Peter's Pence Collects $51.7 Million

7% Drop From Previous Year

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2005 ( Peter’s Pence collected $51.7 million in fiscal 2004, about 7.4% less than what was collected the previous year.

The amount was revealed Saturday in a communiqué of the Commission of Cardinals for the study of the organizational and economic problems of the Holy See. The commission met Friday.

The note stated that total decrease in contributions is a break in the trend of the last few years that showed a constant increase in contributions to the Pope’s charity.

In 2003, Peter’s Pence collected $55.8 million.

Peter’s Pence is collected in dioceses worldwide, especially on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. It also includes contributions from religious congregations and institutions, foundations and individuals.

The communiqué explained that «the Holy Father» has allocated this amount «to charitable endeavors oriented to the relief of suffering of populations hit by natural disasters; to support initiatives for orphans victims of armed conflicts or AIDS; to make the Church’s aid present in areas of particular tension; and to support centers of Christian formation worldwide and other activities.»

The origin of Peter’s Pence dates back to the eighth century, when the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity and, as a sign of union with the Bishop of Rome, decided to send him a regular contribution.

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