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The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See (Latin : Præfectura Rerum Œconomicarum Sanctæ Sedis) was an "office" (a technical category of dicastery) of the Roman Curia, erected on 15 August 1967, and entrusted with overseeing all the offices of the Holy See that manage finances, regardless of their degree of autonomy.
The prefecture did not manage finances itself, but instead audited the balance sheets and budgets of the offices that do. It then prepared and published annually a general financial report. It had to be consulted on all projects of major importance undertaken by the offices in question.
The Vatican Bank, which does not manage property of the Holy See, was not overseen by the Prefecture.This prefecture was also distinct from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which was formed from the merger of the Administration of the Property of the Holy See and the Special Administration of the Holy See.
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law, governing the Vatican City.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.
Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State, is the Holy See's independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Vatican City became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929), and it is a distinct territory under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state's temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. With an area of 49 hectares and a population of about 805, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.
The Lateran Treaty was one component agreement that made up the Lateran Pacts of 1929, the agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See settling the "Roman Question". The treaty and associated pacts are named after the Lateran Palace, where they were signed on 11 February 1929. The Italian parliament ratified them on 7 June 1929. The Lateran Treaty recognized Vatican City as an independent state under the sovereignty of the Holy See. The Italian government, at the time led by Benito Mussolini as prime minister, also agreed to give the Roman Catholic Church financial compensation for the loss of the Papal States. In 1947, the Lateran Treaty was recognized in the Constitution of Italy as regulating the relations between the state and the Catholic Church.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the oldest among the nine congregations of the Roman Curia, seated at the Palace of the Holy Office in Rome. It was founded to defend the church from heresy; today, it is the body responsible for promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine. Formerly known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, it is informally known in many Catholic countries as the Holy Office, and between 1908 and 1965 was officially known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.
The Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is a financial institution situated inside Vatican City and run by a Board of Superintendence which reports to a Commission of Cardinals and the Pope. It is not a private bank, as there are no owners or shareholders, but it has been established in the form of a juridical canonical foundation, pursuant to its Statutes. Since 9 July 2014, its President is Jean-Baptiste de Franssu. The IOR is regulated by the Vatican's financial supervisory body AIF.
Bernardino Nogara was the financial advisor to the Vatican between 1929 and 1954, appointed by Pope Pius XI and retained by Pope Pius XII as the first Director of the Special Administration of the Holy See. According to historian John F. Pollard, Nogara laid "the foundations" for "one of the biggest pillars for the Vatican's post-Second World War financial strength."
A dicastery is a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus (1988), includes this definition:
By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Congregations, Tribunals, Councils and Offices, namely, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
Giovanni Lajolo is a Cardinal and former President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.
L'Osservatore Romano is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State which reports on the activities of the Holy See and events taking place in the Church and the world. It is owned by the Holy See but is not an official publication, a role reserved for the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which acts as a government gazette. The views expressed in the Osservatore are those of individual authors unless they appear under the specific titles "Nostre Informazioni" or "Santa Sede".
The Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States is the diplomatic mission of the Holy See to the United States. It is located at 3339 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., in the Embassy Row neighborhood. The current Apostolic Nuncio is Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who was named to the position by Pope Francis on 12 April 2016.
Sergio Sebastiani is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who was head of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 1997 to 2008. He was made a cardinal in 2001. From 1960 to 1994 he worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See, becoming an archbishop and apostolic nuncio in 1976 and leading the offices representing the Vatican in Madagascar, Mauritius, and Turkey.
The Apostolic Camera, formerly known as the Papal Treasury, is an office in the Roman Curia. It was the central board of finance in the Papal administrative system and at one time was of great importance in the government of the States of the Church, and in the administration of justice, led by the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.
The Special Administration of the Holy See was a dicastery of the Roman Curia from 1929 to 1967. It was established by Pope Pius XI on 7 June 1929 to manage the ₤it. 750 million in cash and 1,000 million in Italian government bonds transferred to the Holy See in implementation of the Financial Convention attached to the Lateran Treaty of 1929.
Egidio Vagnozzi was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as the second president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 1968 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967.
Administration of the Property of the Holy See was a commission that, until 1967, administered the property of the Holy See other than the money in cash and Italian government bonds received when the Financial Convention attached to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 was implemented.
The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See is the office of the Roman Curia that deals with the "provisions owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function". It was established by Pope Paul VI on 15 August 1967. The Ordinary Section, one of APSA's formerly two sections, was transferred to the Secretariat for the Economy by Pope Francis on 8 July 2014. In its reduced form, APSA acts as the Treasury and central bank of Vatican City and the Holy See.
Ernesto Pacelli was a financial adviser to Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius X, and Pope Benedict XV and the founder and president of the Banco di Roma from March 9, 1880 until 1916. Pacelli also served as an unofficial link between the Vatican and the Italian government. Papal historian John Pollard calls him the "first of the great laymen to be associated with the finances of the Holy See."
The Secretariat for the Economy is a dicastery of the Roman Curia with authority over all economic activities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.
Rothschild loans to the Holy See refers to a series of major financial loans arranged between the Rothschild family and the Holy See of the Catholic Church. The first loan which occurred in 1832 took place in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars during the Pontificate of Pope Gregory XVI. This loan agreed on was for a sum of £400,000. A second loan occurred during the Pontificate of Pope Pius IX in the early 1850s with the same members of the Rothschild family after the collapse of Giuseppe Mazzini's short-lived revolutionary Roman Republic and the restoration of the Papal States.