaps disappointed. Pope Francis seems to have taken the decision of changing everything without waiting any longer. And of starting the Curia reform without reforming the Pastor Bonus, i.e. the constitution that regulates the functions of the offices of the Curia. Rather, Pope Francis is going to directly establish a parallel Curia. When this parallel Curia is complete, he will probably let all the other structures wither away. [I don’t think it will work, by the way.]
This development is informed by two decisions Pope Francis has taken and is reportedly going to take. The first, that of establishing an Secretariat for the Economy. The second, that of appointing Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello as ‘Moderator Curiae’, i.e. a general coordinator of the Roman Curia. [Card. Bertello would have to be on board with a parallel Curia model. I’ll bet he isn’t.]
The Secretariat for the Economy has been established via a “motu proprio” suddenly issued on February 24. This “motu proprio” involves a sort of aggregate of “tuning-ups” of the Holy See’s financial offices. The Secretariat for the Economy will be entrusted with the task of financial programming and issuing an annual balance sheet. Pope Francis will also appoint a general auditor, with the capacity of inspecting the accounts of any office in the Holy See and in of Vatican City State. He also established a new Council for the Economy, composed of 15 members (eight cardinals or bishops, and seven laymen). At the moment, only the prefect of the new secretariat has been appointed: it will be Cardinal George Pell, a member of the Council of Cardinals that Pope Francis appointed to developed a Curia reform plan. [As I said: Pellverize™]
(editor note: despite any rumor, today March 3, Pope Francis appointed msgr. Alfred Xuereb as prelate general secretary of the Secretary for the Economy. Xuereb was already the Pope’s delegate at the two pontifical commission. Is the Xuereb appointment another move of Pope Francis to switch from external consultants to consultants from within?).
[Get this…] The offices of the new Secretariat will be at the Torrione San Giovanni, in the Vatican walls, and the new dicastery will be staffed with 15 people. The Torrione San Giovanni was restored by John XXIII (who wanted to make it his summer residence) and was used by Secretary of State emeritus Tarcisio Bertone as his apartment while the official residence of the Secretary of State was still occupied by his predecessor, Angelo Sodano. The Torrione was also the location of the last George W. Bush visit to the Vatican as President of the United States.
It’ll take lots of bushel baskets of Euro to get that building up to speed to take offices for this.
Poverty is expensive, I guess.