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Vatican budget projects $60 million deficit

February 19, 2021

The Vatican budget for 2021 anticipates a deficit of €49 million ($60 million), with revenues of €260 million ($316 million) failing to match expenses of €310 million ($376 million).

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Official figures provided by the Secretariat for the Economy reports that Vatican income dropped by 21% last year, with the decline attributed to the worldwide economic downturn caused by Covid, coupled with a decline in donations.

The Secretariat for the Economy noted that the 2021 budget showed the results of significant cost-cutting measures, with non-personnel costs reduced by 14%. Personnel costs were not slashed; the Secretariat explained: “Employment security continues to be a priority for the Holy Father in these difficult times.”

This year, for the first time, the budget figures made public by the Vatican include the income from the Peter’s Pence collection and other special funds. The Secretariat for the Economy explained that the change was made “with the objective of providing more visibility and transparency to the economic transactions of the Holy See.” Without those funds—amounting to over €30 million—the budget deficit would have loomed larger.

The €49 million deficit in the actual budget—which has been approved by Pope Francis—is considerably higher than the €11 million shortfall in 2019. But it is a substantial improvement over the record €79 million from the previous year.

 


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