Two Firms Hired to Advise Vatican on Communications, Finance

The moves are part of Pope Francis’ plan to streamline and improve Vatican administration.

Broadcast van of the Vatican Television Center, the Holy See's television station.
Broadcast van of the Vatican Television Center, the Holy See's television station. (photo: Alan Holdren/CNA)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has hired two international consulting firms to modernize Holy See communications and to improve financial procedures throughout the Vatican’s agencies.

“An advisory role has been entrusted to McKinsey & Co. for the development — in close collaboration with the heads of the relevant offices — of an integrated plan to render the organization of means of communication within the Holy See more functional, effective and modern,” the Holy See Press Office announced Dec. 19.

The decision was made the previous day, on the initiative of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, after a bidding and selection process. The commission was established under Pope Francis to study and streamline Vatican administration.

“The consultancy project will aim to provide the commission with the information needed to make appropriate recommendations to the Holy Father,” the press office’s communiqué noted.

The Vatican has six different communications departments: the press office; a television station; a radio broadcaster; a newspaper; an Internet office; and a communications council, which exercises an academic and policy-making role.

McKinsey & Co. is a U.S.-based company that describes itself as a “management consulting firm,” the mission of which is “to help our clients make distinctive, lasting and substantial improvements in their performance.” The firm declined to comment to CNA about the partnership, citing its confidentiality policy.

The decision to hire the firm to improve the Holy See’s communications efforts follows quickly upon the launch of a revamped website for the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on Dec. 17.

In addition to its communications makeover, the Holy See announced it is hiring Dutch-based KPMG to “align the accounting procedures of all agencies of the Holy See with international standards.”

The hire of KPMG, a “global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services,” comes in the midst of ongoing financial reform at the Vatican and is the latest in a series of external hires.

Promontory Financial Group has been hired to review the accounts and procedures of the Institute for Religious Works, known as the “Vatican Bank,” and Ernst & Young is auditing the Vatican’s internal finances.