Vatican official denies risk of default
October 22, 2019
Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), has rejected reports that the Vatican is at risk of financial default because of plummeting contributions.
“There is no threat of collapse or default here,” said Bishop Galantino, whose agency handles the Vatican’s investments, in an interview with Avvenire, the newspaper published by the Italian bishops’ conference.
The possibility of a Vatican default was raised by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, in a new book based on leaked documents. In Universal Judgment, released in Italy on October 21. Nuzzi reports that contributions to the worldwide Peter’s Pence collection have dropped from €101 million in 2006 to less than €60 million.
The sharp decline in donations to the Vatican has generally been attributed to disaffection caused by the sex-abuse scandal. But a new scandal, alleging large-scale unauthorized speculation with funds from the Peter’s Pence collection, threatens to steepen the decline in contributions.
However, Bishop Galantino said that the Vatican is on firm footing. “There is only the need for a spending review,” he said. “And that is what we’re doing.” Bishop Galantino charged that the new reports of financial difficulties reflect a bid to “set the Pope against the Curia.”
Gianluigi Nuzzi—one of two reporters was charged by prosecutors in the “Vatileaks II” scandal in 2016, but acquitted by a Vatican tribunal—claims to have based his new book on 3,000 confidential documents. The other reporter involved in the Vatileaks II trial, Emiliano Fittipaldi, recently published his own sensational story, also based on leaked documents, detailing the investment of over $700 million, largely taken from the Peter’s Pence collection, in real-estate speculation.
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- Bishop Galantino: ‘Vatican not at risk of default’ (Vatican News)
- Contributions to Catholic Church plunge amid sex abuse crisis as Vatican 'faces default' over financial failings (Daily Telegraph
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