Pontifical authority for the first time public financial statements: challenges in the pandemic – Vatican News

Pontifical authority for the first time public financial statements: challenges in the pandemic – Vatican News

The Pontifical Asset Management Bureau published a detailed document describing the institution’s activities and functions. During 2020, the Pontifical Authority’s income and contributions to the Holy See have been reduced, and financial investments exceeded 1 billion euros. Bishop Galantino, President of the Pontifical Administration of Property Management: This institution serves the needs of those who have difficulty paying. Although income has decreased, the results are positive for us, as a desire to “act as a church” emerges from it.

(Vatican News Network)The Pontifical Asset Administration (APSA) has revenues of less than EUR 51 million and financial investments equivalent to EUR 1.778 billion during 2020. The institution’s required contribution to the Holy See was reduced from EUR 41 million to EUR 20 million. However, considering the dire consequences of the pandemic, such results are still positive. This is the first time the Pontifical Asset Management Bureau has disclosed its financial statements since its inception in 1967. This document contains activities for 2020. The institution’s president, Bishop Galantino, said the decision to disclose financial details was based on the “hope” that it would increase confidence in the church’s actions, and wanted to use it to promote change. Institution. It has transformed from an “organization which primarily provides services as per the requirements” to an “active entity” in the management of entrusted assets.

This is not the first time that the Pontifical Asset Management Bureau has compiled internal financial statements and submitted them to regulatory agencies for approval. In an interview with Vatican media, Bishop Galantino clarified: “It has happened before.” However, this is the first time the Pontifical Property Administration has made financial statements public. Bishop said: “This is certainly a step forward on the path of transparency.”

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It is noteworthy that on 28 December 2020, Pope Francis transferred the Pontifical State Council’s funds and immovable property to the Pontifical Property Administration through a manuscript. Bishop Galantino pointed out that this process is not only a “transfer of property and power”, but also a “new culture”; And this culture “is not just about the administrative level, we should gradually develop a sense of belonging to it.”

This very detailed financial statement describes the work done by the Pontifical Estate Administration during these months of medical and health crises. In addition, the report also provides useful information to clarify false rumors about the property of the Holy See. For example, according to the interpretation of this document, the Holy See, due to the lease of famous real estate in Paris and London, allows the papal relief to use historical buildings such as the Palazzo Migliori (Palazzo Migliori) for free. This is how intelligence groups can receive the homeless here.

The document also mentions a real estate transaction near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris: under the mediation of a Vatican company, the seller used part of the proceeds to build a church in a poor area of ​​Paris. Bishop Galantino explained: “This real estate was purchased on December 22, 2017 to increase the income of the Holy See, while also providing resources for building churches and nurturing youth in the suburbs.” The value of this real estate is 13.47 million euros. , the gross return is equal to 2.87%.

In addition, the document also describes three major areas of work of the Pontifical Asset Management Authority. The first sector is real estate: the agency manages 4051 units in Italy, 92% of which are located in the urban and provincial areas of Rome. The second area is movable property, namely: investment in international stocks, consultancy, financial solutions and access to capital markets for the Holy See and other Vatican institutions. The third area is called “Other Activities”. Most of these services are free. Units providing services include the Purchasing Office, the Accounting Office, and the “St Peter’s Shrine Office” (Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem), etc. The “Peters Pilgrimage Office” is responsible for arranging logistics for tickets and travel to the Holy See.

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The report also describes the large-scale “negative impact” of the pandemic’s socio-economic consequences on management outcomes. Bishop Galantino explained: “The activities being promoted by all members of the Pontifical Property Administration far outweigh the dire consequences of the pandemic crisis. We tried our best to be a credible and credible administrative unit, rather than just focusing on efficiency and efficiency. We strive to act with the rational discussion, high transparency and professionalism that even Pope Francis requires.”

Based on this approach, when the pandemic broke out in March 2020, the Holy See Agency decided to meet the needs of commercial activities, cancel part of the rent and reduce the rent by 30 to 50% depending on the situation in the commercial . activities. Bishop Galantino emphasized, “In terms of technology and results, what we do is not conducive to achieving positive results. But for us, the results are still positive, because even at this time when everyone’s disaster is imminent.” A church “willing to act as” is still emerging.”

This report also presents a “vacant house” plan. In other words, the agency must take specific action to gradually reduce the number of real estate that is not rented, renovate 100 apartments in batches, and invite real estate companies to participate. The first batch of projects is expected to start in January 2022.

As for tax issues, the Pontifical Property Management Authority said that during the 2020 tax year, the agency paid Italy €5.95 million in city housing tax and €2.88 million in corporate income tax. In addition, Bishop Galantino reiterated that the institution is committed to investing in initiatives that have “social impact”, and also indicated that investments managed by the institution have increased to 17 as of the December 31, 2020 deadline. billion euros, and its management rate is as high as 1.53%. This confirms that careful management can be achieved even in difficult environments.

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Finally, the Pontifical Authority is also promoting the drafting of a three-year plan, through which the plan will be able to promote the achievement of effectiveness and efficiency goals, and also rely on the transparency and cooperation of each staff member in the institution. does. In the process of all this, everyone realized that “the Pontifical Property Administration has an obligation to protect the property entrusted to them, improve them and make them profitable,” said Bishop Galantino.

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