Pope Francis has announced an external audit of the Vatican’s finances in a bid to bring transparency after millions of Euro’s have gone missing.
The Pope has vowed to radically overhaul the Vatican’s shady financial management, coming up against resistance from senior church officials who wish for the church to maintain tight control over its finances.
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Lombardi told reporters that the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy had called on PwC, the world’s second-largest audit firm by revenue, to review the Vatican’s consolidated financial statements, which includes assets, income and expenses.
The decision to work with one of the world’s top four auditors continued “the implementation of new financial management policies and practices in line with international standards,” he said.
A Vatican financial statement this year revealed that Vatican departments had stashed away 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) of assets that were not declared on any balance sheet.
The head of the economy secretariat, Cardinal George Pell, said last year that departments had “tucked away” millions of euros and followed “long-established patterns” in jealously managing their affairs without reporting to any central accounting office.
Pope Francis picked Pell, an outsider from the English-speaking world, to oversee the Vatican’s often muddled finances after decades of control by Italian clergy.
Since the pope’s election in March, 2013, the Vatican has enacted major reforms to adhere to international financial standards and prevent money laundering.