The Vatican Secretariat for the Economy said March 4 that, despite posting a 12.4 million euros deficit in 2015, the Holy See has made significant progress in carrying out its economic reform. Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Stuck, public domain

Despite 2015 deficit, progress made in implementing reforms, Vatican says

By  Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service
  • March 6, 2017

VATICAN CITY – Although the Holy See reported a deficit of 12.4 million euros ($17.6 million) in 2015, significant progress has been made in the budgeting process and carrying out economic reform, the Vatican said.

Vatican City State, on the other hand, which has a separate budget, reported a surplus of 59.9 million euros ($89.94 million) "largely due to continued revenue from cultural activities, especially those linked to the museums," a statement from the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy said March 4.

Established by Pope Francis in February 2014, the secretariat answers to the Council for the Economy and exercises authority over all economic and administrative activities within the Holy See and Vatican City State, including budgeting, financial planning, hiring, procurement and the preparation of detailed financial statements.

In its review of the 2015 budget, the economic secretariat said it informed the council that while new rules for transparency in budgeting and financial reporting are "firmly underway," completion of the process and a full audit are "a few more years away."

"The 2015 annual accounts represent an important step for the economic reforms and along the journey toward new policies, which are progressing well," the secretariat said.

The secretariat also reported that, for the first time, the 2017 budget was presented to the economic council before the start of the new year.

Presenting the budget early for approval, it added, "will allow further control on reviewing expenses, through the monitoring of actual performances against approved financial plans."

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