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Pope Announces Overhaul Of Vatican Bureaucracy

Pope Francis arrives to meet Haiti's President Michel Joseph Martelly at the Vatican on Monday. Claudio Peri/AP hide caption

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Claudio Peri/AP

Pope Francis on Monday announced a sweeping overhaul – the first in 25 years — of the Vatican's bureaucracy, creating a new economic secretariat,

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reported on the story for our Newscast unit:

"The department will have broad powers to oversee all the Vatican's economic and administrative affairs. It will be headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney. Pell will report to a new 15-member economy council made up of eight cardinals from various parts of the world and seven lay experts.

"The Vatican said the aim is to simplify and consolidate existing management structures, improve oversight, internal controls and transparency and provide more support for the Vatican's works for the poor.

"The move follows widespread criticism that the Vatican administration operates in secret and with no accountability. As for the scandal-plagued Vatican bank, the pope has yet to announce what he intends to do."

The move comes just days after Francis named 19 new cardinals, many of them from the developing world.

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