Holy See: December 2010 Archives

Pope Benedict XVI issued sweeping financial reforms for the Vatican City State and the Holy See in the aftermath of great confusion over perceived financial irregularities between the Italian State and the Institute of Religious Works (IOR). For the last six months the Pope has been dogged by accusations of another Vatican coverup of bad money deals causing unnecessary distractions. Recent mega-problems with financial and real estate matters at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, especially under the leadership of Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, now the cardinal-archbishop of Naples, heightened papal awareness.

Clearly and consistently Benedict is interested in reform and renewal of the Church in all sectors and he sees this restructuring as part of the change needed. The Pope is cleaning a very dusty house. The new Laws conform to the Laws and principles in force in the European Union. A monetary agreement between the European Union and Vatican City State was signed on December 17, 2009. What's at issue are the questions on how the various Vatican agencies use money. Particularly, "self-money-laundering, the controls on cash entering or leaving Vatican City State, the obligations regarding the transfer of funds, and the heavy administrative sanctions that are applicable not only to legal persons and entities but also to the physical persons who act on their behalf, by means of the binding recourse action." Several other issues at hand are dealt with here: fraud and counterfeiting, protection of copyrights of money and circulation. None of the offices of the Vatican or the Holy See are going to exempt from financial oversight. Civil penalties will be imposed for violators. The Pope's new laws take effect April 1, 2011.

Benedict created a new governing agency for money matters: the Financial Information Authority (FIA) --which will look to prevent and combat money laundering. Essentially, the Authority is a Vatican watch dog for money and other tangible assets.

The mindset of the Pope and his assistants is: "The Holy See welcomes this new commitment and will make these material resources that are necessary to the mission and duties of Vatican City State." This is a moral and pastoral overhaul for the whole Vatican system.

For His Holiness, as the Communiqué says, "These new Laws are part of the Apostolic See's efforts to build a just and honest social order. At no time may the great principles of social ethics like transparency, honesty and responsibility be neglected or weakened (cf. Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 36)

The Apostolic Letter in the Form of a Motu Proprio for the Prevention and Countering of Illegal Activities in the Financial and Monetary Sectors

You can read the Communiqué of the Secretariat of State regarding the new legislation for the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the financial and monetary sectors

The Director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Lombardi comments

A video clip from Rome Reports on the revision of the laws.
Fr Savio Hon Tai-fai.jpgThe Pope named Father Savio Hon Tai-fai, a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco, 60, the Archbishop Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (the Vatican office responsible for missionary efforts). Archbishop-elect is a native of Hong Kong was ordained a priest 28 years ago. He's well-regarded as a person, a good priest and an accomplished teacher and author; Hon has served on the International Theological Commission.

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples was founded by Pope Gregory XV in 1622 with the decree (papal bull) Inscrutabili Divinae Providentiae and was known until 1982 as the Propaganda Fide

The new archbishop will assist His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias, who serves as the Cardinal Prefect.

Benedict XVI opens Vatican Library after renovation.jpg

Earlier today at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI re-opened the Apostolic Library following a three year, 11.5 million dollar renovation. The Library's more modern work began with Pope Nicholas V providing space for Latin, Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, updated its climate controls, security and fixed structural problems. The Pope spent an hour exploring the library. In the Pope's mind, the Library is a crucial tool in his ministry as the successor of Saint Peter and the proclamation of the Kingdom of God on earth because it takes seriously humanity and the human search for God. The Vatican's Library is said to have 150 thousand manuscripts, a million printed books, 300,00 coins and medals and more than a 100 thousand prints and engravings. Some papal thoughts of November 9, 2010 follow:

Eminent place of the historical memory of the universal Church, in which are kept venerable testimonies of the handwritten tradition of the Bible, the Vatican Library is but another reason to be the object of the care and concern of the Popes. From its origins it conserves the unmistakable, truly "catholic," universal openness to everything that humanity has produced in the course of the centuries that is beautiful, good, noble, worthy (cf. Philippians 4:8); the breadth of mind with which in time it gathered the loftiest fruits of human thought and culture, from antiquity to the Medieval age, from the modern era to the 20th century. Nothing of all that is truly human is foreign to the Church, which because of this has always sought, gathered, conserved, with a continuity that few equal, the best results of men of rising above the purely material toward the search, aware or unaware, of the Truth.

Philip Hannan needs prayers

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Philip Hannan 2009.jpg
Archbishop Philip Matthew Hannan, 97, the highly revered archbishop emeritus of New Orleans, is failing in health but taking treatment at home.

The Archbishop was born in Washington, DC in 1913, ordained priest for Baltimore-Washington in 1939. In 1956, Hannan was ordained a bishop and appointed an auxiliary bishop of Washington before being elected the Archbishop of New Orleans in 1965 serving until 1988. He attended 4 sessions of the Second Vatican Council.

He needs to be sustained with our prayers.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Holy See category from December 2010.

Holy See: August 2010 is the previous archive.

Holy See: January 2011 is the next archive.

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