New Vatican Commission of Laity with Unprecedented Authority
In the shadow of attention given to the pope’s travel to Brazil for World Youth Day and the anticipated arrival of a royal baby, few seem to have noticed the news reports about Friday’s announcement of a new Vatican commission that has been established by Pope Francis. This commission has been established to oversee the the financial and organizational reforms within the Vatican. It will have unprecedented authority to examine any document, in print or electronic form, and answer directly to the pope.
Reports from Reuters, Catholic News Service, and Vatican Radio all confirm that this commission – which consists entirely of laity who are experts in law, finance, economics, and organizational matters, and which has a cleric assigned only as secretary to the group – is scheduled to begin work as soon as the Holy Father returns from Brazil.
Vatican Radio published the names and countries of the Pontifical commission’s members:
Dr. Joseph FX Zahra (Malta), President
Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda (Secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs), Secretary
Mr Jean-Baptiste de Franssu (France)
Dr. Enrique Llano (Spain)
Dr. Jochen Messemer (Germany)
Ms. Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui (Italy)
Mr. Jean Videlain-Sevestre (France)
Mr. George Yeo (Singapore)