Holy See cuts deficit in half as it 'journeys' toward better money management05 March 2017 | by Christopher Lamb
Improvement in bank's finances in 2015 figures released this weekend, but no audit expected in near future
The Vatican has announced its deficit halved in 2015 to €12.4 million while it battles to implement better money management procedures.
The bald details were released on Saturday with further information not being released due to the transition taking place to ensure better accounting procedures. This also delayed the disclosure of 2015 figures.
Pope Francis’ financial tsar, Cardinal George Pell, has been working to ensure a full picture of the Vatican’s economic position which had included appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers as outside auditors. That original plan has since been shelved and the firm are now working in a support role.
In their statement the Holy See said economic reforms are “progressing well” but an audit is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
“A few more years will be necessary for this process to be completed and a full audit to be performed,” the statement explained.
The 2015 accounts showed the deficit was down from down from €25.6 million in 2014 with personnel cited as the biggest cost.
The Holy See’s biggest income comes from the Vatican’s museums with the “governatorato”, the body which runs the Vatican’s city state and overseas the Church’s cultural treasures, reporting a €59.9 million surplus. This was, however, down 6 per cent from the year before.
The financial figures from 2015 also showed that €24 million was received from dioceses around the world - an increase in €3 million - and €50 million from the Institute of Works of Religion, better known as the Vatican Bank.
The statement said that the 2015 accounts “represent an important step for the economic reforms” on the “journey towards new policies”.
A financial disclosure for 2016 is expected in July.
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