Holy See faces three million dollar deficit

 Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, President of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, said on Saturday that the consolidated financial statement of the Holy See, revealed a deficit of $3.062 million for the fiscal year 2001. The Cardinal said the negative figure, after eight consecutive years of surplus, was due to: "the sharp fall in income from the financial sector, the increased expenses of the institutional activity (higher costs of real estate maintenance, higher costs of Apostolic Nunciatures) and the increase in expenses of the media companies." He explained that the statement represented the sum of all the expenses and income of the diverse Vatican Administrations, which he divided into four categories: Institutional Activity (Secretariat of State, Congregations, Councils, Tribunals, Synod of Bishops and various offices), which closed with a deficit; Financial Activity (seven consolidated administrations, the largest of which is the Extraordinary Section of APSA - Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See), which closed with a net gain; the real estate sector, which had a net gain and finally, media institutions (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Press/L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Centre). This category closed with a deficit. Cardinal Sebastiani also presented the consolidated financial statement of 2001 of the State of Vatican City, which showed a net gain of $13,702,082, lower than that of last year, due to the reduction in income and expenses for restoration works in the Roman Basilicas of St. John Lateran, St Paul Outside the Wall and St. Mary Major and the preservation work of artistic patrimony in Vatican City. The report announced that Peter's Pence, the fund which goes to the Holy Father's works of evangelical solidarity, amounted to $51,913 million. It said: "Despite the difficult international situation, the generosity of so many people who have wished to share the Holy Father's human and Christian solidarity has not failed, going to the relief of the sufferings of the most underprivileged." source: Vatican Information Service

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