VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Monday announced the first major overhaul of the Vatican's bureaucracy in a quarter-century, creating an economics secretariat to control all economic, administrative, personnel and procurement functions of the Holy See.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Francis' core eight cardinal advisers and a sharp critic of current Vatican governance, was named prefect of the new office. He reports to a new 15-member economy council made up of eight cardinals reflecting various parts of the world and seven lay experts.
Francis was elected pope a year ago on a mandate to reform the Vatican after documents stolen by Pope Benedict XVI's butler revealed the Holy See bureaucracy to be dysfunctional.
The new structure, the Vatican said, is intended to simplify and consolidate existing management structures, and improve oversight, internal controls and transparency -- and provide more support for the Vatican's works for the poor.