The Papal States was a longstanding nation ruled by the Pope, the Head of the Roman Catholic Church. Its accountants included priests and laymen who were employed as bureaucrats. Despite an expectation that the finances would be carefully managed, this research from the mid-nineteenth century shows that incompetence and fraud dogged the Papal States’ latter years, contributing to it losing most of its territory in the Second War of Italian Independence from 1859, and its final demise in 1870. This prosopography of three men who held high bureaucratic positions, analyses their approach to accounting in the Papal States. It shows that waste and deficient accounting arose from individuals undertaking fraud and from organisational (and individual) incompetence. In doing so, it elucidates how the Papal States could be a ‘vehicle for fraud’, and in particular, how it was used as a shield to enable both fraud and incompetence to go unpunished.

Fraud and incompetence: Accounting in the Papal States (1831-1859)

Valerio Antonelli;Stefano Coronella;Roberto Verona
2021-01-01

Abstract

The Papal States was a longstanding nation ruled by the Pope, the Head of the Roman Catholic Church. Its accountants included priests and laymen who were employed as bureaucrats. Despite an expectation that the finances would be carefully managed, this research from the mid-nineteenth century shows that incompetence and fraud dogged the Papal States’ latter years, contributing to it losing most of its territory in the Second War of Italian Independence from 1859, and its final demise in 1870. This prosopography of three men who held high bureaucratic positions, analyses their approach to accounting in the Papal States. It shows that waste and deficient accounting arose from individuals undertaking fraud and from organisational (and individual) incompetence. In doing so, it elucidates how the Papal States could be a ‘vehicle for fraud’, and in particular, how it was used as a shield to enable both fraud and incompetence to go unpunished.
2021
Antonelli, Valerio; Coronella, Stefano; Cordery, Carolyn; Verona, Roberto
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Fraud and incompetence AH nov 2021.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione finale editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 3.57 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.57 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1168026
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact