Vatican Statement on Finances

Notes Deficit of Almost 15M Euro

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is a statement the Vatican released today about its annual financial report.

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The Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See met in the Vatican on Tuesday 3 July and Wednesday 4 July, under the presidency of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

The meeting was attended by Cardinals Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany; Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain; Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-el-Salaam, Tanzania; Francis Eugene George O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, USA; Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, Mexico; Wilfrid Fox Napier O.F.M., archbishop of Durban, South Africa; Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru; Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy; Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India; George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Hoiness for the diocese of Rome, John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China; Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela; Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France, and Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See was represented by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Stefano Fralleoni, respectively president, secretary and accountant general, and by Maurizio Prato who, also in name of the other four international auditors who offer their services to that dicastery free of charge, highlighted certain aspects concerning the economic and financial system of the Holy See.

The Governorate of Vatican City State and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See were represented as follows: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, respectively president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State; and Cardinal Domenico Calcagno and Msgr. Luigi Misto, respectively president and secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

At the invitation of the Cardinal Secretary of State, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director general of Vatican Radio, and Alberto Gasbarri administrative director of Vatican Radio, participated on matters touching their sphere of competence.

Following an introduction by Cardinal Versaldi, the accountant general first read out the consolidated financial statements of the Holy See for 2011, then those of the Governorate of Vatican City State. On both occasions, his contribution was followed by further reflections and observations by Msgr. Vallejo Balda.

The consolidated financial statements of the Holy See for 2011 closed with a deficit of 14,890,034. The most significant items of expenditure were those relative to personnel (who as of 31 December 2011 numbered 2,832) and to the communications media considered as a whole. The result was affected by the negative trend of global financial markets, which made it impossible to achieve the goals laid down in the budget.

The administration of the Governorate is autonomous, and independent of contributions from the Holy See. Through its various offices, it supervises requirements related to the administration of the State. The consolidated financial statements for 2011 closed with a surplus of 21,843,851. As of 31 December 2011, the Governorate employed a staff of 1,887. A particularly significant contribution to the result came from the Vatican Museums, which produced a revenue that passed from  82,400,000 in 2010 to  91,300.000, for a total of more than five million visitors., According to specialised rankings, these figures place the Vatican Museums among the most prestigious and important such institutions in the world.

Peter's Pence - i.e.,donations made by the faithful to support the Holy Father's charity - rose from USD 67,704,416.41 in 2010 to USD 69,711,722.76. Contributions made pursuant to canon 1271 of the Code of Canon Law - i.e., the economic support offered by ecclesiastical circumscriptions throughout the world to maintain the service the Roman Curia offers the universal Church - rose from USD 27,362,258.40 in 2010 to USD 32,128,675.91. Further contributions to the Holy See made by institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life and foundations rose from USD 747,596.09 in 2010 to USD 1,194,217.78. Thus the overall increase with respect to 2010 was of 7.54 per cent.

As it does every year, the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) offered the Holy Father a significant sum to support his apostolic and charitable ministry. The amount involved for the financial year 2011 was 49,000,000.

The cardinals present made numerous comments in which they made clear their appreciation at the completeness and transparency of the information they had been given. Recognition was expressed for the commitment to the ongoing improvement of the administration of the goods and resources of the Holy See, and a call was made for prudence and limiting costs, though while maintaining jobs. Unanimous pleasure was declared at the generous support of the faithful and of ecclesiastical institutions, even more praiseworthy given the persistent economic crisis. The members of the Council also expressed their profound gratitude at the support the faithful give, often anonymously, to the universal ministry of the Holy Father, and exhorted them to continue this good work.

Finally, under the terms of article 25 (2) of the Apostolic Constitution

Pastor bonus, Paolo Cipriani, director of the IOR, presented the economic position of the institution he directs. This was followed by a debate during which the members of the Council were provided with the necessary clarifications.