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With a Chirograph dated 27 June 1942, my Venerable Predecessor of venerated memory Pope Pius XII established the Institute for the Works of Religion in Vatican City and granted it juridical personality. The Institute incorporated the pre-existing “Administration for the Works of Religion”, whose Statutes had been approved by the same Supreme Pontiff on 17 March 1941, which had originated in the “Commission ad pias causas” established by Pope Leo XIII in 1887.

With a further Chirograph dated 24 January 1944, Pope Pius XII issued new regulations for the Institute, leaving it to the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals to propose amendments to the Statutes of 17 March 1941 that might prove necessary for the Chirograph to enter into force.

Now, in order to coordinate and update the Institute’s organization and activities to meet current needs, particularly drawing on the cooperation and sense of responsibility of competent lay Catholics, I wish to renew ad experimentum for two years the Statutes of the Institute for the Works of Religion, to which Saint John Paul II, with the Chirograph of 1 March 1990, had given a new framework, while retaining its name and finality.

1. The aim of the Institute is to provide for the custody and administration of moveable or immovable goods transferred or entrusted to the same Institute by physical or juridical persons, and intended for works of religion or charity.

2. The Institute enjoys juridical personality and has its offices in Vatican City State.

For any dispute that may arise, the competent, authorized court is that of the Vatican City State.

3. The following are agencies of the Institute:

—  The Commission of Cardinals
—  The Prelate
—  The Board of Superintendence
—  The Directorate

4. The Commission of Cardinals is composed of five Cardinals appointed by the Supreme Pontiff ad quinquennium (for a five-year term) which can be renewed only once.

It oversees the Institute’s adherence to statutory norms in accordance with the procedure provided for in the Statutes.

5. The Prelate, appointed by the Commission of Cardinals, monitors the Institute’s work, serves as Secretary of the meetings of the Commission, and attends the meetings of the Board of Superintendence.

6. The Board of Superintendence is responsible for the administration and management of the Institute, and for overseeing and supervising its financial, economic operations.

The Board is composed of seven members appointed by the Commission of Cardinals, each of whom is appointed for a five-year term and confirmed only once.

7. The President of the Board of Superintendence is also the legal representative of the Institute.

8. The Directorate is made up of the Director General and possibly of a Vice-Director, both of whom are appointed by the Board of Superintendence with the approval of the Commission of Cardinals.

The Director General can be appointed for either a definite or an indefinite term. He is responsible for all the Institute’s operational activities and is accountable to the Board of Superintendence.

9. The legal auditing of accounts is carried out by an external auditor appointed by the Commission of Cardinals proposed by the Board of Superintendence for a mandate of three consecutive years which can be renewed only once.

I hereby declare that this Chirograph be published in the daily L’Osservatore Romano newspaper together with the new Statutes of the Institute for the Works of Religion, which, following my approval ad experimentum for two years, will enter into force immediately from the date of publication and contemporaneously both texts will be inserted in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 8 August in the year 2019, the seventh of my Pontificate.



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