VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican reported today that it closed 2011 with a deficit of €14,890,034.
The Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See met in the Vatican on Tuesday and Wednesday, under the presidency of Benedict XVI's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, presented the consolidated financial statements of the Holy See for 2011, then those of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
The consolidated financial statements of the Holy See for 2011 closed with a deficit of EUR 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 EUR 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 EUR 82,400,000 in 2010 to EUR 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 of 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 EUR 49,000,000.
During the meeting, according to a communique made public today, "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, outlined 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".