The financial statement of the Holy See was released at 11:30 this morning.
Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, announced this morning in a press conference on the Holy See consolidated financial statements for 2006 that the year closed with a surplus of 2.4 million euro. This, he said, "represents a lower value following the results of 2005 (9.7 million euro) and of 2004 (3.08 million euro)."
In terms of the institutional activity of the Holy See (Secretariat of State, congregations, councils, tribunals, the Synod of Bishops and various other offices), the president indicated that this sector closed the year with a deficit of 31 million euro, a decrease with respect to 2005 which had closed with a deficit of 36.9 million euro.
Cardinal Sebastiani pointed out that the sector of financial activities (seven consolidated administrations, the most important of which is the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, APSA) showed a surplus of 13.7 million euro, as compared with last year's surplus of 43.4 million euro. This decrease of about 29 million euro, the cardinal explained, "is due above all to a sudden very strong reversal of trend in fluctuations of the rate of exchange, especially of the US dollar."
The real estate sector, he continued, "closed with a net gain of 32.3 million euro, higher than that of 2005 which stood at roughly 22.4 million. ... Total costs amounted to about 27 million euro, whereas revenues reached 59.3 million euro."
The activity of the five media institutions connected with the Holy See (Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Office, L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, the Vatican Publishing House and the Vatican Television Center), closed with a deficit of 12.8 million euro, "substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.8 million euro) and of L'Osservatore Romano (4.4 million euro)," said Cardinal Sebastiani. Nonetheless, the Vatican Printing Office and the Vatican Television Center closed the year with a surplus of 1.3 million euro and 421,000 euro respectively. The Vatican Publishing House also closed its 2006 financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro, and in this context the cardinal recalled how it has been entrusted with the exercise and the guardianship of the copyright of "all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises his teaching."
The final part of the economic report, concerning other income and expenditure, closed with a positive result of 184,000 euro, as against the seven million euro deficit of 2005 which had reflected the costs incurred during the period of vacant see in April 2005.
In closing, the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See indicated that in the Vatican on July 2, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. had presided at the 41st meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. On that occasion, said Cardinal Sebastiani, as well as the consolidated financial statement of the Holy See for 2006, the cardinals also examined that of the Governorate of Vatican City State, which closed with a surplus of 21.8 million euro, down on the 29.6 million euro of 2005.
Offers from the faithful to Peter's Pence, the fund which goes to the Holy Father's works of evangelical solidarity, grew considerably with respect to the preceding year, coming to 74.6 million euro in 2006, as against the 2005 total of 46.7 million.
Here is the transcript from the press conference.
On Monday, July 2, 2007 the 41st meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See took place in the Vatican City State. His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone chaired it.
The Cardinals examined the 2006 Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See and that of the S.C.V. Governorate, both closed with a profit.
As usual, I have the honor of presenting the Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See for the fiscal year 2006 with my staff. As a consolidated financial statement, it contains the income and the expenses of the various pontifical administrations that are within the area of consolidation. It includes the 2 Sections of the Secretariat of State, 9 Congregations, 3 Tribunals, 11 Pontifical Councils, the Apostolic Camera, the Prefecture of the Papal Household, the Office for liturgical celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, the Press Room of the Holy See, the Central Office of Statistics of the Church, 5 Pontifical Commissions and 2 Pontifical Committees, 3 Pontifical Academies and the Institutions connected with the Holy See: the Vatican Secret Archives, the Vatican Library, the Apostolic Almonery, the Synod of Bishops, the Vatican Publishing House, the Vatican Printing Press - L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center. Moreover, 118 Pontifical Embassies and 9 delegations at International Organizations must be added.
The good news for the current operating statement is that, after three consecutive years, it has closed with a surplus of 2.4 million euro, which represents the less significant value, after the results registered both in 2005 (equal to 9.7 million euro) and in 2004 (equal to 3.1 million euro).
I turn now to the analysis of the principal entries of the operating statement, which as usual are expressed in the following four categories:
1) Institutional Activity. This sector encompasses all the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia: the Secretariat of State, the Papal Embassies, the Roman Congregations, the Pontifical Councils, the Synod of Bishops and other Offices. As these assist the Holy Father more closely in his mission as Universal Pastor at the service of the Local Churches and also for the benefit of humanity as promoter of peace in today’s world, they do not produce income. This is the significance of the Canon 1271 C.J.C. prescriptions, which invite the Bishops to come freely to the aid of the necessities of the Holy See by supporting its activity, in the same way that Canon 1263 C.J.C. prescribes that the parishes support the activity of the diocesan curia. In 2006 the volume of donations that came from Episcopal Conferences, dioceses, religious Institutes, faithful and various Entities increased from 73.9 million euro in 2005 to 86 million euro in 2006. Within this sector, the most positive results were both in the income from Canon 1271 c.j.c. which rose from 21.5 million euro to more than 24 million euro in one year, for an increase of about 12%, and above all in the volume of contributions from institutions, foundations and other entities which shows significant revenues, equal to 61.2 million euro (against 51.7 million euro in 2005).
As for costs of the entire sector, which are directly connected with the activity of the Roman Curia to assist S. Peter’s Successor in his ministry, we can note a rise slightly higher than 5 million euro: from 121.3 million in 2005 to 126.2 million. This variation was due above all to the cost incurred for personnel for the adjustment both of remunerations to the inflation rate and of the compulsory contributions to the pension funds. Also general and administrative costs increased from 13.4 million in 2005 to 15.3 million in 2006, as did those for Papal Embassies and for the maintenance of the Apostolic Nunciatures (from 19.6 million to 20.6 million euro).
Costs for "maintenance and repairs" decreased slightly from 10.4 million euro in 2005 to 9.8 million euro. Also in 2006 the works to consolidate the foundations, the floors and the vertical walls of the building in Piazza di Spagna (seat of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples) continued. Moreover, other expenses for extraordinary maintenance related to the buildings of Sant’Uffizio (for systems replacement), Propilei (for lifts replacement and fronts finishing) and Palazzo Convertendi must be considered.
Therefore, this important sector of the Institutional Activity closed with a deficit of 31 million euro, a decrease compared to the 2005 institutional deficit which stood at 36.9 million euro.
2) Financial Activity. In this sector are included the financial activities of the consolidated administrations, especially those of APSA Extraordinary Section (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See).
The above-mentioned increase in contributions partially counterbalanced the serious fall in the net balance profit of the financial sector which closed with a gain of 13.7 million against 43.3 million in 2005. Therefore, a decrease by about 29 million euro occurred, due above all to a sudden, very strong reversal of trend in fluctuations of the rate of exchange, especially of the US Dollar.
Indeed, a net positive fluctuation of 21.7 million euro was registered in 2005 while a net loss of roughly 7 million euro occurred in 2006 due to fluctuations in the rates of exchange. In this sector the results seesaw by nature; I remember that in 2004 a net loss of 11 million euro occurred whereas in 2005, as already said, the fluctuations were positive, equal to 21.7 million euro.
The revenues from coupons and dividends increased slightly, rising from 25.5 million euro to 28.5 million euro in the two fiscal years. Also interest payable increased in comparison with 2005, rising from an amount of 8.1 million to 9.4 million euro.
3) The Real Estate sector closed with a net gain of 32.3 million euro, higher than that of 2005 which stood at roughly 22.4 million. This positive result can be attributed mostly to appreciated values from the sale of some real estate, whereas in 2005 increased values were equal to only 1.3 million euro. In the financial year under examination total costs amounted to about 27 million euro, whereas revenues reached 59.3 million euro.
4) In the activity of the Four Institutions connected with the Holy See the following media concerns are included: Vatican Radio, the Vatican Printing Press - L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center and the Vatican Publishing House.
These activities as a whole strongly support the ministry of the Peter’s Successor by broadcasting the Pope’s voice and image.
The result of this sector is a net deficit of 12.8 million euro; it is substantially due to the negative results of Vatican Radio (about 23.8 million euro) and of "L’Osservatore Romano" (4.4 million euro).
On the contrary, the Vatican Printing Press closed its financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro, as well as the Vatican Television Centre which closed with a profit of 421 thousand euro, against 650 thousand euro in 2005.
Also the Vatican Publishing House closed its 2006 financial statement with a surplus of 1.3 million euro and with a rise of 10 million euro in the volume of the activity. As everybody knows, the exercise and the guardianship of all copyrights (perpetually and all over the world) have been entrusted to the Vatican Publishing House over all the documents by means of which the Supreme Pontiff exercises His teaching.
The last entry of the operating statement pertains to Other Income and Expense. This presents a positive result of 184 thousand euro due to contingent assets from nearly all the consolidated Administrations.
The financial statement was submitted to the examination of the Council of International Auditors and then to the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. On 5 July 2007, I had the privilege of presenting it to the Holy Father. It will now be translated into various languages and sent to the Bishops and the Superiors General of Religious Institutes of Men and Women.
We are now at your disposal to reply to your questions.