Pell says full financial reform of Vatican will take time

Cardinal George Pell says the “full implementation” of financial reforms at the Vatican will take time.

Cardinal Pell gave a statement to The Tablet in the wake of the Holy See announcing that a full audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers would not take place.

Instead, PwC will assist an internal auditor-general with the work.

The cardinal is the prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy.

He said the new arrangement “is not a rejection of financial reform”.

Rather it is “a recognition that the many challenges in transitioning to full implementation must fit the context and a way forward is being found”.

But Cardinal Pell said the financial reforms of the Holy See so far are “irreversible”.

This has ensured there are no more “pools of darkness in the Vatican”, he said.

Cardinal Pell stated: “The Vatican is committed to transparency, international cooperation and the use of contemporary international standards in financial reporting.”

But he pointed out that the “full implementation of such changes will take time”.

Cardinal Pell added that work needed to be done to bring expenditure under control.

He said that the Vatican now prepares one overarching budget, and it monitors expenditure, meaning that the Holy See knows where it stands financially.

He added that the work culture was changing with development programmes led by Georgetown University, in the United States.

“The vast majority of the financial staff appreciate the modernisation and are cooperating happily,” he said in a statement.

But the cardinal said more needed to be done to streamline budgeting and expenditure as well as battling significant “cash deficits” over the last three years.

He added that hundreds of millions of euros were needed to fund a shortfall in the pension fund.

“The Vatican financial situation is not critical, but we face significant challenges, which can be met,” Cardinal Pell explained.


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