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Vatican back in black but cardinals told to trim costs

/ 09:21 PM July 04, 2013

Vatican city AFP PHOTO

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Thursday said it had a budget surplus of 2.2 million euros ($2.8 million) last year compared to a deficit of 14.9 million euros in 2011 but said cardinals should still cut costs.

The committee that approved the accounts said the biggest expenses were salaries for the Vatican’s 2,823 employees and the payment of a new property tax introduced by the Italian government.

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Donations to the Vatican fell to $65.9 million from $69.7 million in 2011 and contributions from Catholic dioceses around the world went down to $28.3 million from $32.1 million.

The committee said there should be “a necessary reform… to cut costs” as well as to “simplify and rationalize” Vatican departments, along with more careful budget planning by administrators.

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Pope Francis is planning a major reform of the Vatican administration, which has been rocked by a series of scandals and is seen as deeply corrupt.

The Vatican said its 2011 results were hit by “the negative trend of global financial markets” but this year it said they had benefitted from a “good performance in financial management.”

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TAGS: Economy, Pope Francis, Religion, Vatican
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