Vatican Ends Fiscal '04 in the Black

After 3 Years of Posting Deficits

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2005 ( The Holy See closed last fiscal year in the black, after three years of operating in the red, the Vatican press office announced.

In a communiqué released Friday, the press office reported that Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, will present the Vatican’s 2004 financial statement to the press on Monday.

On Friday the cardinal presented a consolidated financial report to the Commission of Cardinals for the study of the organizational and economic problems of the Holy See.

According to the communiqué, the Vatican’s income in 2004 was 205.6 million euros ($245.4 million), and expenses amounted to 202.5 million euros ($241.7 million), which implies a surplus of 3 million euros ($3.6 million).

The previous year, the revenue statement closed with losses amounting to 9.5 million euros ($11.8 million at last year’s exchange rate).

City state

This financial statement only took into account the Holy See’s dicasteries and organizations, whose staffs aide the Pope in his universal ministry.

«A total of 2,663 people work in the Curia, of whom 759 are ecclesiastics, 346 religious and 1,558 lay people; the retirees are 1,429,» reported the communiqué.

Cardinal Sebastiani also presented the 2004 revenue statement of Vatican City State, independent of those of the Holy See, which administers the Vatican territory. The small city has a supermarket, pharmacy and museums, as well as a police force and firefighters.

The fiscal year 2004 closed with an increase in retained earnings of 5.3 million euros ($6.4 million). In 2003 it closed with a deficit of 8.8 million euros ($10.9 million).

«Vatican City State’s dependents number 1,560, and its retirees 878,» the statement said.

Radio discussed

The Vatican press office also reported that the cardinals discussed the expenses linked to technology and media, in particular Vatican Radio, which comprises a significant percentage of the Holy See’s financial statement.

«These instruments carry out an important information service on the activity and teaching of the Holy Father and the universal Church, as well as pastoral formation,» said the communiqué, «especially for those countries that have limited means for evangelization, but which involve considerable financial resources and call for continuous technological innovations.»

The Vatican surplus is due primarily to the increase in the contributions to the Holy See from dioceses worldwide, as required by the Code of Canon Law.

In the fiscal year 2004, these contributions reached the sum of $27.2 million, an increase of 8.18% over the previous year, the press office said.

Benedict XVI made a brief visit to the council’s meeting to «have knowledge of the topics examined» and to stress «the importance of the material means to proclaim the Gospel and for the spiritual mission of the Church.»

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