- May 6, 2021
Pope Francis legendarily has a keen sense of justice and a hard-wired bias in favor of the underdog, but it’s also clear that Francis, like pretty much every reformer pope before him, is still struggling with the institutional translation of those core instincts.
Spanish Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, the pope’s CFO, explained in an interview with the Vatican’s official news outlet that in order to cover costs, the Vatican is being forced to spend down its reserves, and he appealed to Catholic faithful around the world to help out.
For 2020, the Vatican ran a deficit of $60 million (the data is reported in Euro, so that’s 49.7 million Euro). The total income for the year was $315 million and expenses came to $375 million, hence the deficit.
Officials say the new rules, described as four years in the making, bring the Vatican in line with “the most advanced international legislation in the area,” including the UN’s 2003 Convention against Corruption. It’s also intended, according to a synthesis provided by the Vatican News Service, to “combat illicit deals and corruption,” as well to achieve significant cost savings though “economies of scale.”