Times Colonist

Vatican projects nearly 50M-euro deficit


ROME — The Vatican syas it expects a deficit of nearly 50 million euros ($60.7 million US) this year because of pandemicre­lated losses, a figure that grows to 80 million euros ($97 million US) when donations from the faithful are excluded.

The Vatican released a summary of its 2021 budget that was approved by Pope Francis and the Holy See’s Council for the Economy, a commission of outside experts who oversee the Vatican’s finances.

The publicatio­n was believed to be the first time the Vatican has released its projected consolidat­ed budget, part of Francis’ drive to make the Vatican’s finances more transparen­t and accountabl­e.

The Vatican has run a deficit for the past several years, narrowing it to 11 million euros in 2019 from a hole of 75 million euros in 2018. The Vatican said it anticipate­d the deficit would grow to 49.7 million euros in 2021 but that it expected to make up the shortfall with reserves.

Francis particular­ly wanted to release informatio­n about the Peter’s Pence collection­s from the faithful, which are billed as a concrete way to help the pope in his ministry and works of charity but are also used to run the Holy See bureaucrac­y.

The funds have come under scrutiny amid a financial scandal about how those donations were invested by the Vatican’s secretaria­t of state.

Vatican prosecutor­s investigat­ing the office’s 350 million euro investment in a London real estate venture have said some of the money came from Peter’s Pence donations. Other Vatican officials dispute the claim, but it nonetheles­s became a cause for scandal.

According to a release from the Council for the Economy, the Vatican received income of some 47.3 million euros from the Peter’s Pence collection­s and other dedicated funds, and made 17 million euros in grants, leaving a net of some 30 million euros.

The amount of Peter’s Pence collection­s are way down from a decade ago. In 2009 the collection hit $82.52 million, while the collection totalled $75.8 million in 2008 and $79.8 million in 2007. Sexual abuse and financial scandals in the church are believed to be at least in partly responsibl­e for the decline.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada