|Pope replaces cardinals serving on Vatican bank oversight commission|
Catholic News Service photo
The Institute for the Works of Religion, popularly known as the Vatican bank, is seen in a 2009 photo. Amid widespread speculation about a complete and quick reorganization of Vatican departments and rumors in the Italian media that Pope Francis was goin g to close the Vatican back, a top Vatican official told everyone to calm down.
Catholic News ServiceVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis replaced four cardinals serving on a five-person commission overseeing the Vatican bank.
The new members include Canadian Cardinal Thomas C. Collins of Toronto and Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, is the only serving member the pope asked to stay on.
The Vatican made the announcement Jan. 15.
The responsibilities of the five-member Commission of Cardinals Overseeing the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal title of bank, include appointing the bank's president -- an appointment which then must be approved by the pope.
In addition to Cardinal Collins and Cardinal-designate Parolin, the new members are Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna and Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril Castello, the archpriest of Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major.
The four cardinals replace Cardinals Tarcisio Bertone, former Vatican secretary of state; Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, India; Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Domenico Calcagno, who is president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.
Pope Benedict XVI had confirmed the mandates of the five previous members just 11 months ago, five days after announcing his retirement in February.
Cardinal Bertone retired as Vatican secretary of state in October, just before his 79th birthday; the usual retirement age is 75. He had served as president of the cardinals' oversight commission and had faced a number of criticisms in the press for mismanagement during his tenure as secretary of state.
Cardinal Tauran continues to serve on a separate five-person papal commission that is reviewing the activities and mission of the Vatican bank. Pope Francis created the commission in June 2013 as part of his larger efforts to reform the central offices of the church.
The Vatican has said that Pope Francis' reforms are in continuity with a 1990 reform of the bank ordered by Blessed John Paul II and efforts begun by Pope Benedict in 2010 to better monitor all of the Vatican's financial operations and make sure they reflect the latest European Union regulations and other international norms.
The Vatican bank had been marred by an image of secrecy and scandal for decades.
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