By Anne Kurian-Montabone

On September 29, 2020, Pope Francis appointed the first five members of the Vatican’s Commission for Reserved Affairs: Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life, is the President, and Monsignor Filippo Iannone, President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, is the Secretary.

The Commission, foreseen in the new law promulgated last June 1 to save money and fight against corruption, will be concerned with “reserved affairs.” It will supervise contracts entered into directly by the Secretariat of State and the Governorate, especially those of an international dimension, which include a confidentiality clause that affects the office and security of the Pope, the Holy See, and the universal Church, or that guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the Holy See (Cf. Article 4 of the Code of Tenders and Public Contracts).

According to a Holy See press release, published on October 5, three additional appointments were made to the Commission: Monsignor Fernando Vergez Alzaga (Secretary-General of the Governorate); Monsignor Nunzio Galantino (President of the Apostolic See’s Administration of the Patrimony), and Father Juan Antonio Guerrero (Prefect of the Secretariat of Economy).

In a Motu Proprio promulgating this law, the Pope emphasized the “general principle” of the administration of the Vatican’s public goods, which he compared to “the diligence of a good father of a family.” The endeavor is to save money, but also to be “faithful and honest” in the administration of the small State.

He called for the sustainable use of internal funds, transparency, “fair treatment of and non-discrimination of the bidders,” through measures to combat a conflict of interests, illegal competence agreements, and corruption.

Thus the Vatican is committed to “economic, effective and efficient” management and the rationalization of expenses, to avoid any distortion of competence.”

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