VATICAN CITY, JULY 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Dioceses in Germany, the United States and Italy contributed the most in 2007 to cover the Holy See’s expenses.
The Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Questions of the Apostolic See reported this today after meeting last Thursday and Friday in the Vatican.
Dioceses contributed a total of $29,552,843 (some €18.7 million) to the Holy See in 2007. These three countries contributed large percentages of this total.
Germany contributed the most at 31.57%, followed by the United States at 28.31%. Italy contributed 18.9%. Austria, Canada and Spain contributed more than 3% each, and Korea contributed 2.31%
After the Second Vatican Council, the Holy See amplified its organizational structures with a consequent rise in expenses. This was reflected in 23 years in the red.
To overcome the crisis, in 1991 Pope John Paul II called a meeting of all the presidents of episcopal conferences worldwide. That year, the Holy See was faced with the highest deficit in recent years: $86 million.
At the meeting, the bishops were encouraged to live Canon 1271, which requests that bishops contribute to enabling the Holy See to carry out its mission to the universal Church.
The response brought the Holy See to enjoy years of surplus or controlled deficit.
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.