CHIROGRAPH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
FOR THE INSTITUTION OF A PONTIFICAL COMMISSION
FOR REFERENCE ON THE ORGANISATION
OF THE ECONOMIC-ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE OF THE HOLY SEE
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE
The Holy Father, by a chirograph dated 18 July, has established a Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See.
The Commission will gather information, report to the Holy Father and co-operate with the Council of Cardinals for the study of the organisational and economic problems of the Holy See, in order to draft reforms of the institutions of the Holy See, with the aim of a "simplification and rationalisation of the existing bodies and more careful planning of the economic activities of all the Vatican Administrations".
As explained in the Chirograph, the Committee will "offer the technical support of specialist advice and develop strategic solutions for improvement, so as to avoid the misuse of economic resources, to improve transparency in the processes of purchasing goods and services; to refine the administration of goods and real estate; to work with ever greater prudence in the financial sphere; to ensure correct application of accounting principles; and to guarantee healthcare and social security benefits to all those eligible".
The Commission will be able to collaborate, on request, with the working Group of eight Cardinals in drafting a plan for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" on the Roman Curia.
The aims and the appointments of the Commission are described in detail in the Chirograph itself.
The members of the Commission are laypeople, experts in "legal, economic, financial and organisational matters", currently eminent consultants or reviewers for Vatican or ecclesiastical economic institutions. The only member of the clergy is the Secretary.
The eight members are:
Dr. Joseph FX Zahra (Malta), President
Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda (Secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs), Secretary
Mr Jean-Baptiste de Franssu (France)
Dr. Enrique Llano (Spain)
Dr. Jochen Messemer (Germany)
Ms. Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui (Italy)
Mr. Jean Videlain-Sevestre (France)
Mr. George Yeo (Singapore)
Dr. Zahra and Dr. Messemer are International reviewers of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
The Commission will begin its work as soon as possible. A first meeting is scheduled for shortly after the Holy Father’s return from Brazil.
The Holy Father hopes for a happy and productive collaboration between the Commission and the Vatican Administrations associated with its work.
CHIROGRAPH OF THE HOLY FATHER
The reflections of recent days on the positive economic data communicated by the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Questions of the Holy See (Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See and Consolidated Financial Statement of the Governorate of Vatican City State for the year 2012) have led us, after due consultation with Cardinals, Brother Bishops and expert advisors, to proceed with the introduction of reforms in the Institutions of the Holy See, with a view to simplifying and rationalizing the existing structures and programming more attentively the economic activities of all the Vatican’s administrative bodies.
To this end, we have decided to institute a Commission of Reference charged with the task of gathering detailed information on economic questions concerning the Vatican’s administrative bodies and cooperating with the aforementioned Council of Cardinals in its valued work, by offering technical support and expert advice and working out strategic solutions for improvement, designed to avoid depletion of economic resources, to favour transparency in the acquisition of goods and services, to fine-tune the administration of movable and immovable patrimony, to operate with ever greater prudence in financial matters, to ensure the correct application of accounting principles and to guarantee health assistance and social welfare to all who are entitled to it.
The Commission carries out its assigned tasks according to the norms of this Chirograph and our operational rules:
1. The Commission is composed of a minimum of eight members, from whom a President is chosen who is its legal representative, as well as a Coordinating Secretary with delegated powers who acts in the name and on behalf of the Commission when gathering documents, data and information necessary for the execution of its institutional functions.
2. The Members, all appointed by the Supreme Pontiff, are experts in the juridical, economic, financial and organizational matters dealt with by the Commission.
3. The Commission’s institutional functions do not trespass on the areas of competence of the government or the activities of the administrative bodies concerned, which are required to cooperate readily with the Commission. The official secret and any other restrictions established by juridical norms do not impede or limit the Commission’s access to documents, data and information necessary for the execution of the tasks entrusted to it.
4. The Commission keeps us informed regarding its work and hands over its findings to us. It is required to deposit with us the entire paper and digital archive at the conclusion of its mandate.
5. The Commission is equipped with resources, including interpreters and translators, and with instruments suited to its institutional functions. It may avail itself of expert assistance and of consultancies to be identified both outside the Holy See, from any part of the world, and within the Holy See, as long as there is no conflict of interest regarding the exercise of professions, functions or offices connected with the activities of the Vatican administrative bodies.
6. The Commission cooperates, when requested, with the working group of eight Cardinals charged with the study of a reform proposal for the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia.
7. The Commission is instituted from the date of the present Chirograph. It will be dissolved when we so dispose.
Given in the Vatican on 18 July 2013, the first year of my Pontificate.
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