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Vatican employees receive bonus pay as new pontificate begins May 02, 2005

All Vatican employees have received a bonus of 500 euros-- about $643-- to celebrate the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

It is customary for Vatican employees to receive a bonus at the beginning and end of each pontificate. In mid-April, each employee received 1,000 euros, as a sort of parting gift from the deceased Pope John Paul II. Thus, with the new bonus, each employee has received over $1,900 within the past two weeks.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the new bonus, confirming the Vatican tradition. Pope John Paul II had chosen not to issue the special bonus, since at the time of his election in October 1978, only a few weeks had passed since the issuance of a bonus by the incoming Pope John Paul I.

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