World

Pope wants closer look at Vatican's bank and financial reform, puts top assistant on the job

Pope Francis grabs a shirt thrown to him by faithful as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. A chilly Pope Francis has cheered the thousands of pilgrims who braved a cold snap belting Italy to attend his weekly general audience, saying they were courageous to come out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis grabs a shirt thrown to him by faithful as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. A chilly Pope Francis has cheered the thousands of pilgrims who braved a cold snap belting Italy to attend his weekly general audience, saying they were courageous to come out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis is trying to get a better handle on the reform of the troubled Vatican bank and the Holy See's finances, naming his top assistant to look into the work of two commissions of inquiry he set up this year.

Francis on Thursday named his personal secretary, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, to be his delegate to the two committees. A Vatican statement said Xuereb was tasked with "keeping his eye on the committees and keeping him informed ... on their working procedures and possible initiatives."

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the aim was purely to smooth communication between the pope and the commissions as they wrap up their work ahead of an upcoming meeting between the pope and his eight cardinal advisers.