25 Feb 2014

Aussie to be in charge of Vatican finances

1:03 pm on 25 February 2014

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell is to take up a senior role at the Vatican, managing its finances.

The Vatican is creating a new department to scrutinise all its economic and administrative affairs, following a series of corruption scandals over the past few years centred on what is known as the "Vatican Bank".

Cardinal George Pell

Cardinal George Pell Photo: AFP

George Pell will be the prefect in the newly-created Secretariat for the Economy, overseeing the Vatican's finances and reportingly directly to Pope Francis.

In his new role Cardinal Pell will draw on the advice of a council of cardinals, bishops and lay financial specialists.

A special auditor-general is also to be appointed with powers to investigate the dealings of any Vatican agency at any moment.

The BBC reports the reforms will be seen as a significant effort by the Pope to tighten control of financial matters across the board.