Friday, October 7

The Pope leaves the finances of the Vatican in the hands of three Spaniards

The first director of Human Resources of the Vatican will be Spanish, and secular. Pope Francis has appointed this Monday the lawyer Luis Herrera Tejedor at the head of this office, dependent on the Ministry of Economy, the body that controls all the flow of capital in the Holy See and is chaired by the Jesuit Juan Antonio Guerrero. Along with them, the Secretary General of the Vatican ‘Ministry of Economy’, Maximino Cabellero Lido. The money of the Church, then, is in the hands of three Spaniards. This is what Bergoglio has decided.

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The new head of the Human Resources Department of the Holy See in the Ministry of Economy will be in charge of the more than 3,000 employees that the Vatican has approximately. With disparate salaries, ranging from 1,200 to 3,500 euros, not counting the prefects (ministers), who until the pandemic came to collect, tax-free, about 5,000 euros. Last year, the Pope reduced their salaries between 10 and 15%.

Herrera arrives with a clear premise, not to fire anyone. The undertaking is not easy, since economic scandals, the drop in donations from ultra-conservative groups and the impact of the coronavirus (which kept the Vatican Museums, the small state’s main source of income, closed for almost a year) led to the Holy See to lose, in two years, almost 100 million euros. The deficit last year was barely 3 million, compared to the 33 expected, and all this due to a policy of brutal control, which in practice has taken from the congregations the ability to dispose of their funds. Since the approval of the reform of the Curia with the Apostolic Constitution ‘Praedicate Evangelium’, all transactions go through the approval of the Ministry of Economy. Three Spaniards decide, together with the Council of Cardinals, the fate of Vatican assets.

Among the tasks of the new director of Human Resources, as Juan Antonio Guerrero himself highlighted in a recent interview in the Vatican media, will be “improving the work environment where necessary, motivation, career path; identification with the service that the Curia renders to the Church”, since “the new Apostolic Constitution is full of indications and suggestions on what it means to serve the Church from the Roman Curia”.

And who is Luis Herrera Tejedor? He is a lawyer, graduated from the IE Business School, who held management positions in some leading companies, from the Spanish division of Yves Saint Laurent to Logista or Inversis, after which he served as coach in different fields, especially in small and medium-sized companies.

Herrera also has experience in media resource management. In fact, he has worked in the three great radio groups in our country: Cope (1987-90), Onda Cero (1991) and Prisa (2001 to 2004).

The change in the Vatican structure was explained by Prefect Guerrero to the bodies of the Curia last June 1, four days before the entry into force of the Apostolic Constitution. In it, it was pointed out that the management of the person of the Holy See would pass from the Secretary of State to the Secretary of Economy, creating a new Directorate of Human Resources, which Herrera Tejedor now directs.

This appointment comes days after the extraordinary consistory to which Francis had summoned all the cardinals to explain the implementation of ‘Praedicate Evangelium’, and it is the first movement along these lines. Different sources suggest that in the coming weeks we will attend a dance of changes in positions of responsibility in the Holy See.

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