Holy See and Vatican report deficits

 Financial Statements released on Wednesday show that the Holy See is in deficit by $11.8 million, while Vatican City State is $10.9 million in deficit. Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, said that it was the third consecutive year that the Holy See has had a deficit following the period of surpluses up to the year 2000. He said that, after the end of the year 2000, the world economy entered into a phase of crisis triggered by different events including September 11, terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Only since the second half of 2003," he said, "was a certain recovery of stock activity evident, but in Europe investments are still lacking and above all demand is weak." The Holy See's income totalled $251,776,543 and expenses amounted to $263,732,738 . The report states that the greater part of expenses were due to the ordinary and extraordinary administration of the various sections of the Holy See: Secretariat of State (two sections), nine congregations, three tribunals, 11 pontifical councils, the Apostolic Chamber, APSA, Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, Prefecture of the Papal Household, Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, Holy See Press Office, Vatican Information Service, Central Office of Church Statistics, 5 pontifical commissions and committees, 9 institutions linked to the Holy See, the Synod of Bishops, and six pontifical academies. To these central offices of the Holy See must be added 118 pontifical representations to Nations and to international organizations. There are 2,674 people working in the Roman Curia: 755 ecclesiastics, 344 religious and 1,575 lay people. There are about 1,000 retired persons. The deficit for Vatican City State, 45 percent lower than 2002, was $10,908,401. This was caused by extraordinary expenses for various works and the restructuring or restoration of several buildings in addition to the $12,918,557 that was contributed to Vatican Radio to help cover its deficit. There were also great expenditures for the maintenance, restoration and preservation of the Holy See's artistic patrimony, visited by millions of people every year. Vatican City State employs 1,534 people. The 2003 Peter's Pence collection totalled $55,842,854. The Holy Father used these monies for charitable purposes, in particular for countries struck by natural disasters, wars, famine, epidemics, and refugees and for aid to Catholic works in the Holy Land that are experiencing economic difficulties due to the tensions and conflicts in that region. Source: VIS

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