Without mentioning questions about possible financial irregularities, Pope Francis has placed the Sistine Chapel Choir under the direct supervision of the office of papal liturgical ceremonies and appointed an archbishop as financial officer.
The decisions announced by the Vatican on 19th January focus on the choir’s history as a showcase of “artistic and liturgical expression at the service of the popes, initially inside the splendid chapel from which it draws its name.”
Because music is “a true liturgical ministry,” the pope said, it makes sense to place responsibility for the choir under the master of papal liturgical ceremonies, currently Mgr Guido Marini. The choir had been under the Prefecture of the Papal Household, although with great autonomy.
Pope Francis also named Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the former Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’, to be the choir’s financial superintendent.
The Vatican press office had confirmed in September that Pope Francis had “authorised an investigation into the economic-administrative aspects of the (Sistine Chapel) Choir,” particularly regarding the use of income from concerts.
Dating back to 1471, the Sistine Chapel Choir is one of the oldest choirs in the world and is made up of 20 men and 30 boys.
Picture: Boys in the Sistine Chapel choir are seen as Pope Francis leads a penitential liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 28th March 2014. The pope has placed the Sistine Chapel Choir under the direct supervision of the office of papal liturgical ceremonies and appointed an archbishop as financial officer. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).