The accounts of the Holy See according to the Vatican

The accounts of the Holy See according to the Vatican

The Prefect of the Secretary of the Economy (Spe), Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, presented the budget of the Roman Curia, that is, of the Holy See in the strict sense. All the details

The total budget of all the Vatican entities is about 4 billion. This was indicated by the Prefect of the Secretary of the Economy (Spe), Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, in an interview with the Vatican media. The occasion is the presentation of the budget of the Roman Curia, that is, of the Holy See in the strict sense: sixty entities at the service of the Pope in his mission of guiding the Church.

Father Guerrero explains that the Holy See “is not a large economic entity. We had revenues of € 307 million, we spent € 318 million. Our deficit is 11 million. We have a net worth of 1,402 million ”. The prelate explains that “by adding the budget of the Governorate, of the Obolo, of the IOR, of the Pension Fund and of the Foundations that help the mission of the Holy See, a net worth of about 4,000 million euros is obtained. If we were to consolidate everything, there would be no deficit in 2019, nor was there in 2016, the last year in which all these accounts were consolidated ".


The Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy then indicates the sources of income of the Holy See: “In 2019, 54%, equal to 164 million euros, was generated by the same assets. Commercial activity (visits to the catacombs, productions sold by the department of communication, Libreria Editrice Vaticana) and services brought 14%, that is 44 million euros. The Vatican entities that are not consolidated in this budget (IOR, Governorate, St. Peter's Basilica) contributed 43 million (14% of revenues). And donations from dioceses and faithful amounted to 56 million (18%).


“Those who ask for transparency are right. The economy of the Holy See must be a glass house. This is what the Pope asks of us. This is the commitment of the Secretariat for the Economy and my own, and this is what I see in the other bodies of the Curia. This is why a reform has been initiated. For this some rules have been changed. This is why the procurement code was launched. We are moving forward on this path ”, said the Vatican prefect for the economy, Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves. “The faithful have the right to know how we use resources in the Holy See. We are not owners, we are custodians of goods we have received ”, he adds.


According to Father Guerrero, “the Holy See does not function as a company or as a state, it does not seek profits or surpluses. It is therefore normal that it is in deficit. In fact, almost all departments are 'cost centers': they perform a service that is neither sold nor sponsored. Avoiding the deficit is not the goal of the Holy See. His spirit is another. We think that the objective is that the costs correspond to having everything necessary for the service of the mission entrusted to us ”. Furthermore, “we cannot ignore the right need for resources and what resources are available: we must have economic prudence. But we cannot even think and act only starting from them, at times we have to give more than we have to fulfill our mission: we must have missionary audacity. What we have to deal with is whether the deficit is sustainable or adequately financed in the long term ”.


"It is possible that, in some cases, the Holy See has been, as well as badly advised, also cheated", said the prefect for the economy of the Holy See, Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, speaking in an interview with the Vatican media of the financial scandals of Oltretevere. I believe we are learning from past mistakes or carelessness – he observes -. Now it is a question of accelerating, at the decisive and insistent impulse of the Pope, the process of knowledge, internal and external transparency, control and collaboration between the various departments. We have included top-level professionals in our teams. Today there is communication and collaboration between the departments of economic content to address these issues. Collaboration is a big step forward. Secretariat of State, Apsa and Spe cooperate willingly ”. "We can certainly make mistakes, make mistakes or be scammed – he adds -, but it seems more difficult for this to happen when we collaborate and act with competence, transparency and trust between us".


“The aid of the faithful to the obolation – added the prefect for the economy of the Holy See, Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves. – it is a concrete way of collaborating with the mission of the Holy Father for the good of the whole Church. In 2019, the Obolo fund covered 32% of the expenses for the mission of the Holy See. The structure and services are instead covered by own funds. The collection of the Pence was 53 million euros, of which 10 million euros donated for specific purposes. In other words, the fund collaborated with the mission of the Holy Father for 66 million euros, 23 more than what was raised. This has happened in the last few years. This means that it has also decapitalized. But always for the mission to which he is destined ”. "The Pence – he continues – must be administered with the wisdom of an honest administrator, as talents are invested, as any good family man does, in order to guarantee the Pope the exercise of his mission".


When asked about the fact that the story of the Londr Palace however confuses many, Father Guerrero replies: “I understand. It's true. This is why it is important that clarity be made, that there is transparency ". “In the meantime, I can say one thing – he adds -. As far as I know, London's losses were not covered with the Pence, but with other reserve funds from the Secretariat of State. And one more thing I would like to say to conclude: we must always be grateful to the Holy People of God who helps the Pope's mission. For this too we must be transparent ", and manage this gift" with the honesty, prudence and foresight of good father of the family".

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:20:31 +0000.