3 New Cardinals Join Vatican Economic Council

Including Archbishop Ambrozic of Toronto

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 16, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appointed three new members to the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Questions of the Apostolic See.

The three cardinals are archbishops Aloysius Ambrozic of Toronto, Antonio María Rouco of Madrid, and Claudio Hummes of Sao Paulo. They now form part of the council composed of 15 cardinals, the Vatican press office reported today.

As established by the Pope, the council consists of cardinals who head particular Churches from various parts of the world and are appointed by the Holy Father for a five-year term of office.

The council is convened by the Vatican secretary of state, usually twice a year, to consider economic and organizational questions which relate to the administration of the Holy See, “with the assistance, as needed, of experts in these affairs,” says the council’s constitution. The last public meeting of the council took place July 6.

The council reported in a statement that the Holy See closed its accounts for 2003 in the red for the third consecutive year, with a deficit of 9,569,456 euros ($11,831,680).

The year’s loss was 29.1% less than the previous year, 9.56 million euros ($11.8 million) compared with 13.5 million euros ($16.6 million) in 2002, reported the council, which met on Tuesday.

The financial accounts of Vatican City State, independent of those of the Holy See, and which include the services proper to this city (from the museums to the pharmacy and police corps), also closed in the red. They posted a deficit of 8.8 million euros ($10.9 million), compared with the previous-year loss of 16 million euros ($19.8 million).

These losses were occasioned by the restoration of Vatican buildings and works of art, and the contribution of 10.4 million euros ($12.9 million) that the government of Vatican City State gave to Vatican Radio to cover its debt, the council’s statement explains. Vatican City State has 1,534 employees.

Among the participants were Cardinals Joachim Meisner, Bernard Law, Roger Mahony, Camillo Ruini, Jean-Claude Turcotte, Ivan Dias, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Edward Egan.

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