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July 10, 2008

Holy See Plunges into Red

by Red Wolf

Vatican City: Due to the internets being a bit recalitrant, this gem of fiscal losses has come my way. The Vatican has announced that it has had its first loss in four years and quite a hefty loss it is too at €9.1m (£7.25m or US$14.3m). Not something you're likely to find down the back of the couch. It seems the weak US dollar is being blamed and I was a wee bit baffled by this as I would have thought the Holy See would have been running on the Euro.

Much of the Vatican's income comes from donations from Catholics around the world. The US was the largest single contributor to Peter's Pence — the collection used by the Pope for charitably donations — sending almost US$19m (£9.5m).

Does this mean that the Pope is miffed that the Yanks are daring to donate in their own currency or that they just aren't donating enough to keep in the style to which he has become accustomed? Those fancy frocks don't grow on trees, you know.

No, apparently it's all related to property.

But the shortfall was mitigated by a rise of €4m in property income. The Holy See is a major owner of property across Rome and was criticised last year for raising rents and threatening to evict tenants. Some even formed an association to protest that their homes were being turned into hotels.

Way to go, guys. Nice to see the Vatican helping out in the human misery stakes by booting people out of the homes so they can be turned into profit making ventures. It's even more ironic when you consider that earlier in the year the Vatican released a new list of mortal sins which included Accumulating excessive wealth. Certainly an interesting stance when reports of the church's accumulated wealth is estimated at around the £4b mark. Must be a case of do as I say, not as I do.

I'm still a little baffled how they can lose so much money in property when they're tax exempt.

And in 2007 a political row broke out over the tax exemptions enjoyed by the Roman Catholic church in Italy. Under a deal first hammered out in 1929, it does not pay property taxes.

If they're investing in property for anything other than church buildings, they have no right to demand tax exemptions. But I guess those dodgy deals are how they managed to accrue €5b. When you look at it like that, a measly €9.1m may well be the change under the cushions.

Holy See plunges into redThe Guardian, 10th July 2008.


Posted in Hypocrisy at 23:44. Last modified on July 10 2008 at 23:59.
| View blog reactions


1: Posted by: Chris L | July 11, 2008 12:34 AM

For further amusements at the expense of the Catholic church, scope out a few Aussie newspapers on the showering arrangements for Catholic Youth Day pilgrims. Four showerheads to a cubicle but people are being asked to "shower in their bathers".

I decided not to post any of the blog titles that leapt to mind, I don't think I want that kind of traffic.

That might be the only amusement I get out of Catolic Yoof Day.

2: Posted by: Red Wolf | July 11, 2008 12:47 AM

Weirdness. I thought the whole point of Catholic Youth Day was to bring more children into the clutches of paedophiles and now they're making announcements to stop window shopping. Odd priorities.

At least there's some amusement. I still don't know how much they're going to screw up the CBD and whether or not the trains are a mess. Hopefully I can get a heads up before the fact and can opt to work from home instead of fighting through the stupid.

3: Posted by: aeduna | July 14, 2008 11:32 PM

I guess they probably paid Iemma more than they could afford for the Sydney stupid.

Wax lyrical

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