Vatican Spends 90% of Donations for the Poor On Itself

Mish

Thinking of donating money to the Vatican to feed the poor? You may wish to reconsider.

Please consider Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit.

Every year, Catholics around the world donate tens of millions of dollars to the pope. Bishops exhort the faithful to support the weak and suffering through the pope’s main charitable appeal, called Peter’s Pence.

What the church doesn’t advertise is that most of that collection, worth more than €50 million ($55 million) annually, goes toward plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget, while as little as 10% is spent on charitable works, according to people familiar with the funds.

The little-publicized breakdown of how the Holy See spends Peter’s Pence, known only among senior Vatican officials, is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican’s financial management under Pope Francis.

The Vatican is currently embroiled in a scandal over opaque real-estate investments in London, which has triggered a power struggle within the Vatican’s bureaucracy and led to the dismissal of its chief financial regulator. Last month, the Vatican was suspended from an international network of anti-money-laundering watchdogs.

Meanwhile, the Holy See is struggling with a growing budget deficit, with the pope warning cardinals of the “grave impact” on the body’s economic future.

Money Laundering and Bribes

While the Vatican spends 90% of the money it collects for itself on the poor, the Catholic News Agency reports Vatican Investments Linked to Global Money Laundering Investigations.

A fund in which the Vatican’s Secretariat of State has invested tens of millions of euros has links to two Swiss banks investigated or implicated in bribery and money laundering scandals involving more than one billion dollars. The fund is under investigation by Vatican authorities.

The fund, Centurion Global Fund, made headlines this week that it used the Vatican assets under its management to invest in Hollywood films, real estate, and utilities, including investments in movies like “Men in Black International” and the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.”

Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra reported that the Centurion Global Fund has raised around 70 million euro in cash, and that the Holy See’s Secretariat of State is the source of at least two-thirds of the fund’s assets. The Vatican’s investment is reported to include funds from the Peter’s Pence collection, intended to support charitable works and the ministry of the Vatican Curia.

Along with an offshore bank and a New Jersey institution that has faced several investigations for non-compliance with money laundering regulations, Zarrattini was at the time holding funds subject to seizure in the PDVSA money laundering investigation.

Swiss financial news sites also linked the bank to an alleged $62 million bribe paid to a PDVSA official.

Charity Begins at Home

If you were pondering making a donation to the Vatican, you may as well spend the money on yourself.

Alternatively, just spend 85% of what you were going to donate on yourself. Give the other 15% to an organization that will use the money wisely.

The poor will be better off and so will you.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (52)
No. 1-22
shamrock
shamrock

Not to mention $3 to $4B, and counting, payouts for covering up the sexual deviants. It's bad.

Latkes
Latkes

All big charities steal or waste most of the donated money. It's better to help directly.

As for Vatican, it has been going downhill at least since the 60's when it was taken over by perverts and commies.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

Oh well. It's a far cry from the Middle Ages when the Vatican extorted the tenth (tithe) from every living thing, ultimately by threat of corporal punishment. Usually a bit of tongue lashing and eternal condemnation did the job. You can put it on the plus side of the modern church.

Aaaal
Aaaal

They have to prepare for the coming of the antichrist. Money doesn't grow on trees ya know.

KidHorn
KidHorn

I would imagine it's costly to run the Vatican. Likely a lot more than $50m/year.

Jojo
Jojo

Hey, ya know, we gots overhead to cover...

WildBull
WildBull

It costs millions just to keep the statues dusted.

ksdude69
ksdude69

I just watched my brotherinlaws parents, who he was close with, decide to give their home and all their money to the catholic church and the brotherinlaw and his other brother aren't very well off. I guess maybe it was his parents thinking maybe it will get them into heaven.

I'm pretty much inline with George Carlin's views on God and money.

abend237-04
abend237-04

I'm just thankful the $50 million isn't funding the Spanish Inquisition. Imagine the stake kindling they could buy for heretics like me.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

It's better to donate non-perishable food or volunteer to help the less fortunate. It's not really charity until that face to face experience creates two smiles.

astroboy
astroboy

Peter's pence is specifically for running the Vatican. That's been made expressly clear in every Catholic church I've ever been in. Duh.

Tengen
Tengen

The Catholic church sucks, and I say this as someone who was raised Catholic and went to a Jesuit high school. Their ranks seem to be dwindling in the developed world, but they still pull in some new converts, all of whom must be utterly desperate people.

My mom still throws money at them as she's been doing all her life. When she talks about it, the strongest defense she can muster is that she hopes none of it is going to sexual abuse settlements. I don't think she realizes how low a bar that is.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

On a serious note. The church has a legitimate purpose as guardians of heritage buildings, e.g. churches. If the state doesn't support them, the church should. Unfortunately, some of the funds are being diverted to lawyers, and as compensation for pedophile cases. The perpetrators should burn in hell.

The churches are also ideal for distributing local charitable donation at very low overhead cost, which everybody should support, and be happy about.

The enlightened, worldly semi-intellectuals have no problems turning churches into other uses, including e.g. mosques (having central location) for the new arrivals to the West. This rubs me on the wrong side, and don't ask me why.

Sechel
Sechel

on my firt job i happened to see a financial statement for one of the vaticans account, at least that's my recollection. it was huge. left a huge impression

frozeninthenorth
frozeninthenorth

I don't know Mish who gave you the idea that the tithe was to feed the poor. Its not in the mega churches in the US its not in fact in any church. The role of religious organisation is first and foremost the faith and its infrastructure. Feeding the poor has never been a "core" mission -- although its an important one too!

Gulliverfoyle
Gulliverfoyle

all chharraddees are for the benefit for the people that work there now

dont give them a penny

go local

johndt41
johndt41

Every year in many countries the catholic church is given millions of dollars in tax payer monies to pay for social services such as orphanages, medical services for poor etc. but there is never an accounting. No one knows what the catholic church is actually using tax payer monies for. I have to wonder if it is going to their Child Sexual Abuse Insurance Premiums, paying for law suits etc.

Nick4Liberty
Nick4Liberty

I left the Catholic Church when thy refused to baptized my first-born son. The monsignor said I hadn’t been using my envelops and I hadn’t contributed to the Bishops fund. I ask what was the going rate of salvation these days and he hung up on me. I never went back but later became a born-again Christ follower. I am eternally grateful to You Monsignor.

snafuman
snafuman

Speaking of giving money directly to the poor, as many here suggest... When I get hit up for money on the streets, one of their principal lines is "I haven't eaten in three days" (it's never two days, or four days, it's almost like they go to training for this). Anyway, I've often told them "hey, there's a restaurant across the street, I'll buy you some food". No one has EVER taken me up on that offer. They want money for booze or drugs. One guy who was hitting me up for money once, I asked him what he wanted the money for. He said "I'm not going to lie to you. I gonna buy a bottle of booze." I was so impressed with his honesty I gave him some money and told him to have a good time. I still go to the Catholic Church (that childhood "programming" is difficult to fully remove), but I radically slashed my donations. Got tired of paying off lawsuits and supporting Pope Francis's liberal agendas. Per this article, apparently the Church is a bit like those guys on the street. They don't want the money for food.

snafuman
snafuman

Okay, I was wrong (and so is the Wall Street Journal article) the "Peter's Pence" collection is specifically for the support of the Vatican, not the poor.

jrg371
jrg371

This isn't unique to the Vatican. Churches aren't subject to the same registration and disclosure laws as other types of nonprofits.

Donors have an extra obligation to learn where how their funds are being used when they give or are asked to donate: https://www.harborcompliance.com/information/charitable-registration


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