Pell to be replaced by lay woman

Pope Francis seems set to name a lay woman to replace Cardinal George Pell as the head of the Vatican finance dicastery.

A Tweet by Pope Francis’ biographer, Austen Ivereigh alerted the English-speaking world that Claudia Ciocca, currently a director of the Control and Surveillance section of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, will soon be named its Prefect.

“2,000 years after women disbelieved over Christ’s Resurrection, laywoman set to replace Cardinal Pell as prefect of Vatican’s Secretariat of the Economy”, tweeted Ivereigh.

Initial reports of the move came in non-English speaking media, with Religion Digital claiming it as an exclusive story.

However, both Church and secular English language media have been slow to pick up the story.

Ciocca, who is a professor at the University of Santa Croce, has also worked for the secretariat of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), known as the Vatican Bank.

She started working for the Vatican in 2013 as an expert of the auditing company KPMG. Later she was hired by the Holy See.

Ciocca is one of several women Francis has assigned important offices in the Holy See.

Others include Italian woman Barbara Jatta in the Vatican Museums and the Slovenian Nataša Govekar whom Francis appointed to the Theological-Pastoral Direction of the Dicastery for Communication.

Pell, who served as the inaugural Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy between 2014 and 2018 resigned from the position late last year.

He is currently in prison pending an appeal, having been convicted of child sex offences.


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