(ZENIT News / Rome, 07.13.2023).- Every year, on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Patrons of the diocese of Rome — of which the Pope is Bishop –, the Church asks for Saint Peter’s Pence.
It’s financial aid that all Catholics worldwide are asked to give personally to the Pontiff, so that he is able to help the universal Church where he sees fit. The money is allocated especially to charitable works for the neediest and to cover expenses related to the work of the Holy See.
In June of this year, Saint Peter’s Pence revealed its income accounts corresponding to 2022. The income increased to 107 million euros. That same year the expenses amounted to 95.5 million euros, leaving a remaining balance of some 11.5 million euros.
During 2022 Peter’s Pence collected 43.5 million euros from four donation sources that are explained below. The other 63.5 million euros came from financial returns.
According to Report, which ZENIT was able to access, Peter’s Pence funds include 1) alms collected from all dioceses worldwide on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; 2) donations received directly online through credit cards, bankers’ drafts or postal orders or inheritances in favour of the Pope.
Peter’s Pence classifies as follows the income from donations: 1) diocese; 2) private individuals; 3) Religious Orders and 4) Foundations.
The 2022 Report reflects that, of the total income received from donations, the percentages by classification are as follows:
1) Dioceses: 63% (27.4 million euros)
2) Foundations: 29% (12.6 million euros)
3) Private individuals: 5.5% (2.4 million euros)
4) Religious Orders: 2.5% (1.1 million euros)
This amounts to a total of 43.5 million euros
Which are the countries that give most to the Pope?
According to Peter’s Pence data, the countries that up to 2022 donated most to the Pope were:
1st United States of America: 25.3% (11 million euros)
2nd South Korea: 8% (3.5 million euros)
3rd Italy: 6.7% (2.9 million euros)
4th Brazil: 3.4% (1.5 million euros)
5th Germany: 3% (1.3 million euros)
6th France: 2.8% (1.2 million euros)
7th Ireland: 2.1% (1.2 million euros)
8th Spain: 1.8% (800,000 euros)
9th Mexico: 1.4% (600,000 euros)
10th Slovakia: 11.1% (500,000 euros)
The total of Catholics’ donations of these ten countries implies 68.5% of all donations, namely, 29.8% of the total.
Other income (for example, assets management) and on what the money is spent
There is a concept called “other income” and from there the Pope also receives donations for charitable works. In fact, it’s considerable income. It comes, in part, from the administration of properties that the Holy See has, such as its patrimony.
Peter’s Pence collection is allocated to two main areas of the Holy Father’s universal mission: to finance 1) the numerous activities of services carried out by Holy See’s Dicasteries, Entities and Organization that assist him daily, and 2) charity and solidarity initiatives in favour of the neediest.
During 2022, 93.8 million euros were spent from the Peter’s Pence Fund, of which 43.5 million came from donations received that year, whereas the rest (50.3 million euros) came from income from assets management.
Following, in detail, are the contributions disbursed:
- 77.6 million euros were spent to support the activity carried out by the Holy See in the Pope’s name
- 16.2 million euros were allocated to aid projects for the neediest
The Report, which ZENIT was able to access, shows in greater detailed how the 16.2 million was spent:
- Social projects in Ukraine (support of the people affected by the war), Chad (aid to the population affected by floods). Egypt (support for a young people’s program), Peru (building of the Saint Josephs’ Medical Center, Haiti (building of maternity and paediatric clinics, India (health and food aid due to COVID-19) and Vietnam (building of schools);
- Evangelization projects in Malawi (formation of women religious), Venezuela (institution of the Monsignor Constantino Maradei Preparatory Seminary, Guinea (construction of the Missionary Center of the diocese of Kankan), Togo (support for the formation of the Liturgical Council) and Tanzania (women’s formation in Saint John the Baptist parish, in the Archdiocese of Mbeya);
- Preservation of the evangelizing presence of the Church in Brazil (construction of two Chapels for native communities in the Alto diocese), Bangladesh (construction of the Cathedral of Sylhet), Pakistan (aid to finish the parish church in L. Okara), Congo (restructuring of the Queen of Peace and Saint Mary Mediator church) and Angola (construction of Saint Michael’s parish church in Nacova);
Finally, Peter’s Pence offerings are allocated to support the Holy Father’s Apostolic Mission, which is extended throughout the world: from the preaching of the Gospel to the promotion of integral human development; from the formation of priests to education at all levels; from diplomatic activity in support of peace to the constant call to fraternity among peoples, from the broadcasting of the Voice of the Pope worldwide to the needs of worship and the internal organization of the life of the Church. To give backing to all these tasks and commitments the daily activity of service exists of the Holy See’s Dicasteries, Institutions and Organizations in support of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Mission, which to a large extent is possible thanks to Peter’s Pence donations.
In fact, with the sole representative purpose, the different Dicasteries, Institutions and Organization of the Holy See are divided into three groups:
- Institutions that offer services and administration,
- Institutions that manage the patrimony and
- Institutions that support the Holy Father’s Apostolic Mission.
In 2022, the total expenses of the 70 Dicasteries, Institutions and Organizations of the support group of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Mission rose to 383.9 million euros, of which 77.6 million euros (20%) were covered by Peter’s Pence.