Via Media

Via Media

The Red and the Black

The Vatican’s 2005 financial report was presented today:

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, announced this morning in a press conference on the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2005 that the year closed with a surplus of 9.7 million euro. This, he said, "represents the most significant value of the last eight years." The year 2004 had closed with a surplus of 3.08 million euro.

In terms of the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the president indicated that the sector closed the year with a deficit of 36.9 million euro, an increase with respect to 2004 which had closed with a deficit of 23.2 million euro.


Cardinal Sebastiani pointed out that the sector of financial activities (7 consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) showed a surplus of 43.3 million euro, an improvement on last year’s surplus of 6.1 million euro. This is due, the cardinal explained, "to the improvement of the situation of the financial markets which occurred in the course of 2005. Indeed, a net positive fluctuation of 21.7 million euro was registered in 2005 while a net loss of roughly 11 million euro occurred in 2004 due to fluctuations in the rates of exchange." For its part, the real estate sector closed with a surplus of 22.2 million euro, slightly down on last year’s closing figure of 24.9 million euro.


The activity of the media institutions connected with the Holy See (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, L’Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Center), closed with a deficit of 11.8 million euro, "substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.5 million euro) and of L’Osservatore Romano (4.6 million euro)," said Cardinal Sebastiani. Nonetheless, "the Vatican Printing Office closed its financial statement with a surplus of 653,000 euro, and the Vatican Television Center closed with a profit of 650,000 euro. … The Vatican Publishing House also closed its 2005 financial statement with a surplus of 934,000 euro and with a rise of 3.8 million euro in the volume of the activity." In this context, the cardinal recalled how the Vatican Publishing House has been entrusted with the exercise and the guardianship of the copyright of "all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises his teaching."

The final part of the economic report, concerning other income and expense, closed with a negative result of seven million euro, reflecting the costs incurred during the period of vacant see in April 2005.

Interesting to see the various areas of surplus and deficit.

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posted July 12, 2006 at 12:58 pm

You look at these numbers and wonder why anyone would claim that the Vatican is awash in wealth. The budgets of many city or county governments in the U.S. are greater than that of the Vatican. Sure, it has land, buildings, and art, but all of these so-called assets are actually instances of negative wealth, in that they actually cost money to keep and maintain. Let us hear no more about the Catholic Church being the “richest” institution in the world.
And maybe folks can cough up a little more than ten bucks (or worse yet, loose change) the next time they have Peter’s Pence and other special collections.

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posted July 13, 2006 at 9:03 am

I agree with Bender. Next time the Peter’s Pence collection is taken up, dig a little deeper.

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c matt

posted July 13, 2006 at 10:03 am

Not to mention that many of these assets are not very liquid.

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posted July 13, 2006 at 11:30 am

I agree with Bender. Next time the Peter’s Pence collection is taken up, dig a little deeper.
I see that they are reporting that $59.4 million was given worldwide in 2005. If we were to limit that to the United States alone, that is less than one dollar per Catholic. Less than one dollar. That is . . . well, it speaks for itself.

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posted July 13, 2006 at 1:22 pm

Too bad Warren Buffett isn’t Catholic. Oh well, Christ can do more with $1 faithfully given than all of the Wall St. financial experts combined.

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Atilla the Nun

posted July 13, 2006 at 2:57 pm

—- Not to mention that many of these assets are not very liquid. —
60 days, CASH
Now, what they are NOT showing you, is “off the books accounting” … anyone pay attention to ENRON when it went down?
Come on…
Do you REALLY think, the Vatican is that poor? The annual “income” accounting for approximately THIRTY CENTS per Roman catholic per YEAR?
Good grief, can’t you smell crooked bookkeeping a mile off?
Remember, not three years ago, the Vatican Bank was named as one of the top ten cut-outs for illegal money, being laundered for gun running, dope, prostitution rings and oteher “religious endeavors.”
I guess they have been flimflaming you folks for so many centuries now, that critical thinking is a forgotten art.
Anyone EVER HEAR of an INDEPENDENT OUTSIDE AUDITOR? Or is that actually asking too much of the poofed and pampered prelates in prada glasses and hand tailored red watered silk trusseaus?
November 23, 2001
Vatican Bank Top 10 Money Laundering Destination
According to one global source, the Vatican is the main destination for over $55 billion in illegal Italian money laundering and the number 8 destination worldwide for laundered money, ranked well ahead of such offshore havens as the Bahamas, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
In a recent report by the London Telegraph and the Inside Fraud Bulletin, the Vatican was named as a top “cut out” country along with the offshore banking centers of Nauru, Macao, and Mauritius. A “cut out” country is one whose banking secrecy makes it is all but impossible to trace laundered funds back to their source.
The Vatican Bank is desperately resisting a legal action for an accounting of stolen World War II assets in a San Francisco Federal court (Alperin v. Vatican Bank) filed by Serb and Jewish Holocaust survivors. Contrary to the above reports, a declaration filed under penalty of perjury by the Vatican Bank’s attorney, Franzo Grande Stevens, states in part that the Vatican Bank’s “fundamental purpose is to promote pious acts” and that its depositors “are essentially limited to Vatican state employees, members of the Holy See, religious orders, and persons who deposit money destined, at least in part, for works of piety.” Stevens also declared to the court that the Pope controls the Vatican Bank and that bank records are not retained after ten years.
It seems that the Vatican Bank, a major illegal money laundering operation, is hiding behind the benign image of John Paul II. Given the Vatican Bank’s alleged involvement with Nazi loot and current links to organized crime, a reckoning cannot be far off. The accumulating evidence points to a more piratical than pietical Vatican Bank

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posted July 14, 2006 at 12:33 am

Since when being a complete idiot became = critical thinking?

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posted July 14, 2006 at 12:37 am

What’s with this bizarre obssession in selling out the works of art in the Vatican? I never got it. Even Chaves-supporter, Castro-Lover, Cocaine-addict Maradona, who arguably gave millions to drug dealers, likes to make statements on the subject. Maybe all the cocaine that destroyed his brain made him a “critical thinker”.

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