Vatican expects budget deficit for 2021


Following the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican’s economics secretariat said it expects a multimillion-dollar shortfall in its 2021 budget.

In a statement released Feb. 19, the Vatican said Pope Francis had approved the Holy See’s 2021 budget, which was proposed by the secretariat and approved by the Council for the Economy, the Vatican council responsible for overseeing financial operations of all offices and entities.

“With total revenue of 260.4 million euros ($316 million) and expenditures of 310.1 million euros ($376.3 million), the Holy See expects a deficit of €49.7 million ($60.3 million) in 2021, strongly impacted by the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the secretariat said.

The Council for the Economy met on February 16 to discuss the Vatican’s 2021 budget, which was presented by Maximino Caballero Ledo and Emilio Ferrara, respectively secretary general and director of the administrative section of the secretariat for the economy.

According to its statutes, the council is “in charge of overseeing the administrative and financial structures and activities of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, institutions linked or referring to the Holy See and the administrations” under the governorate of Vatican City. State.

The Vatican said the Economics Council is expected to meet again in April.

In an effort to provide “more visibility and transparency to Holy See economic transactions,” the Economics Secretariat also said the 2021 budget will consolidate Peter’s Pence Collection revenue and grants and “all funds dedicated,” which are expected to bring in a net balance of 30.3 million euros ($36.7 million).

“Excluding Peter’s Pence and dedicated funds, the Holy See’s deficit would be 80 million euros ($97 million) in 2021,” the dicastery said.

The statement does not mention the Vatican City State budget, which generally operates profitably and helps offset the shortfall in the Holy See’s budget. However, like many countries, the restrictions in place due to the pandemic have forced the Vatican to close the city-state’s main revenue generators – the Vatican Museums, Necropolis tours and the Museum of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo in 2020 – which resulted in substantial financial losses.

The Secretariat for the Economy explained that the 2021 budget includes a 21% reduction in income due to a “reduction in commercial, service and real estate activities, as well as donations and contributions”.

At the same time, he added, operating expenses – excluding staff costs – also fell by 14%, reflecting serious savings efforts even as “the security of the Employment continues to be a priority for the Holy Father in these difficult times.” “

The Vatican also said 68% of budget expenditures for the year are for supporting “apostolic activities,” while 17% will be used to manage property and assets and 15% for administration and service activities. .

“If the level of donations remains as planned, the deficit will be settled with part of the Holy See’s reserves,” he said.


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