President Bush and the Pope; Preview of John Paul's Swiss Trip; the Next 25 Years

By John L. Allen Jr.
The National Catholic Reporter
June 5, 2004

The Vatican has denied that Cardinal Bernard Law will receive a stipend of $12,000 a month in his new Roman job, as reported May 28 by the New York Times.

Instead, Law's monthly allotment will be $5,000, which must cover not only his personal expenses, but also the costs of a car and driver as well as the living expenses of two or three religious sisters who will run his household.

Law was appointed May 28 as Archpriest of St. Mary Major, one of four "patriarchal basilicas" in Rome. The post is considered relatively low profile, since its chief responsibility is routine administration of the basilica located near Rome' main train station.

Citing an anonymous "former Vatican official," the Times reported that the outgoing Archpriest of St. Mary Major, Italian Cardinal Carlo Furno, received a monthly stipend of 10,000 Euro (roughly U.S. $12,000). The story suggested the post could thus be "lucrative" for Law.

On May 31, however, Vatican spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls told NCR that Law's stipend would be 4,000 Euro a month (roughly $5,000), the standard figure for a cardinal serving in the Vatican. That amount, Navarro said, must cover the expenses noted above.


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