February 19, 2021
By Nicole Winfield
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.
The Vatican released a summary of its 2021 budget that was approved by Pope Francis and the Holy See’s Council for the Economy, a commission of outside experts who oversee the Vatican’s finances. The publication was believed to be the first time the Vatican has released its projected consolidated budget, part of Francis’ drive to make the Vatican’s finances more transparent and accountable.
The Vatican has run a deficit for the past several years, narrowing it to 11 million euros in 2019 from a hole of 75 million euros in 2018. The Vatican said Friday it anticipated the deficit would grow to 49.7 million euros in 2021 but that it expected to make up the shortfall with reserves.
Francis particularly wanted to release information about the Peter’s Pence collections from the faithful, which are billed as a concrete way to help the pope in his ministry and works of charity but are also used to run the Holy See bureaucracy.
The funds have come under scrutiny amid a financial scandal about how those donations were invested by the Vatican’s secretariat of state.
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