As you know there have been a lot of questions lately about some shady investments made by the Vatican, and only very recently was a building sold in London at a great loss for the Vatican, for the Church. Pope Francis has made it a personal crusade to clean up and re-organize all Vatican finances, not only to be in conformity with international monetary policy, money laundering laws, etc. but to reassure the faithful that money they donate to the Church is not being misspent or, worse, lost.
Some of the new policies enacted are part of the constitution on the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium.
Praedicate was released on Saturday, March 19, but only in Italian. The traditional explanatory press conference was held only two days later. By the way, this constitution has finally been translated into the traditional Vatican languages: “Praedicate Evangelium” on the Roman Curia and its service to the Church and to the World (19 March 2022) [ Arabic – English – French – Italian – Polish – Portuguese – Spanish ]
Below, is a summary of documents released today by the Vatican regarding this re-organization and new policies.
HOLY SEE ENACTS NEW INVESTMENT POLICY IN LINE WITH SOCIAL DOCTRINE
A new unitary policy for the financial investments of the Holy See and the Vatican State will start on 1 September. The Investment Policy intends to generate a sufficient return to support the financing of the activities of the Holy See through investments aligned with the teachings of the Church.
A new unitary policy for the financial investments of the Holy See and the Vatican City State will go into effect on September 1st, which will be governed by an Investment Policy.
This is what the Secretariat for the Economy (SPE) announced in a press release published on Tuesday by the Holy See Press Office. The document from the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, had been discussed in the Council for the Economy and with specialists in the sector. The text was addressed to the Heads of Dicasteries in the Curia and Heads of Institutions and entities connected to the Holy See.
Investments aligned with the Teachings of the Church, not speculative ones
“The new Investment Policy,” the statement reads, “intends to ensure that investments are aimed at contributing to a more just and sustainable world; preserve the real value of the Holy See’s net worth, generating sufficient return to contribute in a sustainable way to financing its activities; are aligned with the Teachings of the Catholic Church, with specific exclusions of financial investments that contradict its fundamental principles, such as the sanctity of life or the dignity of the human being or the common good.”
For this reason, the press release continues, it is important that these investments “are aimed at financial operations of a productive nature, ruling out any designed to be speculative in nature.”
The investments will flow into an ad hoc APSA account at the IOR
The Policy, adds the Secretariat for the Economy, was approved ad experimentum for 5 years and will enter into force on 1 September, with a moratorium period to comply with the proposed criteria.
The press release also explains how the new Investment Policy will be launched.
“Curial institutions,” the note reads, “will have to entrust their financial investments to APSA, transferring their liquidity to invest – or their securities deposited with banks abroad or at the IOR itself – to the APSA account set up at the IOR for this purpose.
“APSA, as the institution that administers the assets of the Holy See, will set up a single fund for the Holy See in which the investments in the various financial instruments will flow, and will have an account for each institution, processing the reporting and paying the returns.”
The role of the Investment Committee set up by Praedicate evangelium
Finally, the press release does not fail to refer to the new Investment Committee, which was established by the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate evangelium.
This Committee, the statement emphasizes, “will carry out – through the APSA – the appropriate consultations aimed at implementing the investment strategy and will evaluate the adequacy of the choices, with particular attention toward the compliance of the investments made with the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church, as well as with return and risk parameters according to the Investment Policy.”
The Secretariat for the Economy also made public on Tuesday the Statute of the Investment Committee, which is responsible for defining the investment strategies and ensuring their effective implementation.
In accordance with the Investment Policy, the Articles stipulate that the Committee draws up and updates the mandates that APSA must indicate to the Portfolio
Internal control of the Committee’s activities is entrusted to a Compliance Officer appointed by the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
This figure guarantees the transparency and good functioning of the Committee as well as ensures the absence of conflicts of interest and oversees the correct management of risks.