The appointment of the Jesuit Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy fills one of the most critical ‘gaps’ in the Roman Curia organizational chart.
The Prefect of the Secretariat had been, since its establishment, Cardinal George Pell. When Cardinal Pell went back to Australia to defend himself from infamous allegations of abuse, Monsignor Luigi Mistò took the interim leadership of the Secretariat. However, Cardinal Pell stayed as Prefect, although on leave of absence, until the end of his five-year mandate. Pope Francis also wanted that the announcement of the Cardinal Pell expiration from the position was not connected to the news of the guilty verdict against the Cardinal. It was a sign of trust.
Years - Secretariat - Economy - Leaders - Meantime
For two years, the Secretariat for the Economy had no leaders. In the meantime, the Prefecture for Economic Affairs did not cease to exist. To cut a long story short, the Secretariat for the Economy is active and has statutes but does not have an official status within the Curia. The Secretariat is not included in the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus, that still regulates functions and tasks of the Roman Curia until the new constitution Praedicate Evangelium is released. On the other hand, the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs, already reformed under Benedict XVI, is included in the Pastor Bonus, but it is with no staff nor tasks.
For this reason, the significant reform of the Vatican economy slowed down. Some adjustments took place. The changes have always been analyzed through the lenses of the clash between Vatican factions. It was not precisely that. The modifications were needed to set up the economic system. The motu proprio The temporal goods further separated the oversight and the management of goods, transferring real estate management back from the Secretariat for the Economy to the...
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