Australian Cardinal George Pell has been appointed to run a new finance ministry at The Vatican.
Australian Cardinal George Pell has been given a huge promotion, appointed to run a new finance ministry at the Vatican.
Pope Francis has created the role to be more transparent, following a string of scandals at the Vatican bank.
Jo McKenna has more from Rome.
Thank you very much.
George Pell has been appointed head of a powerful new secretariat at the Vatican, responsible for overseeing the budget and auditing measures internally inside the Vatican.
He will work with a new council of 15 members, half of them appointed by the Catholic Church and half of them probably coming from the business world.
And this is one of the most powerful positions in the Vatican.
No Australian has ever reached this level at the Vatican before.
George Pell will be expected to leave Sydney within weeks.
This new position is a full-time position at the Vatican.
He will be one of the most powerful people at the Vatican, equivalent to the secretariry of state who deals with foreign governments.
It's not clear who will replace him yet in his position in Sydney.
It's possible that an administrator will be appointed in the short time while Pope Francis sis decides on his successor.
No doubt George Pell will be parts of the discussions and will probably have some say in who will replace him.
He said today that he was honoured to be appointed to the position and yet he was overwhelmed by the enormous task ahead of him.
He said yet it was important for the Catholic Church to put in place these procedures to carry out the important