Vatican 2014 deficit rises with new accounting standards

AP News
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Posted: Jul 16, 2015 9:38 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's cultural activities, in particular its museums, helped boost profits by nearly double at the Vatican city-state last year, while the budget to run the Roman Curia continued to show a deficit, according to final budget figures released Thursday.

The Vatican city-state, which includes the post office, museums and other activities, saw its surplus surge to 63.5 million euros ($69 million) last year from 33 million euros a year earlier. The Vatican said investments also played a role.

Meanwhile, the Holy See, which governs the universal church, reported a 5 percent increase in its deficit to 25.6 million euros ($28 million), up from 24.5 million euros a year earlier, as the Holy See transitioned to international accounting standards.

Had the same standards been used in 2013, the Vatican said the deficit in 2014 would have been reduced by nearly half over the period, from 37 million euros in 2013.

Net assets rose by 939 million euros, as the Vatican brought on to the balance sheets 1.1 billion euros of previously unreported assets and 222 million euros of previously unreported liabilities. That wider accounting is part of Cardinal George Pell's efforts to get a clear handle on all of the Vatican's and liabilities since being named to head the new economic secretariat.

Staffing costs weighed most heavily on the Holy See's budget, costing 126.6 million for a staff of 2,880 at 64 Holy See entities. The Vatican also reported 21 million euros in contributions from Roman Catholic dioceses and 50 million euros from the Vatican bank.