Report: Vatican Uses Donations For The Poor To Draw Down Its Budget Deficit

Benhur Arcayan/Public Domain


As little as 10 percent of Roman Catholics' donations to the Peter's Pence collection is going toward charitable work.

A new report revealed this week that the Vatican is playing loose with donations it receives from Roman Catholics who believe their money is going to help the poor and suffering, according to CNBC.

The Wall Street Journal reported that as little as 10 percent of those donations are reaching their intended recipients via charitable work, while about “two-thirds of the rest of the $55 million in donations for Pope Francis’ annual charitable appeal, known as Peter’s Pence, is used to fill the Vatican’s administrative budget deficit.”

The Journal noted that the Pope’s use of the funds “is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican’s financial management under Pope Francis.”

However, the publication also noted that church law allows the Pope to use Peter’s Pence — a special collection from Roman Catholics taken up each June — however he sees fit in serving his ministry.

On the collection’s website, there is no mention of the money’s use to whittle down the Vatican’s deficit, and the day is sold as one “for the works of charity”:

“These collections and donations by the individual faithful or entire local churches raise the awareness that all the baptized are called to materially sustain the work of evangelization and at the same time to help the poor in whatever way is possible,” the site reads.

″It is an ancient practice which began with the first community of the apostles. It continues to be repeated because charity distinguishes the disciples of Jesus.”

In 2018, the Vatican’s budget deficit “doubled to more than $76 million on a budget of around $333 million,” CNBC reported.

A spokesperson for the Vatican’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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