NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Since being elected pope in March 2013, Pope Francis has proven that he is a different kind of pontiff -- even in terms of investing.
He has made major changes at the Catholic church, most recently overhauling policies on abortion and marriage annulment, and has taken big positions on issues like climate change and refugee migration. He established a commission to reform the economic and administrative departments of the Holy See -- the universal government of the Catholic Church -- and established a Secretariat for the Economy to advise him on economic policy.
His biggest maneuver on the financial front has been to revamp the Vatican Bank, bringing in new leadership, increasing transparency and limiting access to the bank to diocese and other Catholic organizations in an effort to eliminate money laundering.
His efforts have been successful. The institution, which oversees more than $6 billion of assets, said its net profit climbed to €69.3 million (about $76 million) in 2014 from €2.9 million ($3.2 million) in 2013.
"People have accused him of being anti-'capitalism,' whatever that means, but he didn't say banks are bad and close it down. He simply pushed to reform it, so that it would operate ethically. I think that is symbolic of what he would hope for more generally from the finance world," said Joseph Kaboski, a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame.