.- The Council of Cardinals that studies the Vatican's organizational and economic problems announced that the Holy See has reported a deficit of 9 million euros –more than 14 million U.S. dollars- for 2007.
The committee of Cardinals, who recently gathered with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, includes cardinal Roger Mahony from Los Angeles, Camillo Ruini, Vicar emeritus of Rome (Italy), Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid (Spain), Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, of Lagos (Nigeria), Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, of Lima (Peru), Edward Michael Egan, of New York, Eusébio Oscar Scheid, of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Gaudencio B. Rosales, of Manila (The Philippines) and Nicholas Cheong of Seoul (Korea).
The Committee evaluated the balance sheets of the Holy See, the Government of the Vatican City State and the contributions to the Peter's Pence all separately.
The Holy See's balance –which includes the expenses of the different dicasteries and offices of the Roman Curia- reported incomes for 236,737,207 euros and expenses of 245,805,167 leaving a deficit of 9,067,960 euros. The posting of a deficit is a dramatic down turn from the surpluses reported 2004, 2005 and 2006, which netted a combined income of 15,206,587.
The main contributors to the Vatican’s dip into the red are Vatican Radio and the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in their different languages, including the daily Italian edition. The two media providers required a combined 14.6 million euros for their expenses in 2007.
There are 2,748 people working in the Roman Curia, 44 more than in 2006. The labor force of the Curia consists of 778 priests, 333 religious (male and female) and 1,637 laypersons, of which 425 are women.
The Government of the Vatican City State did not post a deficit in 2007, registering a surplus of 6.7 million euros. A significant role in the surplus was played by the substantial increase in the number of visitors to the Vatican Museums.
The Government of the Vatican City has 1,795 employees, 102 more than in 2006. The city state paid out 62.3 million euros in salaries and benefits in 2007.
(1 Euro = 1.573 U.S. Dollars)