Pope Francis has stepped up a revamp of the Vatican's finances after constraints imposed by the world health crisis.

Financial irregularities have affected the Catholic Church.

Francis has formally stripped the Vatican's most powerful office of its financial investment and real estate holdings after its mismanagement of millions of euros in donations, the Vatican News reported Tuesday.

He authorized the transfer of the management of these assets to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See from the Secretariat of State effective Jan. 1.

This decision is essentially what was sought by Australia Cardinal George Pell, the Pope's first economy official who argued with the secretariat over his financial revamp and moves to wrest authority of the office's off-the-record transactions.

The directive also calls for all donations to be held and managed by the Vatican's Office of the Treasury as separate funds accounted for in the Holy See's combined budget. The Pope has already mandated the transfers in August and followed up last month by forming a panel to implement the changes.

Among the most significant investments by the Secretariat included the acquisition of a London property that was procured in part with money donated by church members.

In October last year, Vatican prosecutors ordered an investigation of the offices of the Vatican's financial regulator as a result of the purchase. It led to the resignation of the Vatican's chief of security, the termination of several staff and officials and the arrest of an Italian banker.

According to the Vatican News, the transfer highlights a step toward a consolidated management of finances, increases oversight and underscores how Francis enforces reforms but accompanies them with guidelines.