Vatican Slammed With $19M Deficit

2011 figures blamed on market troubles, high costs

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2012 2:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – After a rare surplus in 2010, last year saw the Vatican's biggest deficit in years: $19 million, the AP reports. The figure comes despite bigger donations from dioceses around the world and the Vatican bank's $62 million donation to the pope. Officials say weak markets—particularly in real estate—as well as high employee and media costs cut into the budget. The Vatican's television, radio, and newspaper organizations are expensive and bring in little.

On the bright side for the Vatican, donations from believers for charity works were up, from $67.7 million in 2010 to $69.7 million in 2011. That money, however, doesn't factor into the operating budget. The Vatican city state, a separate entity, also boasted a surplus of $27 million. Despite the deficit, the Vatican's 2,832 staffers needn't worry: There won't be any layoffs, says a spokesman, who noted that in global terms, the deficit isn't all that bad.

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 1, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
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