When Pope Francis’ advisers report back on the battle to overhaul the Vatican’s sprawling finances, they regularly bring poor tidings. As they huddle with the pontiff, the aides voice their frustration at the resistance of the Roman Curia, the bureaucracy that runs the Catholic Church and which Francis has called “the last court that remains in Europe,” saying it’s filled with careerists and gossips. The bureaucrats are pushing back against Francis’ drive for transparency and accountability, refusing to give up the privileges that control of money grants them, according to officials who asked not to be named as these discussions are confidential.
The Roman Catholic leader hears them out, then urges them to forge ahead. “I don’t understand any of this stuff. Talk to each other, and don’t lose your sense of humor,” he says. “But we have to keep going. I won’t stop.”
Cleaning up Vatican finances has been a priority for the 83-year-old Argentine pontiff from the start, say his advisers. Just months after his inauguration in March 2013, Francis set up a task force to scrutinize the Institute for Religious Works. The entity frequently referred to as the Vatican bank, is so opaque it’s been called “the most secret bank in the world.” The following year, Francis created a Secretariat for the Economy, vesting it with authority overall economic activity for the Holy See and Vatican City.
The pope has recruited executives from the worlds of business and finance to fill top jobs in the Curia as part of a drive to bring the Vatican’s accounting and budgeting procedures up to international standards. Momentum on reforms has accelerated this year, with several papal edicts, including one establishing a new code for public tenders to ward against corruption and conflicts of interest.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Test All of Minnesota? You Betcha
Minnesota is setting an example for other states and the federal government. If anyone is interested
The Cult of Positivity
WHY BLIND OPTIMISM IS DRIVING US NUTS
SPOTIFY'S PODCAST POWER PLAY
The company is staking its future on converting music listeners to podcast fans and has become the favorite to own the industry—for better or worse
Why the U.S. Senate Is Broken
Adam Jentleson argues that toxic partisanship rose when the filibuster became a cudgel
America's Missing Workers
Near-record levels of absenteeism could be hampering the recovery
The Electric Truck That Couldn't
In the past six months, Nikola has faced an SEC probe, lost partners, and seen its shares tank
WALL STREET SOUTH
Florida braces for a gold-plated makeover as finance rethinks its attachment to New York
Yet Another Winning Year For Hindsight Capital
With the miserable year of 2020 over, it’s time to return to the offices of Hindsight Capital LLC.
Social Media Hits Mute After the Capitol Riot
Facebook and Twitter can block the president, but his supporters will move on
Where to Go in 2021
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY NEEDS A TRAVEL REBOUND. YOU COULD USE ONE, TOO. AS SOON AS IT’S SAFE, MAKE YOUR PLANS COUNT WITH 24 IDEAS TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME
The Lives of Francis Ford Coppola
The director on recutting The Godfather Part III and an epic, chaotic career—which he’s not done with just yet.
Rodeado de lujos en España, Peña se queda solo
En España el expresidente Enrique Peña Nieto habita fastuosas residencias, juega golf en clubes exclusivos, come en restaurantes caros, vive rodeado de lujos… Pero está cada día más solo: sus colaboradores cercanos se deslindan y se alejan de él, pocos amigos lo visitan y hasta su novia Tania Ruíz regresó a México. Al mismo tiempo se estrecha el cerco judicial en torno suyo: a las acusaciones que el exdirector de Pemex Emilio Lozoya lanzó en su contra, se agrega la determinación de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de considerar constitucional una consulta popular que podría llevarlo a juicio junto con otros expresidentes de la República.
KATE COOKED UP HER OWN
GAL-ON-GAL LOVE SCENE!
Proof of Life
Prior to the pandemic, California painter Francis DiFronzo was already occupying a certain kind of space—one without people, where the earth was slowly reclaiming remnants of forgotten societies, where artifacts of past lives stood as monuments to mankind’s fleeting presence.
Ingo Rademacher (Jax, GH)
Here, There and Everywhere
Summer will be here before we know it, and ringing in the sweltering season is EVOKE Contemporary’s Summer Group Exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Betting the Farm
Soil-free, indoor farming might be the future of healthy, local food.
A HIERARCHY OF CONSCIOUSNESS from Atom to Cosmos
MARILYN MONK, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Embryology, University College London, shares some fascinating insights into the nature of consciousness from the perspective of science.
Francisco Toledo (1940-2019) – Una herencia invaluable
Paradójica y lamentablemente, el considerado artista vivo más importante de México ha muerto. Sin embargo, su legado para el país y el mundo no sólo es su admirable y vasta producción artística. También lo son sus valiosas aportaciones al fomento y difusión culturales, así como su incansable apoyo a las luchas políticas, las causas sociales y las iniciativas a favor del ambiente.
The Golden Age
HOW A SCHOOL LIBRARIAN'S AIDE, A CLASS OF JUNIOR HIGH KIDS, AND AN OSCAR-WINNING DIRECTOR BROUGHT THE FILMING OF THE OUTSIDERS TO TULSA.