Vatican Reports $5.1 Million Deficit Last Year on Communication Expenses

The Vatican reported a budget deficit of 4.2 million euros ($5.1 million) last year as expenses to fund its radio station and other media projects more than offset revenue from investments and donations.

The Holy See, the central administration for the Roman Catholic Church, had revenue of 250.1 million euros and expenses of 254.3 million euros, its press office said today in a statement. While the Vatican didn’t publish year-earlier figures today, it reported a 2008 deficit of 911,500 euros in July 2009.

The Holy See relies on earnings from investments in stocks, bonds and real estate to supplement donations from Catholics around the world. Its main expenses last year related to communication costs, including running the Vatican Radio, the statement said. The Vatican, home to Pope Benedict XVI and located across Rome’s Tiber River, has 2,762 employees.

While the Holy See benefited in the 1990s from booming stock markets, it plunged into the red in 2003 and posted a budget deficit in both 2007 and 2008.

Separately, the Vatican Governorate, the institution that runs Vatican City and its support offices, had a deficit of 7.8 million euros last year. The global financial crisis weighed on the results of the governorate, which doesn’t receive contributions from the Holy See or other institutions, the statement said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net

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