Pope accepts early resignation of Vatican's first independent auditor

By Carol Glatz

CITY (CNS) — Just two years after being hired to help with the Vatican’s
efforts in finance reform, Libero
Milone — the Vatican’s first independent auditor who answered only to
the pope — handed a request for his resignation to Pope Francis.

pope accepted Milone’s request, the Vatican announced June 20, after Milone
personally presented it to the pope a day earlier.

wishing Milone the best in his future endeavors, the Holy See wishes to inform
(everyone) that the process of naming a new director of the auditor-general’s office
will be underway as soon as possible,” the Vatican’s written statement

Francis named Milone to fill the new position of auditor general in June 2015,
more than a year after establishing special structures to oversee the Vatican’s
finances — the Council for
the Economy and the Secretariat
for the Economy.

auditor general has the power to audit the books of any Vatican office and
reports directly to the pope. The auditing office currently has 12 people on

68, an Italian accountant and expert in corporate risk management, was born in
Holland and educated in London. He was chairman and managing partner of Milone Associates and had worked
for Falck Renewables, Wind Telecom and Fiat. Until
2007, he was chairman of Deloitte
Italy and served three years as a member of the audit committee of the
United Nations’ World Food Program.

independent auditor was a key part of the “separation of powers”
necessary for reforming the Vatican’s economic activity, Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the
Secretariat for the Economy, wrote in 2015.

reforms are designed to make all Vatican financial agencies boringly
successful, so that they do not merit much press attention,” the cardinal

No reason
was given for Milone’s request to step down.

an interview in March with the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, Milone said the previous 18
months had been very busy because he had to learn the way things had worked and
then oversee 120 offices and foundations that make up the Roman Curia or are
associated with the Holy See.

office had just been completing preliminary studies of all the major assets,
finances and economic data of 2015 and 2016. “The next step is auditing the
balance sheet up to Dec. 31, 2017, so as to be able to get ready for auditing
the whole budget ending Dec. 31, 2018,” he said.

felt their efforts had paid off by bringing in “a new model of managing
the budget and introducing the best international standards,” adding that
the real work in reform was, “first of all, cultural.”

asked if he had met with any resistance, he said, “more than real or
actual resistance, often it was about being unaware” of more modern,
integrated and transparent accounting standards. They did a lot of training to
help people “overcome foreseeable difficulties,” he said.

said he never regretted accepting the job, which had been offered to him by an
international headhunting agency, he said. “On the contrary, I will go all
the way with great enthusiasm.”

said, “I am very motivated by the privilege of being at the service of the
pope … and to be able to do my small part of a decisive reform for the
Vatican … A reform whose full extent has perhaps still not been well

in September 2015, an employee of the auditor general’s office notified Vatican
police that Milone’s computer had been tampered with, the investigation into
that tampering led to the second VatiLeaks investigation and trial, according to Vatican Radio.

trial found Msgr. Lucio
Vallejo Balda, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy
See, and Francesca
Chaouqui, a member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the
Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, guilty of having
roles in the leaking of confidential documents about Vatican finances and acquitted
an associate and two journalists.

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