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.


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.

Vatican News

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.




The Vatican today announced that Pope Francis has appointed 14 new members to the Dicastery for Bishops, including two nuns and a lay woman from Argentina.

This dicastery, formerly a congregation, is the Vatican office responsible for naming new bishops around the world. Bishops in mission territories, however, are usually appointed by the Dicastery for Evangelization.

Named to this dicastery were Sister Raffaella Petrini, FSE, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, FMA, former superior general of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Doctor Maria Lia Zervino, president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. (Vatican photo: L-R: Sr. Petrini, Sr. Reungoat and Maria Lia Zervino)

The 2020 Annuario Pontificio or Pontifical Yearbooks listed one nun working in the then Congregation for Bishops, Sister Uribe Solis Maria de los Angels, SGCS.

SISTER RAFFAELLA PETRINI, FSE: (Nov 5, 2021: from “The Angelicum,” the magazine of the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, aka the Angelicum): Pope Francis has appointed Angelicum professor, Sr. Raffaella Petrini of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (F.S.E.), as the Secretary General of the government of Vatican City State. Sr. Raffaella is the first woman to hold this position. Her appointment is a source of joy for our university, since Sr. Raffaella obtained her doctorate from the Angelicum’s faculty of Social Sciences in 2015 and she currently lectures in that same faculty. Sr. Raffaella Petrini belongs to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist Congregation, and was born in 1969. She currently teaches Welfare Economics and Sociology of Economic Processes at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Angelicum. She holds a Doctorate in Social Sciences from the Angelicum in Rome; a Master of Science in Organization Behavior, Barney School of Business, University of Hartford (CT), USA, and a Degree in Political Science (specializing in Industrial Relations) from LUISS in Rome.

SISTER YVONNE REUNGOAT, FMA: Sister Reungoat was born in Plouénan, north-west France on 14 January 1945. She studied Salesian religious life when she was admitted to the Paris Postulancy in 1963. She entered into religious service on 5 August 1965. She earned a degree in History and Geography from the University of Lyon and became a school teacher in Lyon for 11 years. Between 1996 and 2008 she was member of the General Chapter and in 2002 was elected Vicar General of this institute. Sr. Yvonne is one of the first seven women appointed members of the then Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, named on July 8, 2019 by Pope Francis. She is also the 9th Superior General of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco – and first non-Italian – since 2008. In January 2021, she was appointed Officer of the Légion d’Honneur. She had previously been awarded the Medal of Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Wikipedia).

DOCTOR MARIA LIA ZERVINO, president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. With today’s papal appointment, she becomes the first lay woman as a member of the Dicastery for Bishops. An Argentinian, she is a friend of Pope Francis’ from his days in their native country. In March 2021, she wrote a personal Letter to Pope Francis that was published in the Jesuit magazine, “America.” (Dear Pope Francis: Thank you for 8 years of challenging and healing the church. But women still deserve more. | America Magazine)


On January 15, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Dr. Francesca Di Giovanni, currently an official of the Secretariat of State, as under-secretary for the Section for Relations with States, responsible for the multilateral sector. Born in Palermo in 1953, Dr. Di Giovanni has worked in the Secretariat for 29 years and holds a law degree. After completing practicum as a notary, she worked in the juridical-administrative area at the International Centre of the Work of Mary (Focolare Movement). On September 15, 1993 she began work as an official in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State. She has served in the multilateral sector, especially in the areas of migrants and refugees, international humanitarian law, communications, private international law, the status of women, intellectual property, and tourism.

Besides Di Giovanni, perhaps the most well-known and prominent woman in a Vatican leadership position is Barbara Jatta, who was appointed as director of Vatican Museums by Pope Francis in 2017.

In addition, in 2017, the Holy Father named Gabriella Gambino and Linda Ghisoni, two women married with children, as under-secretaries at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in 2017.

At the Vatican Dicastery for Communications where the number of lay people is high compared to other departments of the Holy See, two women hold senior managerial positions. Slovenian Natasa Govekar heads the Theological-Pastoral Department, the Brazilian Cristiane Murray is Vice Director of the Vatican Press Office.

The numbers of women in leadership positions in the Vatican has grown considerably with Pope Francis in the years of his pontificate.

We may be hearing more in the near future about women being promoted to leadership positions because the March 19, 2022 publication of the new constitution on the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium, foresees a greater presence and participation of the lay faithful in the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis recalls in the Preamble that, “The Pope, the bishops and other ordained ministers are not the only evangelizers in the Church… Every Christian, by virtue of Baptism, is a missionary disciple to the extent that he or she has encountered God’s love in Christ Jesus.” Hence the involvement of laymen and women in the roles of governance and responsibility. If “any member of the faithful” can preside over a Dicastery or a curial body, “given their particular competence, power of governance, and particular function,” it is because every institution of the Curia acts in virtue of the power entrusted to it by the Pope.

That constitution came into force on June 5, 2022, Pentecost Sunday.

(Sources: Vatican News: January 15, 2020; March 6, 2020; March 21, 2022)



I visited the Vatican website today – The Holy See (vatican.va) – as I was looking for language editions of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, Pope Francis’ document on the Roman Curia that went into effect on Pentecost Sunday, June 5. It was originally published on Saturday, March 15, without any fanfare or pre-announcement, and only in Italian. In fact, some corrections had to be made after that hasty publication.

I clicked on Apostolic Constitutions | Francis (vatican.va) and did not see any other official language editions/translations of this constitution posted. Will they be posted before the cardinals meet in August to discuss this document, as per invitation of Pope Francis? Will the cardinals be able to study the document in their own languages?

Interestingly enough, if you click on THE ROMAN CURIA, you see the message: “The updated Roman Curia section is currently available in Italian.” So I imagine there is some work to do on this site, in particular because what were once called Congregations or Pontifical Councils are now called dicasteries and all those names have to be changed.

If you do visit The Holy See (vatican.va), I honestly think you’ll find it an interesting site with decades of history.



Vatican City, 7 June 2022 – For the tenth consecutive year, the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) publishes its Annual Report containing its 2021 Financial Statements prepared in accordance with IAS-IFRS international accounting standards.

These financial statements received a clean opinion from the auditor Mazars Italia S.p.A. and, on 26 April 2022, they were unanimously approved by the IOR Board of Superintendence. Subsequently, as provided for in the Statutes, they were then sent to the Commission of Cardinals for their review.

Given the soundness of the 2021 financial statements, and taking into account IOR’s capital requirements, the Commission of Cardinals decided upon the distribution of profits.

In 2021, the IOR achieved the following results in line with its strategic plan:

  • EUR 18.1 million net profit
  • + 15% net interest margin, + 22% net commission income, + 4% assets under management
  • 38.54% TIER 1 ratio
  • 59% cost/income ratio

Profits are in line with expectations, with the new HTCS (Held To Collect and Sell) business model adopted for investments and with a conservative risk profile.

Growth in assets under management reflects positively on the investment performance delivered to clients with respect the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church. 70% of management lines performances were above the 5-year benchmark.

The cost/income ratio reflects a good control of costs notably as a result of the Institute’s decision to continue digitalisation of customer services, strengthening IT defence tools and hiring new resources with different seniority and specialisation profiles.

The Institute maintained all efforts to comply at any time with all rules and regulations, confirming the cultural transformation of the Institute. The best illustration of this strong compliant and risk control culture in 2021 was illustrated in the Moneyval review of the Holy See1


The Holy See Press Office on Tuesday announced the institution of the Investment Committee and the appointment of its members. The Investment Committee was provided for in Article 227 of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, which entered into force on Sunday. It will be presided over by Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

The four members of the Committee are: Jean Pierre Casey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RegHedge (Great Britain); Giovanni Christian Michael Gay, Managing Director of Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH (Germany); David Harris, Portfolio manager of Skagen Funds (Norway); and, John J. Zona, Chief Investment Officer of Boston College (United States of America).

According to Praedicate Evangelium, “the Committee, composed of high-profile professionals appointed for five-year terms, is called upon to ensure the ethical nature of the Holy See’s equity investments, in accordance with the Church’s social doctrine and according to the criteria of profitability, suitability, and moderate riskiness (in Italian: redditività, adeguatezza e moderata rischiosità).” (Vatican announces appointments to Investment Committee – Vatican News)