The Holy See financial statements for 2007 released yesterday show that the Vatican spent more than it earned last year. A statement presented to cardinals by Archbishop Velasio De Paolis CS, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See - showed a deficit of nine million euro: the difference between an income of 236,737,207 euro and outgoings of 245,805,167. This follows a three year period (2004, 2005 and 2006) that had showed a total surplus of 15,206,587 euro. As regards the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the communique points out that this produces no revenue. The sector of financial activities (seven consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) showed a surplus of 1.4 million euro, as compared with the 2006 surplus of 13.7 million euro. This decrease of about 12 million euro, the note explains, "is due above all to a sudden very strong reversal of trend in fluctuations of the rate of exchange, especially of the US dollar." The real estate sector closed with a net gain of 36.3 million euro, higher than that of 2006 which stood at around 32.3 million. The activity of the five media institutions connected with the Holy See (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, the Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Centre), closed with a deficit of 14.6 million euro, "substantially due to the deficit of Vatican Radio and the publication costs of the 'Osservatore Romano'". Nonetheless, the Vatican Printing Office and the Vatican Television Centre closed with a surplus of 1 million euro and 458,754 euro respectively. The Vatican Publishing House also closed the year with a surplus of 1.6 million euro. The Roman Curia employs a totals of 2,748 people (44 more than in 2006), of whom 778 are clergy, 333 religious and 1,637 lay people (including 425 women). Pensioners number 929. The communique goes on to announce that the consolidated financial statements of the Governorate of Vatican City State in 2007 closed with a surplus of 6.7 million euro, a drop with respect to last year's surplus of 21.8 million. "There has been", says the note, "a considerable and sustained economic and financial commitment to the protection, maintenance and restoration of the artistic patrimony of the Holy See (restoration of the Pauline Chapel, interventions on the basilicas of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls and St. Mary Major), as well as elevated costs for the internal security of Vatican City State". "For the financial year 2007, the Governorate of Vatican City State undertook to support the costs of Vatican Radio, contributing to covering half its deficit (12.2 million euro)", says the communique. Offers from the faithful to Peter's Pence, the fund which goes to the Holy Father's works of evangelical solidarity, fell considerably with respect to the preceding year. In 2006 they stood at 74.6 million euro, while in 2007 they only reached 50.8 million. The communique mentions a single individual "who has chosen to remain anonymous" who made an offer of 9.09 million euro to the Holy See. Finally, contributions from dioceses in accordance with canon 1271 of the Code of Canon Law, reached the sum of 18.7 million euro in 2007. Source: VIS
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