Also for the Vatican it was a difficult year which required the dicasteries of reduce expenses. A year in which less than in the past has been drawn fromPence of St. Peter to support the service of the dicasteries for the Pope’s mission, but the Churches in the countries most affected by the pandemic have been helped more. This is what emerges from the consolidated financial statements of the Holy See, what a father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves placeholder image, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy presented in the morning. “Last year’s deficit was 11.1 million euros and that of this year is 66.3 million euros“, Guerrero Alves explained in an interview with the Vatican media.
“All in all, better than we expected,” commented the Vatican prefect for the economy. “I can’t say it’s been a good year. But given the circumstances, I can say that for 2020, before the pandemic, we had budgeted a deficit of 53 million euros. When Covid appeared, the deficit forecasts we made in the best scenario would have been 68 million euros and 146 million euros in the worst. In the average scenario, the deficit was expected to be 97 million euros ”. For this reason, he continued, “we revised the budget in March accepting a deficit of 82 million euros. The result that occurred instead, with a deficit of 66.3 million euros, was slightly better than the best of the hypothetical scenarios “. And “the good news is that, thanks to the efforts made, the results are very close to those of a normal year. The ordinary deficit is 14.4 million euros lower than in 2019: 64.8 million euros in 2020, compared to 79.2 million euros in 2019. This is undoubtedly a better result. However, the return on financial investments was 51.8 million euros lower and the extraordinary result was also 17.8 million euros lower ”.
For Guerrero Alves, “the ministries acted responsibly in spending and revenues fell less than expected. Expenses have been reduced“. And “they would have been even lower if it weren’t for 6.7 million euros of extraordinary expenses related to Covid plus another 3.5 million euros included in ordinary expenses. It is a nice gesture that some departments linked to the Churches most in need of help, in addition to reducing expenses on many other things, have increased the contributions to these Churches for the needs caused by Covid “. In terms of revenues, “we had budgeted 269 million euros before Covid and it was 248.4 million”.
Finally, the departments with the most investments “were able to contribute more money this year to the expenses of the mission departments, that is, those financed by the Obolo, thus reducing the need to resort to the Obolo. The Pigeon has picked up 44 million euros and contributed 50 million euros to the mission of the Holy Father in 2020, as well as 12 million euros in direct disbursements for specific projects in various countries. He spent 18 million euros more than he collected, drawing on his previous assets ”.
Guerrero Alves also spoke of the trial that will open on Tuesday 27 July in the Vatican with 10 defendants on the management of the funds of the Secretariat of State. “In the specific case of this process, I think it marks a turning point that can lead to greater credibility of the Holy See in economic matters,” he said. “First of all, this process speaks to us of a past, a recent past, but of a past. There can always be mistakes, but today I don’t see how the events of the past can repeat themselves ”. Secondly, “the fact that this process takes place means that some internal controls worked: the accusations came from inside the Vatican. For several years, the measures adopted have been going in the right direction ”. Regarding the necessary reforms, he said: “We are still on the way, we know that the laws are not enough, that they must be implemented and that they must be respected until a new culture is created. In this sense, thanks to this process, regardless of its outcome, we have learned and are learning. We can always make mistakes, but today I find it very difficult for what happened to happen again ”. Furthermore, “a culture has begun to change. Many now understand that controls and responsibility do not mean mistrust, but self-protection and support for what we do, because it also protects us from mistakes ”. The prefect for the Economy also explains that the passage wanted by the Pope that led to the management of the funds of the State Secretariat under the APSA it has already happened and this reform is already operational. “Absolutely yes,” he said. The funds are in Apsa, are managed by Apsa and are already part of the ordinary budget of the Holy See. The sale of the London Palace is being prepared, legal actions are underway against those we believe have damaged the interests of the Holy See ”.