Pope taps close ally to take over Vatican's financial center

Pope taps close ally to take over Vatican’s financial center

Pope taps close ally to take over Vatican’s financial center

Cardinal Domenico Calcagno. (Credit: CNS.)

Pope Francis on Tuesday engineered a changing of the guard at the department that handles both the Vatican's real estate and its investment portfolio.

ROME — Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Italian Cardinal Domenico Calcagno as head of the body managing the Vatican’s assets and real estate holdings, the Vatican announced Tuesday, appointing Italian Bishop Nunzio Galantino to take his place.

Calcagno, who turned 75 in February, was appointed APSA’s secretary by Benedict XVI in 2007, and was later named its president by Francis in 2011.

For a year before that appointment, the cardinal was also part of a commission tasked with the supervision of the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), known as the “Vatican Bank.” Though he was appointed for a five-year term, he was removed by Francis before that term was up.

Calcagno, who at one point was investigated for embezzlement in his previous diocese of Savona,  stepped down after reaching the typical age of retirement for bishops, who are required to submit their resignations after their 75th birthday.

APSA is the office that handles the Vatican’s investment portfolio and its real estate holdings, as well as serving as the Vatican employment office and procurements agency.

The man taking Calcagno’s place is Bishop Nunzio Galantino, 69, who since December 2013 has served as secretary general of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, known by its Italian acronym as “CEI.” Before that appointment, he led the small Italian diocese of Cassano all’Jonio.

Galantino is not generally seen by Italians as belonging to any specific camp in the Church. However, since stepping into his role at CEI, he has been vocal on hot topics, such as migration and family issues, though he has at times been criticized for being too outspoken.

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