The Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), which is in charge of accounting and managing real estate and investments and which until now had never disclosed its accounts, has shown a deficit of 66.3 million euros in 2020.
This can be deduced from the report published for the first time since its creation in 1967, in which it also gives an account of the heritage that the Holy See has spread throughout the world. The value attributed to these properties is 883 million euros, largely made up of about 5,000 properties. Most of them are in Italy, but also in France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
The president of said body, Nunzio Gallantino, has confirmed in an interview with Vatican News that in 2020 entered 51 million less than the previous year.
As specified in the published report, while in 2019 APSA activities generated 73.21 million euros, in 2020 these were 21.99 million. Similarly, the body reduced its contribution to the Roman Curia, from 41.2 million in 2019 to 20.6 million in 2020.
“The decision to publish the document,” explained Galantino, arises from the “hope” that confidence increases in the work of the Church. Thus, although it is not the first time that the APSA has prepared its report to present it to the control bodies, it is the first time that it has been made public. “It is undoubtedly a step forward in terms of transparency,” said Galantino.
Thus, the report details the operation of the APSA -which acts as the Central Bank of the Vatican City State-, during 2020 a year especially dedicated to the response to the health emergency. In addition, it clears doubts about the use of the assets of the Holy See: for example, it is noted that thanks to the rental of different properties in Paris and London During the pandemic, it was possible to grant the Apostolic Alms service free of charge the use of Palazzo Migliori, in Rome, where the homeless sheltered by Sant’Egidio have been housed.
The APSA is in charge, among other tasks, of the management of real estate assets of the Holy See, the Obolus of San Pedro and the Reserved Funds of the Secretary of State, the latter, at the express request of the Pope.
“The activities that all of us at APSA are launching go beyond the serious consequences of the pandemic crisis,” Galantino told Vatican News. “Our energies are directed to a credible and reliable administration, in addition to being effective and efficient, allowing ourselves to be guided by processes of rationalization, transparency and professionalism also required by Pope Francis “, he added.
Furthermore, APSA workers (currently 102) are in the process of drawing up a three-year plan with which to efficiently achieve their objectives and, as Galantino points out, “in a climate of transparency and collaboration“.” It is the obligation of the APSA to preserve, improve and make profitable the heritage that has been entrusted to it, “recalled the president of the organization.
The report is published a few days before the Vatican macro-trial that begins on Tuesday, July 27 and that he will sit on the bench for the first time a cardinal, the Italian Angelo Becciu, for the opaque purchase of a building in London.