VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis told his new economic oversight council that it must be “courageous and determined” in its critical role of helping the church not waver from its real mission of bringing the Gospel to the world and helping those most in need.
The church has a duty to use its assets and manpower responsibly in promoting its spiritual mandate, and “a new mentality of evangelical service” must take hold throughout the Vatican, the pope said May 2.
The pope’s comments came the same day the new Vatican Council for the Economy met for the first time since the pope established the council in February.
The council is an international group of eight cardinals and seven lay experts appointed to set policies for the administrative and financial activities of all Vatican offices and bodies.
The council “has the task of supervising economic activities and monitoring the structures and administrative and financial activities” of the Vatican’s various offices and agencies, the pope said.
He thanked members for their work so far, adding that “we need it.”
Pope Francis told the council members that they play a critical role in his larger efforts of reforming the Roman Curia so it may “better serve the church” and the pope.
“This is a notable challenge that calls for devotion and prudence,” as well as “courage and determination,” since the process “will not be simple” or easy, he said.
The pope said he established the council and the related Secretariat for the Economy because of “the church’s awareness of its responsibility to protect and carefully manage its assets in light of its mission of evangelization with particular attention to those most in need.”
“We must not waver from this path. Everything, transparency, efficiency, everything has this as its aim,” he said.
The secretariat, headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, will have authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State as it implements the policies determined by the council.
The pope thanked Cardinal Pell for “his efforts, his work and for his Australian rugby-like tenacity,” referring to the sport the cardinal played professionally as a young man.
The pope said, “The Holy See feels called to enact this mission, taking into special account its responsibility toward the universal church. Furthermore, these changes will reflect the desire to enact the necessary reforms of the Roman Curia” so that it can better serve the church and the pope.
He said he appointed cardinals and laypeople who would represent the different parts of the world and “contribute their experience for the good of the church.”
The seven laypeople, who are experts in the fields of business, management and finance, are full members of the council, he said. “They aren’t second-class citizens. No, no. Everyone is on the same level” as their counterpart cardinal members, he emphasized.
“The council’s work carries great weight and great importance and will offer a fundamental contribution to the service carried out by the Roman Curia and the various administrative offices of the Holy See,” he said.
The council’s cardinal members include U.S. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. The council is headed by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany. Cardinal Marx also is a member of the pope’s Council of Cardinals, an eight-member group advising him on the reform of the Roman Curia and the governance of the church.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103