Members of the Vatican’s Council for the Economy met in person on July 14-15 to discuss the Holy See’s final balance for 2020 and its investment policy.

Vatican City (July 15, 2021 8:04 PM, Gaudium PressThe July 14-15 meeting of the Vatican Council for the Economy was the first time that the body has met face-to-face since Pope Francis nominated six women to the body overseeing Vatican finances and the work of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Eva Castillo Sanz, a former president of Merrill Lynch Spain and Portugal, was appointed in August 2020. Previously, the members of the economy council, established by Pope Francis in 2014, had consisted of eight cardinals, six laymen, and a priest secretary.

Among those attending this week’s meeting in person were the council’s president Cardinal Reinhard Marx, its secretary, Msgr. Brian Ferme, as well as Cardinal Péter Erdő, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Cardinal Anders Arborelius, and Archbishop Giuseppe Petrocchi.

Lay persons in attendance included Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, Eva Castillo Sanz, Marija Kolak, Alberto Minali, and María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Fr. Guerrero, and Auditor General Alessandro Cassinis Righini were also in attendance.

Connecting remotely from their home countries were Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Archbishop Gérald Lacroix, Leslie Jane Ferrar, and Ruth Kelly.

“The subject of the meeting was the approval of the final balance for 2020 of the Holy See, presented by Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves the Prefect of the SPE [Secretariat for the Economy], and a reflection on the Holy See’s investment policy, moderated by Dr. Eva Castillo Sanz,” said the Holy See in a July 15 statement.

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The Council for the Economy met online in February to discuss the annual budget for 2021. The coronavirus crisis has increased the pressure on the Vatican’s already tight budget, with the Vatican Museums, a significant source of income, forced to close for more than 24 weeks to prevent the spread of the virus.

 The Council for the Economy will hold its next assembly in September.