In an unannounced briefing in the Vatican Press Office this afternoon, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, spoke to journalists about the results of the Vatican’s 2013 financial statements, and distributed an explanatory communiqué.
The spokesman reiterated that during the meeting of the Council of the Economy Saturday July 5, the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as is customary at this time of year, presented a report of the two main budgets for 2013: the consolidated financial statement of the Holy See and the financial statement of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
“The results of the two financial statements, taken as a whole, is a surplus of about 10 million euros,” Father Lombardi said.
Turning to the bottom line, he explained the consolidated financial statement for the Holy See for the year 2013 closes with a deficit of 24,470,549 euros, “due principally to negative fluctuations deriving from the valuation of gold, to the value of around 14 million euros.”
To comply with accounting principles based on the criterion of prudence contained in the “Regulations for the Preparation of the Financial Statements of the Holy See,” evaluative elements, and therefore not actualized, were recorded among the negative components in the overview of financial management.
Related to expenditures, he stated the most significant spending category was personnel costs. For 2,886 persons at year end, a net sum of around 125 million euros was spent.
Turning to taxes, he said something “noteworthy” was the Holy See’s payment of more than 15 million euros in taxes, chiefly real estate.
The communiqué reiterated that 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.”
It added: “The 2013 budget closes with a profit of 33,040,583 euros, an increase of around 10 million euros compared to last year. As of 31 December 2013, the Governorate employed a total of 1,936 persons.”
Fr. Lombardi noted that the 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 to the universal Church – were “substantially stable.” They passed from 22,347,426 euros in 2012 to 22,435,359 euros in 2013.
The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), as it does each year, offered the Holy Father a significant sum in support of his apostolic and charitable ministry, he reminded the press present. For 2013, Fr. Lombardi noted this sum was 50 million euros.
“Considering the overall combined results of the two financial statements, as is usual, 2013 closes with a profit of around 10 million euros,” the data shows.
After hearing the results, the Council for the Economy made the following declaration: “The Council has been informed by the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the budgets relating to 2013, and has taken note of the declaration by the External Auditor, according to whom ‘in all the most important aspects, the financial position of Vatican City State as of 31 December 2013 and the results of transactions relating to the year 2013 comply with the current accounting principles of the regulations of Vatican City State.”
On this basis, it continued, “the Council has approved the 2013 Budget and invites the Secretariat for the Economy to work towards further alignment of Vatican accounting principles with international standards.”
Father Lombardi also pointed out the communiqué’s note on the IOR contribution of 54 million euros and where it was “destined.”
The note reads: “Since the Annual Report of the IOR published this morning makes reference to a contribution of 54 million euros, it is to be noted that, like last year, 50 million euros were destined for the Holy See budget, and the other 4 million euros for other works (in 2012 these included, for example, donations to the Fund for the support of cloistered monasteries, the Amazon Fund, the Fund to support the Churches of the former Soviet Union).”