“Sixteen bids were received, four were selected; after a second round of bids the best one was selected,” he said.
“The contract of sale has been signed, we have received 10% of the deposit and it will be concluded in June 2022.”
“The loss from the alleged swindle, which has been much talked about and is now being judged by the Vatican courts, was already taken into account in the balance sheet.”
“The building has been sold above the valuation we had in the balance sheet and the appraisal made by the specialized institutions.”
The interview with the Spanish Jesuit was published as the Vatican released more information about its budget for 2022. The Vatican said that it had calculated this year’s “mission budget” in a different way to previous years as it had added “30 new entities” to its balance sheet, increasing the number from 60 to 90.
Guerrero explained that Secretariat for the Economy took the step “because we are concerned about not having a vision of the risks outside the budget, which fall on the Curia when there are problems.”
The total deficit expected for 2022 is €33 million (around $37 million), compared to the €42 million ($47 million) shortfall budgeted for 2021.
The prefect noted that the Vatican’s Council for the Economy (CpE) approved the 2022 budget in December 2021.
He said: “It is understandable that the CpE has had difficulty in approving a budget with such a deficit for another year and has asked us to make plans to further reduce expenditures and increase revenues. According to our forecasts, we expect a somewhat lower deficit than budgeted in 2021.”
Guerrero underlined that cost-cutting alone would not guarantee financial stability and the Vatican needed to seek new sources of donations.
“The first requirement is transparency and clear accountability, and I think we have taken many steps in this direction,” he said.
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"Apart from giving an annual account of the budget and the balance sheet, this year we hope to give an account of the inflow and outflow of the Peter’s Pence collection and to send the accounts of the Holy See to the bishops’ conferences for their information.”
"We have to make the local churches more aware of the needs of the Holy See; the Curia is at their service and must be largely maintained by them. There is a great difference in the commitment of the various Churches to the support of the Roman Curia. And [we also need] to enlist the help of the faithful, who want to support the pope in his mission of unity in charity, which is after all what the Roman Curia does.”