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Vatican budget shows surplus for 2012, reversing record deficit of 2011

CWN - July 04, 2013

The Vatican’s budget showed a small surplus for 2012, recovering from steep losses the previous year despite a decline in donations.

Financial statements for the Holy See and the Vatican city-state were presented to the council of cardinals who oversee Vatican financial affairs during meetings on July 2 and 3. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State, chaired the meetings. Pope Francis joined the cardinals for a session on July 3, underlining the importance that he attaches to placing Vatican finances on a solid footing.

In 2012, the Holy See showed a budget surplus of €2,185,622 ($2.8 million): an enormous improvement from the previous year, when the budget showed a record deficit of nearly €15 million. A Vatican statement attributed the improvement “mainly to good performance in financial management.”

The main expenses for the Holy See were personnel costs, with communications efforts a distant second. The budget for the Holy See, which covers the offices of the Roman Curia, includes few significant sources of revenue.

The Vatican city-state, which operates on its own separate budget, showed a larger surplus: €23 million ($27 million), up from a bit under €22 million in 2011. The city-state profits from revenues of the Vatican Museums, post office, and other attractions.

Despite the welcome budget figures, the Vatican reported a drop in donations to the Peter’s Pence collection, taken up worldwide for the support of the Holy See. The Peter’s Pence receipts (which are tracked in US dollar figures) went from $69,711,722 in 2011 to $65,922,637 in 2012—a decline of nearly 12%. Other contribution declined as well.

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), supplied €50 million to the Holy See this year. The IOR makes a substantial contribution to the Vatican budget every year.

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