Vatican falls into the red
Annual accounts published yesterday showed that the Holy See dipped into the red last year, recording a loss of €9.1m (£7.25m). It said this was "due mainly to sharp and very pronounced trend reversal in fluctuation of exchange rates, particularly the US dollar".
The US currency has fallen sharply against the euro since the start of last year, hitting the Holy See in the pocket as its expenses are incurred in euros. Much of the Vatican's income comes from donations from Catholics around the world. The US was the largest single contributor to Peter's Pence – the collection used by the Pope for charitably donations - sending almost $19m (£9.5m).
But the shortfall was mitigated by a rise of €4m in property income. The Holy See is a major owner of property across Rome and was criticised last year for raising rents and threatening to evict tenants. Some even formed an association to protest that their homes were being turned into hotels.