Financial Statement for 2008
Consolidated Budget of the Holy See, the Governorate of Vatican City State and Peter's Pence
The 43rd meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See was held in the Vatican on Wednesday, 1, Thursday 2 and Friday 3 July, chaired by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, Secretary of State.
Taking part were Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, Germany; Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, Spain; Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, Italy; Cardinal Wildrid Fox Napier, OFM, Archbishop of Durban, South Africa; Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop of Lagos, Nigeria; Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima, Peru; Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, PSS, Archbishop of Quebec, Canada; Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, Archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela; Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, the Philippines; Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul, Korea; Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Archbishop of São Paulo, Brazil, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome.
The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See was represented by Bishop Velasio De Paolis, CS, President, Bishop Vincenzo Di Mauro, Secretary and by Mr Stefano Fralleoni, General Accountant. The five International Revisers were also present on the first day.
The Governorate of Vatican City State and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) were represented by Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Cardinal's Commission for Vatican City State, and Cardinal Attilio Nicora and Archbishop-Bishop Domenico Calcagno, respectively President and Secretary of APSA.
Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, and Mr Alberto Gasbarri, Administrative Director, invited to speak by Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State, addressed those present.
The following items were on the agenda:
— Consolidated Budget of the Holy See for the financial year 2008;
— Consolidated Budget of the Governorate of Vatican City State for 2008;
— Peter's Pence and contributions on the basis of can. 1271 of the Code of Canon Law, received in 2008.
The meeting opened with the presentation of the International Auditors, who shared their appraisals regarding the statements and the organizational structures of the competent Offices. This was followed by extensive discussion.
His Excellency Mons. Velasio De Paolis presented the Holy See's Consolidated Financial Statement for 2008, which showed a total revenue of €253,953,869 and expenses of €254,865,383, with a net deficit of €911,514.
It should be noted that, in conformity with the provisions adopted by way of exception by the International Accounting institutes and monetary authorities of diverse countries, criteria of evaluation are applied that are intended to prevent the computation of potential capital losses due to the acute phases of global economic crisis in the financial sector, and the relative consequences in the final net results.
The expenses can be attributed for the most part to the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the Dicasteries and Organisms of the Holy See, which, with their specific activities and competences, participate in the Supreme Pontiff's pastoral care for the universal Church. In this context, ample space was given to media, with particular attention to Vatican Radio.
The above-mentioned Organizations employ 2,732 people, of whom 761 are priests, 334 religious (246 men and 88 women) and 1,637 lay people (1,199 men and 438 women).
Bishop de Paolis, the President of the Prefecture, then presented the 2008 Consolidated Budget for the Governorate which, as is known, provides for the management of the territory, the institutions and the structures, as well as for the exercise of activities in support of the Holy See. Like other States, the Vatican has also been affected by the global financial crisis, ending the financial year with a deficit of €15,313,124. It is to be noted in addition that the activity of the Governorate is independent of any contribution from the Holy See or from other institutions, either ecclesiastical or civil.
In Vatican City State, there are 1,894 employees, of which 31 are men religious, 28 women religious, 1,558 lay men and 277 lay women.
In the period in question, the Governorate in conjunction with the Holy See embarked on the study of an integrated communications infrastructure, which is comprised of the internet and telephone services. Moreover, the panels of the Vatican's first solar energy plant were installed on the roof of the Paul VI Audience Hall. In continuity with its commitment in the previous year, the Governorate saw to the protection and appraisal of the artistic patrimony, and particularly that of the Vatican Museums, augmenting the areas open to the public as well as extending the visiting hours.
The economic and financial burden sustained for the protection, appraisal and restoration of the artistic patrimony of the Holy See (such as the restoration of the Pauline Chapel and work on the Papal Basilicas of St Paul Outside-the-Walls and St Mary Major) was considerable.
The costs of security within Vatican City State and of the extensive work involved in restructuring the Apostolic Library were likewise high.
The President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See also spoke on the situation of the pension fund, to which on 31 December 2008 there were 4,601 subscribers registered.
The budgets, as usual, have been audited and certified.
A presentation of Peter's Pence Collection followed, consisting of the sum total of donations sent to the Holy Father by local Churches — above all on the occasion of the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul — by the Institutions of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, by Foundations and members of the faithful.
In 2008 Peter's Pence amounted overall to US$ 75,785,574. In comparison with the previous year, in spite of an increase in donations from dioceses, religious and foundations, there was a slight decrease in the total amount contributed, also due to the general financial situation.
The largest donations in 2008 came from Catholics in the United States, Italy and Germany; also significant, in relation to the number of Catholics, were the contributions from Korea and Japan.
In support of the central structure of the Church, through their bond of unity and charity, the Bishops contributed in accordance with the possibilities of their respective dioceses, in accord with can. 1271, the sum of €20,980,140. The largest contribution was given by the dioceses of Germany, followed by those of the United States.
As is well known, these contributions are to be clearly distinguished from those established by bilateral accords — such as for example the L'Otto per mille (Eight for every thousand) in Italy —which are allocated instead to local Churches.
During the course of the meeting the Holy Father paid a visit to the participants and listened, with particular interest, to their observations. After having made several comments of a pastoral nature, he thanked everyone for their collaboration.
At the end of the meeting, the Members of the Council expressed their gratitude to those who, in a generous and often anonymous way, support the apostolic and pastoral ministry of the Holy Father at the service of the universal Church.
Weekly Edition in English
15 July 2009, page 10
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