ROME, Italy, February 20: Losses caused by the Coronavirus pandemic will result in the Vatican reporting a 50 million euro budget deficit this year.
In fact, the numbers jump to 80 million euros when the fall in donations from parishioners is included.
The deficit information was reported in what was believed to be the first public release of a summary of the 2021 Vatican budget, issued as part of Pope Francis' efforts to bring greater transparency to Vatican finances.
Of note, the Vatican reduced the deficit from 75 million euros in 2018 to 11 million euros in 2019. However, the impact o the Covid-19 pandemic has again increased the budget deficit to 49.7 million euros.
Additionally, the Vatican's overall operating income decreased by 21%, or 48 million euros, last year. Officials noted that Vatican revenues suffered from the closing of the Vatican Museums, which admitted only 1.3 million visitors in 2020, compared to the nearly 7 million visitors in 2019.
Officials acknowledge that the museums, along with the Vatican's real estate holdings, provide the liquidity needed to operate the Vatican's many programs.
(File Photo. Credit Monica Violante | Wikimedia Commons)