SINGAPORE - Former foreign minister George Yeo, who was named on March 8 as a member of the Vatican's new Council for the Economy, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that he is "greatly honoured" by the appointment.
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Here is a statement released via the official Vatican network website:
Pope Francis has named the members of the Council for the Economy, which was created with the Motu Proprio "Fidelis dispensator et prudens" on 24 February2014. It is composed of 8 Cardinals and 7 laypeople.
In a statement by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, it is noted Cardinals Cipriani Thorne , Napier, Rivera Carrera, Ricard , Hong Ton, Vallini , as well as Cardinal George Pell, the new Prefect of the Secretariat of Economy, were all members of the Council for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See ( Council of 15) , which has been replaced by the new Council for the Economy. Father Lombardi also points out that Cardinal Marx and Cardinal Pell are both members of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, and to assist the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Church.
Father Lombardi said the relationship between the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy will be defined by their statutes, and, in any case, the Council is understood to be a body having the authority to act, and is not a mere advisory body of the Secretariat of Economy .
He also said the Motu Proprio "Fidelis dispensator et prudens" requires the Council to represent the universality of the Church, and the different geographical areas represented by the Council reflects this.
Father Lombardi said the establishment of the Council for Economics is a key step towards the consolidation of the existing management structures of the Holy See, which is meant to improve the coordination and supervision of economic and administrative issues.
The Council is now operational, and its first meeting is scheduled for May.
List of Members of the Council for the Economy, along with their biographies
Reinhard Card. Marx, Archbishop of München und Freising (Coordinator); Juan Luis Card. Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima;Daniel N. Card. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston; Wilfrid Fox Card. Napier, Archbishop of Durban;Jean-Pierre Card. Ricard, Archbishop Bordeaux; Norberto Card. Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of México;John Card. Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong; Agostino Card. Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of RomeJoseph F.X. Zahra, Malta (Vice-Coordinator); Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, FranceJohn Kyle, Canada; Enrique Llano Cueto, Spain;Jochen Messemer, Germany; Francesco Vermiglio, Italy; George Yeo, Singapore.