Vatican bank announces £1.5m budget surplus

Pope Francis with Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Picture: AFP/ Getty

Pope Francis with Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Picture: AFP/ Getty

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The Vatican, embroiled in scandal involving its bank, released some good news on its finances, announcing that it had posted a $2.2 million (£1.5m) budget surplus in 2012.

However, figures released showed donations to a fund for use by the pope dropped by nearly 12 per cent in 2012. The fall coincided with the year the Vatican was hit by a leaks scandal and the arrest of former Pope Benedict’s butler.

The Vatican bank, which has been the subject of scandals for decades, is under investigation by Italian magistrates for money laundering. The bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), denies the accusations.

A Vatican spokesman said he believed the worldwide economic crisis was responsible for a drop to $56.9m (£38m) from $69.7m (£46.2m) the year before in Peter’s Pence, a special collection taken up each year for use by the pope.

The surplus of $2.2m in 2012 was due “mainly to good performance in financial management”, the bank said yesterday.

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