Viewing cable 05VATICAN494
Title: VATICAN BOOKS IN THE BLACK

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VATICAN4942005-07-12 07:01:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vatican
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS VATICAN 000494 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/WE (LEVIN) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON EFIN VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN BOOKS IN THE BLACK 
 
 
¶1.      (U) The Holy See ended 2004 with a budget surplus for the 
first time in four years, showing a profit of nearly $3.7 
million.  The budget covers all government departments and 
activities, as well as the Holy See's embassies and diplomatic 
offices around the world.  During 2004, the Vatican took in some 
$247 million (at an exchange rate of US$1.20 to the euro), and 
spent just over $243 million.  As in previous years, one of the 
biggest drains on the Holy See coffers was Vatican Radio, which 
does not accept advertising revenues and requires some $30 
million to run.  The Holy See will continue investing heavily in 
Vatican Radio's worldwide broadcasts in any case, judging this 
outreach particularly valuable in developing nations with 
limited communications networks. 
 
¶2.      (U) Vatican City State has a separate budget within the 
Holy See's accounting system.  It had a budget surplus of $6.5 
million dollars in 2004.  This budget includes the care and 
upkeep of Vatican buildings and museums, artworks restoration, 
as well as income from the Vatican's coin and stamp offices and 
entrance fees to the Vatican Museums.  The Vatican City State 
budget was in the black despite some $15 million being siphoned 
off earnings to cover half the deficit at Vatican Radio. 
 
¶3.      (U) The bad news for the Holy See in the 2004 budget 
statement was that donations from Catholics around the world to 
Peter's Pence (a fund used by popes for charity and development 
projects, but also at times to offset the deficit) amounted to 
some $52 million - down 7.4 percent from 2003.  U.S. Catholics 
continue to be among the top donors worldwide to this fund. 
However, separate income levied from individual dioceses around 
the world (canon law urges but does not force bishops to 
contribute to the Holy See as a sign of solidarity) amounted to 
$27 million - up 8.2 percent from the previous year. 
 
¶4.      (U) The Holy See's budget contains some interesting 
"numbers" beyond euros and dollars.  In 2004, some 2,663 people 
worked for the Holy See, of whom 759 were priests, 346 monks and 
nuns and 1,558 lay people.  Another 1,560 people worked for 
Vatican City State.  The Holy See maintains 118 embassies abroad 
and 9 representations to international organizations. 
 
¶5.      (SBU) Comment:  The 2004 budget figures continue to dispel 
the myth that the Vatican possesses extraordinary financial 
wealth.  One modest surplus in four years is not the stuff of a 
major financial player.  We expect its expenses for 2005 to 
increase substantially because of the papal transition, probably 
resulting in a deficit for this year. 
 
HARDT 
 
 
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 2005VATICA00494 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED