Vatican reports 14.8 million euro deficit
The Vatican reported a deficit Thursday of 14.8 million euros (18.6 million dollars) for its 2011 budget, blaming the losses on the international market slump.
The bulk of expenses went into staff costs - the Holy See employed 2,832 as of December - and its media service, including its radio and newspaper, the Vatican said in a statement.
The overall negative budget was "influenced by the negative results of the international financial markets," which had prevented the achievement of several investment targets, the statement said.
The budget figures were approved earlier this week by the Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See, the statement said.
On the plus side, the Vatican saw an increase in revenue generated from ticket sales for the Vatican Museums, which went from 82.4 million euros in 2010 to 91.3 million in 2011. The number of visitors to the museum complex topped 5 million.
Also in 2011, donations to the Peter's Pence - a collection given directly to the pope for charitable and other activities of his choice, much of which originates from the United States - totalled some 69.7 million dollars compared to the 67.7 million generated in 2010, the Vatican said.