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Vatican spokesman says nothing illicit about missing millions found by Cardinal Pell

Cardinal Pell, centre, with Jean-Baptise de Franssu, president of the Vatican bank, and former president Ernst Von Freyberg (Photo: CNS)

There was nothing illegal, illicit or poorly administered about the hundreds of millions of euros missing from the Vatican’s balance sheet, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi has said.

Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, revealed the discovery of the missing funds in an article for the Catholic Herald this week.

Fr Lombardi said: “It should be observed that Cardinal Pell has not referred to illegal, illicit or poorly administered funds, but rather funds that do not appear on the official balance sheets of the Holy See or of Vatican City State, and which have become known to the Secretariat for the Economy during the current process of examination and revision of Vatican administration, to acquire a more comprehensive knowledge of the latter in view of the planned rationalisation. It is indeed a sign and result of constructive cooperation between the various Vatican institutions.

“Moreover, it was known and had been previously explained, also publicly by the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, that the consolidated balance sheets of the Holy See and Vatican City State, presented every year to the College of Cardinals, do not in any way encompass the totality of the numerous administrations under Vatican auspices, but only the main institutions of the Roman Curia and the State,” he said.