- Apr 23, 2021
In a bid to curb the Vatican’s financial deficit amid coronavirus losses and an impending pension crisis, Pope Francis has ordered several pay cuts targeting clergy and higher-ups, but which appear to leave regular lay employees unaffected.
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.
Revenue shortfalls and a current budget deficit require increased efficiency, transparency and creativity while working to continue to fully carry out the mission of the universal church, said the head of the Vatican’s economic office.
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.
The Vatican said Friday it expects a deficit of nearly 50 million euros ($60.7 million) this year because of pandemic-related losses, a figure that grows to 80 million euros ($97 million) when donations from the faithful are excluded.
Pietro Caliceti’s novel L’Opzione di Dio (“The Option of God”) describes a Vatican every bit as corrupt and vengeful as the legal outfit memorably presented by John Grisham in his 1991 thriller The Firm.
Pope Francis’s campaign for financial reform has two targets. The is outright, blatant corruption, and the other is formed by cultural assumptions and patterns of behavior that aren’t generally perceived as criminal or even immoral.