Vatican makes profit despite declining donations

The Vatican returned a profit last year, despite around a 20% fall in donations from the faithful.

The NZ$17.2 million profit was a turnaround from the previous year’s NZ$7 million loss, and losses in the previous two years. The Vatican said the result showed a continuing positive trend which began in 2009, but was hampered by the impact of the global financial crisis.

The Vatican is putting the profit down to an upswing in the financial markets and an upturn in tourism and booming ticket sales at the Vatican Museums.

“Peter’s Pence” donations from individuals world wide however dropped  NZ$26 million.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Vatican officials believed the main reasons for the decrease in “Peter’s Pence” donations were related to the lingering effects of the financial crisis on Catholics’ ability to donate, and the fact that two donations of a few million dollars apiece from individuals in 2009 weren’t repeated in 2010.

Lombardi said the effects of the abuse scandal on the Peter’s Pence and the diocesan donations wasn’t discussed in any depth during meetings Thursday and Friday of top cardinals to review the numbers. But he didn’t dispute that such an interpretation of the results could be made.



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