Vatican in red two years running
The Holy See has reported a budget shortfall of more than $A22.7 million, blamed on rising personnel costs and an expanding diplomatic mission.
The Vatican's second consecutive deficit was detailed in its annual financial report published yesterday.
The report listed 2002 revenues of $A370.6 million and costs of $A393.3 million for the deficit, which grew from $A6.1 million in 2001.
The shortfalls come after more than eight years of budget surpluses caused by strong international markets and direct assistance from bishops around the world.
Before 1993, the Vatican had been losing money for more than 20 years.
The Vatican has high personnel costs and faces extra costs for expanding diplomatic missions, according to Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Vatican's Prefecture for Economic Affairs.
Contributions and donations to the pope, known as Peter's Pence, increased by nearly 2% from 2001. There had been fears they would fall after the series of sex scandals involving priests.
"The data confirms the generosity of many people of goodwill," the report said.
Vatican Posts Second Deficit as Donations Slow
Vatican budget for 2002 shows deficit again (Catholic World News)
Peter's Pence Collected $52.8 Million in 2002 (Zenit)
Vatican deficit linked to effects of 11 September (8/7/02)
10 Jul 2003