Vatican releases 2019 financial statements as scandals persist
“The faithful have a right to know how we are using the resources, the money we are getting,” Juan Antonio Guerrero, SJ, Prefect of the Vatican Economic Secretariat, told Vatican News today when he spoke. presented the consolidated financial statements of the Curia for 2019.
“We are not the owners, we are the custodians of the goods that we have received,” said the Jesuit of Spanish origin, whom Pope Francis appointed as head of the secretariat in October 2019. He was charged with complete the reform of all Vatican finances. and ensure transparency and accountability. He took office in January.
According to the statement, the Roman Curia had a net income of € 307 million ($ 361 million), a total expenditure of € 318 million ($ 374 million) and equity of € 1.402 billion ( $ 1.65 billion). It therefore closed 2019 with a net deficit of 11.1 million euros ($ 13 million), significantly less than the previous year (2018), when it was 75.2 million euros (88 million euros). dollars).
This improvement in the situation is mainly explained by the capital gained on the sale of a building for 15 million euros (17.6 million dollars), gains on financial investments for 68.1 million euros (80 million) and an inflow of 30.9 million euros ($ 36.3 million) of assets and investment property.
Father Guerrero: “It is possible that in some cases the Holy See was not only badly advised but also deceived. I believe we learn from past mistakes or recklessness.
Comment on the deficit, Father Guerrero underlined that the Roman Curia is not like a corporation or a company seeking to make a profit: “Our mission will always tend to produce deficits, it will never generate enough funds. [for our needs]. “
Father Guerrero presented the consolidated financial statements on October 1 amid a financial scandal over the Vatican’s purchase of a London property that has now spread to other areas. This scandal has now led to the dismissal of Cardinal Angelo Becciu from his post as Prefect of the Congregation for Saints and the renunciation of his rights as cardinal.
“It is possible that in some cases the Holy See was not only badly advised but also deceived,” he said. “I believe we are learning from past mistakes or recklessness. It is now a question of accelerating, under the decisive and insistent impetus of the Pope, the process of knowledge, internal and external transparency, control and collaboration between the different departments.
Father Guerrero pointed out that today’s statement only presents the finances of the Roman Curia (which is made up of 60 entities), which represents 35% of the total Vatican consolidated financial statements. The other entities that make up the Vatican are: the Institute for Works of Religion (commonly known as the Vatican Bank), representing 17 percent; Vatican City State, which accounts for 15 percent; the Vatican Pension Fund and 33 other entities representing 24%; Peter’s Pence, 6 percent; and other funds dedicated to the Secretary of State which make 3 percent.
Father Guerrero pointed out that if all of the aforementioned Vatican entities were brought together, the Vatican’s total net worth would be around 4 billion euros ($ 4.7 billion), adding that if this was put in a consolidated Vatican financial statement, there would be no deficit in 2019.
Today’s financial statement came on the eve of the collection of Peter’s money which will be resumed in Catholic churches around the world on Sunday October 4, feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Father Guerrero told Vatican News that Peter’s pennies are only used for the mission of the Holy See and the charitable efforts of the Pope, that they amounted to 53 million euros last year and that they represented 32% of the mission’s expenses. It was not used for the payment of expenses of the Roman Curia for maintenance and services; from other resources, as explained below.
Today’s consolidated financial statements provide considerable detail on revenues and expenses. It shows that the 307 million euros ($ 361 million) of income for the Roman Curia came from three different sources. The first source was “self-generated revenues” from property management, financial income and business operations and services, which brought in a total of 208 million euros ($ 244 million). The second came from “external gifts”, which are “dedicated gifts” for specific purposes of the mission of the Church and “gifts from the dioceses” in accordance with canon law; the whole brought in 56 million euros ($ 66 million).
Today’s financial statement came on the eve of the collection of Peter’s money which will be resumed in Catholic churches around the world on Sunday October 4, feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
It should be mentioned that the dioceses that made the largest donations in 2019 were from Germany and Italy. The third source was the “contribution of related entities”, namely the Governorate of the State of Vatican City (mainly museum revenues), the Vatican Bank and the Fabrique de Saint-Pierre (an institution responsible for Saint Peter’s basilica), which grossed a total of 43 million euros ($ 50 million).
The financial statement explains in detail the 318 million euros ($ 374 million) expenditure of the Roman Curia in 2019. It shows that 67 million euros ($ 78 million) were spent by the Administration of the Heritage of the Holy See, the Vatican office. which manages the assets of the Holy See, such as its real estate.
The rest of the money is spent on what the secretariat statement calls “the apostolic mission” of the Roman Curia. In this context, 65 million euros (76 million dollars) were spent by the Secretariat of State, of which 43 million euros (50 million dollars) went at the expense of the 126 nunciatures (diplomatic missions or nunciatures of the Vatican) in countries around the world.
Commenting on the cost of diplomatic missions, Father Guerrero told Vatican News: “We do a lot with a little. The remaining 22 million euros ($ 25 million) spent by the Secretariat of States were for services and administrative costs.
A significant portion of the expenses of the Roman Curia (22%), 46 million euros ($ 54 million), went to the Dicastery of Communications in 2019. The dicastery has a staff of about 530 people who carry the messages of the Pope and the Holy See. around the world in 40 languages, through television, radio, social media, print and photography around the clock.
Another significant amount (11%) of expenditure, 22 million euros (25 million dollars), is devoted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to the vitally important work of supporting and assisting churches in mission countries around the world, especially in Africa. and Asia. An additional 16 million euros ($ 19 million), 8% of spending, went to Eastern Rite churches, primarily in the Middle East, many of which are in dire straits, their numbers steadily shrinking due to conflict or of persecution.
Ten million euros (5 percent of total expenditure) went to the Vatican Library, which includes money for the upkeep of perhaps the world’s largest heritage of ancient texts, writings and documents of the Church dating from the first centuries of the Church.
Seven million euros ($ 12 million), or 3 percent of the total expenditure, was spent by the Dicastery for the promotion of integral human development, as it sought to promote justice, peace and the protection of our common home all over the world. It dealt with issues relating to disarmament, human rights, human mobility, health care and concern for the poor and suffering.
Three million euros ($ 3.5 million), or one percent of the total expenditure, went to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which devotes about 70 percent of its time to disciplinary matters, particularly relating to to cases of abuse of minors by the clergy, which is an essential task at this time in history.
An additional 2 million euros ($ 2.3 million) supported the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.