The Pope approved the 2021 budget of the Holy See on Thursday. Despite the heavy economic impact created by the Covid-19 pandemic, job security remains a priority for Pope Francis in these difficult times.
By the editor of Vatican News
Pope Francis on Thursday evening gave his nulla osta to the Holy See’s budget for 2021 proposed by the Secretariat for the Economy and approved Tuesday by the Council for the Economy.
This year, with total revenue of € 260.4 million and expenditure of € 310.1 million, the Holy See expects a deficit of € 49.7 million.
The approved budget, according to a press release from the Press Office of the Holy See, “is strongly impacted by the economic crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
St. Peter’s Pence Consolidated Fund
As repeatedly requested by Pope Francis, for the first time, in order to offer more visibility and transparency to the economic transactions of the Holy See, the 2021 budget consolidates the Saint Peter’s Fund (Obolo) and all dedicated funds, according to the mentioned press release.
In this regard, with revenues of € 47.3 million and grants of € 17 million, the Holy See expects a net balance of € 30.3 million from these posts. Excluding Pence de Pierre and dedicated funds, the press release noted, the Holy See’s deficit would be 80 million euros in 2021.
The press release specifies that operating income decreased by 21% (€ 48 million) compared to 2019, due to a decrease in Commercial, Services and Real Estate activities as well as Donations and Contributions.
At the same time, the budget reflects a significant effort to control costs, with operating costs – excluding personnel costs, down 14% (€ 24 million) compared to 2019. The press release ensures that “security employment remains a priority for the Holy Father in these difficult times.
Allocation of resources
“In accordance with its mission, the majority of the Holy See’s resources in 2021 will be devoted to supporting its apostolic activities, with 68% of total expenditure,” the statement said. As for “17% are allocated to the management of the patrimony and the other assets, and 15% to the activities of administration and service”.
In conclusion, the press release notes that if the level of donations remains as planned, the deficit will be made up with part of the reserves of the Holy See.