By Larissa I. López

Along with seven existing members, Pope Francis appointed six lay women experts to the Council for Economy, organization established by the Pontiff in 2014 to supervise the structures and administrative and financial activities of the Holy See and the Vatican.

The Council is made up of 15 members, eight of whom are elected among Cardinals and Bishops, to reflect the Church’s universality. Seven are experts of various nationalities, of known financial knowledge and professionalism.

13 New Members

According to information published today, August 6, 2020, by the Holy See Press Office, the new members are: Professor Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof; Dr Eva Castillo Sanz; Dr Leslie Jane Ferrar; Dr Marija Kolak; Dr. Maria Concepcion Osakar Garaicoechea and the Honourable Ruth Mary Kelly. Included also as a layman is Dr Alberto Minali.

Among the members of the Council for the Economy the Pope has also counted on the Lord Cardinals Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest; Monsignor Odilo Pedro Scherer, Archbishop of Sao Paulo; Monsignor Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec; Monsignor Joseph William Tobin, Archbishop of Newark; Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm; and Monsignor Giuseppe Petrocchi, Archbishop of L’Aquila.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, remains as Coordinator of this Vatican organization, and Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier , Archbishop of Durban, also remains a member until his 80th birthday.

Following is brief biographical data on each of the new lay members of the Council for Economy.

Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof (Germany)

Studied Law at the University of Heidelberg, Genf and Tubingen. Since 2016 she has been Professor of German and Foreign Law and of International and European Law at the Faculty of Jurisprudence of the Heinrich-Heine University of Dusseldorf.

She is also President of the Hildegaris Association, a Movement of Catholic women in Germany that supports needy students.

Marija Kolak (Germany)

Has had a distinguished career in the Berliner Volksbank,, where she has held several posts. She carried out the Program of Advanced Management at Harvard’s School of business, Boston, the United States.

At present, she is President of the Bundesverbandes der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffisenbanken, Berlin. She is married and has three children.

Maria Concepcion Osacar Garaicoechea (Spain)

Born in Lecaroz, Navarre, Spain she is a founding member of the Azora Group and President of the Council of Administration of Azora Capital and Azora Management, SGIIC. Azora is manager of independent investments with headquarters in Spain, specialized in real estate assets and energy.

Osacar is a trustee of the ICO Foundation (Official Credit Institute) and a member of the Administration Council of APD (Association for Management Progress), as well as of the Advisory Council of the Think Tank Future Institution.

Previously, she was Vice-President of the Santander Hispanic Central Real Estate Assets and President of Banif Real Estate, as well as President of INVERCO (Association of Collective Investment Institutions and Pension Funds) and member of the Board of Directors of the Civic Bank. She has a Licentiate in aw from Madrid’s Autonomous University, and MBA from IE and PDG IESE from the University of Navarre. She is married and has two daughters.

Has a Licentiate in Law and Business Sciences from the Pontifical University of Comilas (E-3) of Madrid, Spain. and Pension Funds) and member of the Board of Directors of the Civic Bank. She has a Licentiate in Law from Madrid’s Autonomous University, an MBA from IE and PDG IESE from the University of Navarre. She is married and has two daughters.

Eva Castilo Sanz (Spain)

Has a Licentiate in Law and Business Sciences from the Pontifical University of Comillas (E-3) of Madrid, Spain.

At present she is a member of the Administration Council of Bankia S.A., of the Administration Council of Zardoya Otis S. A., of the Board of Trustees of the Comillas-ICAI Foundation and of the Entreculturas Foundation.

Previously, she held the following posts: Members of the Administration Council of Telefonica, S.A.; President of the Supervision Council of Telefonica Deutschland Holding, AG; member of the Board of Trustees of the Telefonica Foundation; President and Delegate Adviser of Telefonica – Europe; member of the Executive Committee of Telefonica, S.A.; and President of the Supervision Council of Telefonica Czech Republic, a.s.

She acted as independent adviser of Visa Europe Limited and Old Mutual, Plc, as well as Director of Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and President of Merrill Lynch Spain and Portugal.

Ruth Mary Kelly (Great Britain)

She worked in the Labour Government between 2004 and 2008 as Secretary of State for Education and then joined HSBC’s Global Asset Management as Global Head of Clients’ Strategy.

At present she is Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research and Business in St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, in Southwest London.

Leslie Jane Ferrar (Great Britain)

Commander of the Victorian Royal Order, she was treasurer of Charles, Prince of Wales from January 2015 to July 2017.

She studied at Harvard’s Business School and at Durham University. Upon leaving the Royal Household she took on a series of non-executive functions and those of trustee.

Alberto Minali (Italy)

Was born in Verona in 1965. He obtained a Licentiate in Political Economy at Bocconi and specialized at Yale University, Princeton, and Brandeis University, Boston.

He has been Director General and Financial Director of Investments of the Gruppo Generali and Director of Investments of the Eurizon Group . He is also a former CEO of the Gruppo Cattolica Assicurazioni.

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