Falling Dollar Puts Holy See in the Red

Shows Deficit for 1st Time in 4 Years

By Jesús Colina

VATICAN CITY, JULY 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- For the first time since 2003, the Holy See finished in the red in 2007, marking a deficit of more that $14 million (€9 million).

The Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Questions of the Apostolic See reported the result today after meeting last Thursday and Friday in the Vatican.

However, Vatican City State, separate from the Holy See, closed 2007 with a net gain of about $10.5 million (€6.7 million).

The net from 2004-2006 for the Holy See was a combined $15 million in the black.

The balance was presented by Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, named last April as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

The Holy See’s only direct input is donations from dioceses, religious congregations and the faithful. Its services only entail expenses.

The Roman Curia employs a total of 2,748 people (44 more than in 2006), of which 778 are ecclesiastics, 333 religious and 1,212 laymen and 425 laywomen. There are 929 retirees.

The Holy See’s budget includes the expenses of apostolic nunciatures and pontifical representatives in countries and international organizations, as well as the cost of their means of communication.

Given that one of the most important losses reflected in the Holy See’s balance sheet is Vatican Radio’s deficit, “the Governorate of Vatican City has committed itself to help with the costs, contributing to cover half of the deficit (€12.2 million),” the statement reported.

Losses were also incurred in the publication of L’Osservatore Romano. However, other means of communication are beginning to show profit.

Positive results were reported for the Vatican Printing Press, which closed the balance sheet with a surplus of €1 million; the Vatican Television Center, with a surplus of €458,754; and the Vatican Publishing House, with earnings amounting to a total of €1.6 million.

According to the note, one of the main reasons for the Holy See’s deficit last year is due to the fall in the value of the U.S. dollar. The majority of the Holy See’s expenses are in euro, while the majority of the input is in dollars.

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