The Vatican forecasts a deficit of 49.7 million in 2021 due to the pandemic

The Vatican forecasts a deficit of 49.7 million in 2021 due to the pandemic

The Vatican expects that its accounts for 2021 will be closed with a deficit of 49.7 million euros due to the impact of the pandemic on the finances of the Pontifical State, as reported today by the Secretary for the Economy when communicating the approval of its budgets.

With a total income of 260.4 million euros and an expenditure of 310.1 million, the Holy See estimates a deficit of 49.7 million euros, despite the cost containment it anticipates.

In Fiscal 2019, the Vatican had reported that the Vatican deficit had been reduced to 11 million euros compared to 60 million the previous year. It has not yet communicated its accounts for 2020 and what its deficit will be.

Regarding the Óbolo de San Pedro and other funds, which depend on donations, it is expected in 2021 an income of 47.3 million euros, expenses of 17 million and a net profit of 30.3 million euros.

Excluding the contributions of the Obolo and the funds, the deficit of the Holy See would be 80 million euros in 2021, they explained.

Regarding the 2020 accounts, they anticipated that income decreased by 21%, about 48 million euros less compared to 2019, due to the reduction in commercial, service and real estate activities, as well as donations and contributions.

The next budget, they added, “reflects a significant effort in cost containment, with operating expenses, excluding personnel, reduced by 14% (24 million euros) compared to 2019.”

The Vatican specifies that, despite this crisis, “maintaining employment continues to be a priority for the Holy Father in these difficult times.”

“In keeping with its mission,” he added, most of the resources of the Holy See in 2021 will be used to support apostolic activities, equivalent to 68% of total spending, while 17% will be used for heritage management and other goods and 15% to administration and services.

“If the level of donations remains as expected, the deficit will be covered by using part of the reserves of the Holy See,” they explained.

A recent internal Vatican report on the impact of the coronavirus published in the newspaper “Il Messaggero” indicated that the most optimistic scenario for 2020 foresaw an increase in the deficit of 28% and 175% in the most pessimistic.

Above all, the lower ticket sales of the Vatican Museums, which have been closed in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic and which are one of the largest sources of income, weighed.

Melissa Galbraith
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