Briefing on Holy See's Finances Given

Cardinal Sebastiani Reviews Situation

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 12, 2005 ( The cardinals were given a report on the Holy See’s final balance sheet for the fiscal year 2004.

The report was presented during today’s general congregation by Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, who until John Paul II’s death was president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, reported Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls.

The 74-year-old cardinal also reported on aspects of the Holy See’s current balance sheet for 2005, key parts of which have not been made public.

Last July, Cardinal Sebastiani presented to the press the Holy See’s definitive financial statement for the fiscal year 2003, which closed in the red for the third consecutive year.

The year’s loss was 29.1% less than the previous year, 9.56 million euros ($11.8 million at that time) compared with 13.5 million euros ($16.6 million) in 2002, as revealed in a statement of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Holy See’s Organizational and Economic Problems, which met today.

The note explains that the Holy See’s accounts for 2003 showed revenues of 203 million euros ($251 million at that time) and net expenses of 213 million euros ($263 million).

The Holy See does not generate its own income, with the exception of donations from dioceses, congregations, orders and the faithful worldwide.

A total of 2,674 people work in the Roman Curia, of whom 755 are ecclesiastics, 344 religious, and 1,575 lay people. There are some 1,000 retirees.

The Holy See’s accounts also include the expenses of the 118 apostolic nunciatures and pontifical representations worldwide, representatives in international organizations, and media expenses.

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.

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