The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (Italian: Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica, abbreviated APSA) is the office of the Roman Curia that deals with the "provisions owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function". It was established by Pope Paul VI on 15 August 1967. The Ordinary Section, one of APSA's formerly two sections, was transferred to the Secretariat for the Economy by Pope Francis on 8 July 2014. In its reduced form, APSA acts as the Treasury and central bank of Vatican City and the Holy See.
Both before and after the reorganization of its functions in 2014, APSA has been distinct from the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
The assets entrusted to the administration (previously in the care of what was its Extraordinary Section) were initially 750 million Italian lire (at that time equivalent to 8,152,000 pounds sterling) in cash and 1000 million Italian lire (at that time equivalent to 10,869,000 pounds sterling) in Italian State bonds, an amount less than Italy would have paid under the Law of Guarantees of 1871, if the Holy See had accepted this. A 2012 report from the Council of Europe identified the value of a section of the Vatican's property assets as an amount in excess of EUR680m (£570m); as of January 2013, a papal official in Rome named Paolo Mennini manages this portion of the Holy See's assets--consisting of British investments, other European holdings and a currency trading arm. The Guardian described Mennini as "in effect the pope's merchant banker [who] heads a special unit inside the Vatican called the extraordinary division of APSA - Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica - which handles the so-called 'patrimony of the Holy See'."
APSA was composed originally of two sections:
On 9 July 2014, the Ordinary Section of APSA was transferred to the Secretariat for the Economy. Cardinal George Pell, head of that Secretariat, said this was an important step to enable his Secretariat to exercise its responsibilities of economic control and vigilance over the agencies of the Holy See, including policies and procedures concerning purchasing and the allocation of human resources. Pell also announced that the remaining staff of APSA would begin to focus exclusively on APSA's role as a Treasury for the Holy See and the Vatican City State. Only the Extraordinary Section remained within the purview of APSA.
On 10 June 2019, Gustavo Zanchetta, the Administration's Councilor, was criminally charged with sexually abusing two seminarians when he served as Bishop of Orán. Zanchetta, who was one of Pope Francis's first appointments in his home country, was first accused of "strange behaviour" in 2015 when pornographic pictures, including naked selfies, were found on his phone. In August 2017, Pope Francis allowed Zanchetta to resign as Bishop of Orán, citing "health reasons," but then appointed him to serve as Assessor, or Councilor, to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. Despite this appointment, Zanchetta remained in Argentina when he was charged. He is barred from leaving the country, must undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and faces between three and ten years in prison if convicted. On January 4, 2019, the Vatican announced that Zanchetta was suspended from his position as Councillor.
On August 28, 2019, it was announced that Zanchetta's travel ban was both lifted and that he returned to Rome, though he still remains suspended as Councilor. On November 7, 2019, following revelations of financial fraud and mismanagement during his time as Bishop of Oran, it was reported that Zanchetta was still suspended by the Vatican. On November 27, 2019, Zanchetta returned voluntarily to Argentina and appeared in court earlier than the scheduled November 28 deadline. A judge once again allowed Zanchetta to return to the Vatican, but also required him to maintain residence at the Santa Marta Hotel.