Pandemic causes sharp drop in Holy See’s income

Pope Francis signed off on the 2021 budget last week (CNS/Paul Haring)

The effects of COVID-19 mean the Holy See is facing a $76.5 million budget shortfall this year, with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic leading to a steep drop in income. Source: The Tablet.

In a statement, the Secretariat for the Economy said the 2021 budget, signed off by Pope Francis on February 18, was projecting revenues of $A400.7 million and expenditure of $477.2 million.

Income, the Vatican explained, was down by 21 per cent ($73.8 million ) compared to 2019 due to a reduction in “commercial, services and real estate activities, as well as donations and contributions”. Costs had been reduced by 14 per cent ($36.9 million) and reserve funds will make up the shortfall.

“If the level of donations remains as expected, the deficit will be settled with part of the reserves of the Holy See,” according to the statement.

The latest figures do not appear to include all Vatican entities such as the City State’s Governorate – which manages the profit-making Vatican Museums – the Institute for the Works of Religion (the Vatican bank) and the pension fund.

But the 2021 budget does include, for the first time, Peter’s Pence and “all dedicated funds” in what the Vatican say is an attempt to provide “more visibility and transparency”.

The Holy See expects to see $46.6 million in income from Peter’s Pence and other funds. Without them, the Vatican added, the budget would be $123 million in the red for 2021.

FULL STORY

Holy See income drops due to pandemic (By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet)

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