Monday, July 11, 2005

Vatican's in the black this year


Vatican, Jul. 11 ( - The Holy See showed a positive budget balance of 3.08 million euros ($3.71 million) for the fiscal year 2004. That figure represents a dramatic improvement over the previous year's totals, which showed a deficit of 9.56 million euros ($11.54 million).

The Vatican budget figures, made public at a press conference in Rome on July 11, also showed a 5.37-million euro surplus for the operations of the Vatican City-State.

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, who heads the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs for the Holy See, said that the Vatican had enjoyed its first budget surplus in three years because of a rise in the European economy-- particularly in the value of the euro against the American dollar-- and some timely real-estate sales. He reported that the surplus would be used to ease some chronic shortfalls in certain areas of Church operations.

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