In an unexpected move in the Holy See’s ongoing financial reform, the Vatican announced on Tuesday the resignation of Libero Milone, General Auditor of the Holy See, effective immediately.
The brief Vatican statement simply said that Libero Milone had offered his resignation, and that the Vatican had accepted it.
The lack of reason given for the resignation has some speculating that it is another part of the ongoing, internal conflicts of Vatican financial reform.
Milone’s resignation comes as a surprise because of the emphasis the Vatican placed on the importance of his position when it was created.
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has sought to reform the Vatican’s bank and finances.
Francis created the position of General Auditor for the Holy See in February 2014 in an effort to increase financial transparency.
Upon the appointment of Milone, Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, wrote in The Catholic Herald that having an independent auditor was a key part of the “separation of powers" necessary for reforming the Vatican’s finances.
The task of the general auditor was to audit the accounts of the dicasteries of the Vatican Curia and the other institutions dependent on the Holy See and the Vatican State.
During his time as General Auditor, Milone’s personal computer was hacked, and he also clashed with the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the treasury of the Vatican. Milone showed his commitment to maintaining the separation of powers of his office when he declined an offer in April to become part of the Board of Directors of the Italian public broadcasting service Rai, saying that he wanted to maintain his independence in the Vatican.
Before coming to the Vatican, Libero Milone had extensive experience in reviewing and advising in different companies and public and private firms throughout the world such as Deloitte, Fiat and Wind.
In the statement, the Holy See added that Milone’s resignation was “of mutual accord" and that they are seeking his replacement “as soon as possible." Milone had previously been expected to serve as General Auditor until 2021.