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At Vatican budget meeting, cardinals express concerns about global economy
By Alan Holdren

.- Amid an economic situation still affected by uncertainty in the world marketplace, a group of cardinals expressed their gratitude to the faithful who continue to keep the Holy See going through their donations. But in a Feb. 17 statement, the cardinals said while there are “signs of improvement,” the “uncertainty of the global economic system” remains a cause for concern.

The Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See met from Feb. 15-16 to discuss 2011 budgets for the Holy See and the Vatican City's administrative authority.

Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and Cardinals Velasio De Paolis, Giovanni Lajolo and Attilio Nicora – who oversee the administrative and economic functions of the Vatican – were present together with other important members of oversight departments.

They discussed the 2011 consolidated budget which covers economic activities of the various Vatican departments and institutions, including its media agencies such as L'Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio.

They also examined Vatican City's budget, which works on a separate budget but provides support for the Holy See and its activities. This includes upkeep for buildings and artistic patrimony as well as security.

In a July 2010 meeting, the cardinals reported that 2009 saw a more than $16 million combined deficit in the final balances, but noted that it marked an improvement from previous figures.

In their statement, the cardinals announced that “the overall picture emerging from these budgets, though showing clear signs of improvement, is still marked by the uncertainty of the global economic system and by increased administrative costs.”

They said that there is evidence of this most of all in the Holy See's budget as it is subsidized largely by the donations of Catholics around the world.

According to the statement, “the members of the council expressed their profound gratitude for the support people give, often anonymously, to the universal ministry of the Holy Father, and exhorted them to continue this good work.”


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