The Vatican’s quiet reformer


Austen Ivereigh April 29, 2017

The President of the Vatican Information Authority (AIF), René Brülhart, was speaking at Oxford University’s Blavatbik School of Government on reforming Vatican finances on Thursday night. Brülhart has sought to create a “tailor-made” system of regulation — a term he used often in his talk — that brings the Vatican into line with contemporary European standards but without sacrificing its uniqueness.

It was an unusual way for a Vatican official to begin a talk at Oxford University’s shiny new school for public policy wonks: By commemorating a dead cardinal. And even more unusual when the official is a layman.

After beginning with a joke that the Vatican had rather more thick walls and fewer windows than the glass-and-steel Blavatbik School of Government – “but still we hope we are introducing transparency in our own way” – René Brülhart asked the students and professors to observe a moment’s silence for his predecessor as head of the Vatican’s financial watchdog, Cardinal Attilio Nicora, who died earlier this week.

The Swiss regulator, president since 2012 of the Vatican Information Authority (AIF), has had remarkable success in creating and implementing new laws and regulations to prevent Rome’s finances ever again exploding in scandals. After seeing him talk to students of change management, I think I know why.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.