Vatican sees improved outlook for 2010 finances

.- The Council of Cardinals met in the Vatican from Jan. 20 - 21 to discuss the organizational and economic issues of the Holy See. Financial advisers told the meeting that they believe the Vatican's economic fortunes will fair better in 2010.

Nine members of the council were also present to meet with heads of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See, top representatives from the Vatican government, the president and secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and administrative and general directors of Vatican Radio.

According a communique from the Holy See regarding the meetings, the results of the budgetary meetings "reflect the hope of possible economic and financial advancement" and, regardless of the prevailing economic climate, the predictions "indicate some slight improvement."

Among the principal expenses of the Holy See are salaries for the 2,668 people who work in Vatican City, those at Vatican Radio and other institutions dedicated to media communications.

As far as the estimated budget of the Government of the Vatican City State for 2010, Archbishop Velasio de Paolis, President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, said that the most recent report shows the Holy See "administers its finances autonomously and has substantially overcome the difficulties of previous financial years, enabling it to look to the future with greater confidence."

Financial figures haven't been released for 2009 yet, but in 2007 and 2008 the Holy See ran a deficit.

Besides costs associated with the institutional activity of the State, there are also the costs for the upkeep of property and buildings as well as payroll for 1,884 employees.

Pope Benedict XVI dropped in on the meeting for a while, "listening with great interest to their observations, thanking everyone concerned for their valuable assistance to the Apostolic See."

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