Peter's Pence are donations or payments made directly to the Holy See of the Catholic Church.

Peter's Pence are donations or payments made directly to the Holy See of the Catholic Church. Photo: Vatican Media

The Ten Countries That Made the Most Financial Contributions to the Pope in 2023

Three countries of America, six countries of Europe and one of Asia were the ones that most supported the Pope financially.

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 30.06.2024).- Which countries made the greatest financial contributions to the Pope in 2023? This information is recorded in Peter’s Pence Annual Report.

What is Peter’s Pence?

Peter’s Pence are donations or payments made directly to the Holy See of the Catholic Church. They are used for the needs of the Church worldwide, beginning by the Roman Curia and Papal Representations, as well as initiatives of support for the neediest.

Total revenues for 2023 were 52 million euros against expenditures of 109.4 million euros; a shortfall of 57.4 million euros.

Breakdown of Revenue

Of the total of 52 million euros, 48.4 million were donations made in three ways:

1st The annual collection on the occasion of the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. This collection comes through Nunciatures worldwide, and in Italy’s case, through the Dioceses.

2nd Donations made directly to Peter’s Pence Website

3rd Inheritances through wills in which the deceased expressed his/her wish to bequeath all or part of his/her legacy to the Pope.

Of the 48.4 millions euros mentioned above, the donors were:

  1. The dioceses with 31.2 million  (64.4%)
  2. Private donors, with 2.1 million (4.4%)
  3. Foundations, with 13.9 million (28.8%)
  4. Religious Orders, with 1.2 million (2.4%)

Top Ten Countries

Taking into account dioceses and private donors, the top ten countries that donated to the Pope were:

1st The United States with 13.6 million (28.1%)

2nd Italy, with 3.1 million (6.4%)

3rd Brazil, with 1.9 million (3.9%)

4th Germany, with 1.3 million (2.7%)

6th France, with 1 million (2%)

7th Mexico, with 900 thousand euros (1.8%)

8th Ireland, with 900 thousand euros (1.8%)

9th The Czech Republic, with 800 thousand euros (1.7%)

10th  Spain, with 800 thousand euros (1.7%)

How Is the Money Spent?

During 2023, Peter’s Pence Fund received 103 million euros, 900 million of which were allocated to support the Holy See’s activities at the service of the Holy Father’s apostolic mission, and 13 million  euros to support projects of direct assistance to the neediest.

These contributions came from offerings received amounting to 48.4 million euros and financial income from remuneration of assets amounting to 3.6 million euros. The remaining 51 million euros were from assets of the Peter’s Pence Fund (patrimony).

Understood by “support of the Pope’s apostolic mission” is the Roman Curia and the Nunciatures (Embassies) in the countries with which the Holy See has diplomatic relations.

Understood by “direct assistance” is material assistance to individuals and families in difficulties, emigrants and refugees, populations hit by war and famine, and populations suffering from the consequences of natural disasters. The Pope’s aid is carried out through Dioceses and Religious Congregations.

What Projects Does the Pope Support?

In 2023 Peter’s Pence supported 236 projects in 76 countries amounting to 13 million euros. The allocation by Continent was as follows:

– Africa, 68 projects, 5.4 million (41.6%)

– Europe, 100 projects, 2.4 million (18.5%)

– America, 34 projects , 2.3 million (17.7%)

– Asia, 33 projects, 2.8 million (21.4%)

– Oceania, one project, 0.1 million (0.8%)

The Report specifies that among the projects supported in Europe were studies grants for priests, seminarians and men religious from Africa, Latin America and Asia (500 thousand euros), as well as funds allocated to finance pastoral and social initiatives in Ukraine.

An interesting section is the one referring to the cost that the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia entail, among which that of communication is the most expensive. The 68 Dicasteries, entities and bodies of the Holy See entailed an expense of 370.4 million euros in 2023. 90 million euros (24% of the total) of Peter’s Pence was allocated to subsidize part of this expense.

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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