The Holy See, the Vatican’s central administration, generated a profit of 2.19 million euros ($2.83 million) last year even as donations from Catholics throughout the world declined.
Last year’s earnings compare with a 14.9 million-euro deficit in 2011, the Holy See said today in a statement. Contributions from Catholic individuals, institutes and foundations fell 7.5 percent.
The Catholic Church, which tries to supplement donations by investing in traded securities, benefited in the 1990s from booming stock markets, before plunging into the red for the first time in 2003. Last year, “the good performance in financial management” more than offset the costs of staff and taxes such as a new Italian property levy, according to the statement.
The Vatican, led by Pope Francis, is located in central Rome near the Tiber River. The Vatican Governorate, the institution that runs Vatican City and its support offices, had a surplus of 23.1 million euros last year, according to the statement.
The Vatican bank, formally known as Institute for the Works of Religion or IOR, last year gave the Pope a contribution of 50 million euros, the Holy See said. The bank’s director Paolo Cipriani and deputy director Massimo Tulli stepped down this week.
Their resignations followed the arrest on June 28 of a senior Vatican cleric, an Italian secret service agent and a financial broker in a corruption investigation that’s part of a wider probe into the IOR’s transactions. The three were charged by Rome prosecutors with fraud and corruption.