Vatican Financial Report for 2004

Vatican Financial Report for 2004

L'Osservatore Romano

Vatican reveals financial details for the year 2004

On Friday, 8 July, the 39th Meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Financial Problems of the Holy See was held at the Vatican. It was chaired by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State.

Taking part were Cardinals: Thomas Stafford Williams, Roger Michael Mahony, Camillo Ruini, Jean-Claude Turcotte, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Ivan Dias, Cláudio Hummes, O.F.M., Edward Michael Egan and H.B. Patriarch Michel Sabbah.

The competent Dicasteries of the Holy See were represented by Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani and Bishop Franco Croci, President and Secretary respectively of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Cardinal Attilio Nicora and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President and Secretary respectively of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See; and Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

The following items were examined:
— The Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See for 2004; as a central governing body of the Catholic Church and in accordance with canon law, the Holy See is a subject of rights (moral person, cf. can 113 § 1, CIC) distinct from the Dioceses and Episcopal Conferences; each one of these Institutions has an autonomous patrimony and is responsible for the administration of its own property;

— The Consolidated Financial Statement of Vatican City State for 2004;

— Peter's Pence and Basic Contributions in 2004, based on Canon 1271, CIC.

Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See for 2004

Cardinal Sebastiani opened the meeting with his presentation of the Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See for 2004. It shows an income of €205,663,266 and an expenditure of €202,581,446, with a surplus of €3,081,820.

This is an improvement in comparison with the balance at the end of the financial year 2003, which closed with a deficit.

Most of the expenditure is accounted for by the expenses of the Dicasteries and Institutions of the Holy See; each in its own capacity assists the Roman Pontiff in his pastoral service to the universal Church and the particular Churches, to promote the Church's proper mission in the world.

These Dicasteries and Institutions are: the Secretariat of State with its two Sections for General Affairs and for Relations with States; in addition, nine Congregations, three Tribunals, 11 Pontifical Councils, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, the Prefecture of the Papal Household, the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the Press Office of the Holy See, the Vatican Information Service, the Central Office of Statistics of the Church, the Pontifical Commissions and Committees, the nine Institutions connected with the Holy See, including the Secret Archives, the Apostolic Library, the Fabric of St Peter's, the Apostolic Alms Office, the Synod of Bishops and the six Pontifical Academies.

In addition to these central institutions of the Holy See which make up the Roman Curia, there are the 118 offices of Papal Representations in various nations and nine offices of representation at International Organizations.

Overall, 2,663 persons work in the Curia. They include 759 ecclesiastics, 346 Religious and 1,558 lay people; there are 1,429 retired personnel.

Consolidated Financial  Statement of Vatican City State  for 2004

Cardinal Sebastiani then explained the Consolidated Statement for 2004 of Vatican City State, which is responsible for the administration of Vatican territory and supports the Holy See's work.

The financial year 2004 closed with a credit balance of €5,371,194. Substantial funds were allocated to safeguard, to make the most of, and to restore the patrimony of artworks of the Holy See, which is the destination of pilgrims and tourists from across the world, and to support Vatican Radio with contributions to cover half the costs of this radio broadcasting station.

Vatican City State employs a staff of 1,560; it has 878 retired employees who receive a pension.

As usual, the Financial Statements of the Holy See and the Vatican City State were submitted for auditing and certification.

While examining the balance sheets, the Cardinals also addressed the topic of the media and, in particular, Vatican Radio. These instruments of social communication carry out an important service, relaying information on the activities and teaching of the Holy Father and the universal Church, as well as on pastoral formation, especially in those countries where the possibilities for evangelization are limited and which require immense financial resources and continuous technological innovations.

Peter's Pence and Basic Contributions in 2004

Peter's Pence consists of donations offered to assist the Pope in his apostolic and charitable mission: it includes the collection made in particular Churches, especially on the occasion of the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, the contributions made by Institutes of Consecrated Life and Foundations, as well as donations offered by individual members of the faithful.

During 2004, a total of US $51,710,348.45 was received, 7.4 percent less than in 2003. The Holy Father earmarked this sum for charitable interventions that aim to alleviate the sufferings of peoples hit by natural disasters; to support projects for orphans, the children of victims of armed conflicts or of AIDS; to bring the Church's assistance to specific areas of tension; to support centres of Christian formation throughout the world, and for other projects.

On the other hand, the resources mentioned in can. 1271, CIC, are sent in by the Bishops, according to the possibilities of their Dioceses, to provide the Holy See with the means for its service to the universal Church. In 2004, these contributions amounted to US $27,209,792.56, with an increase of 8.18 percent in comparison with the previous year.

This income of the Apostolic See is established by an ecclesiastical norm and must be distinguished from the income that benefits particular Churches or Episcopal Conferences on the basis of bilateral accords or in accordance with the legislation of certain States such as, for example, in Germany the Kirchensteuer or in Italy the otto per mille, which instead are not destined for the Holy See but for the respective local Churches.

During the morning, His Holiness Benedict XVI paid a brief visit to the Council of Cardinals: he took note of the topics under examination and stressed the importance of material means for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the spiritual Mission of the Church.

At the end of the meeting, the Cardinal Members of the Council expressed their deep gratitude to all those have desired to support the mission of the Holy See in the world who, with their contributions and united with the Holy Father, give a practical response to all who are in serious difficulty or absolute need.

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
20 July 2005, page 2

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