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COVID crisis at the Vatican

Due to the ramifications of COVID-19, the Pope has cut the salaries of cardinals, and seniority shots have been blocked starting April 1.

  1. To safeguard current jobs, the Pope decided there must be a cut in cardinals’ salaries by 10% as well as other superiors and ecclesiastics.
  2. There will be a block of biennial shots from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023, for all personnel serving at the Holy See, Governorate, and other related bodies.
  3. Poverty is growing in Italy due to COVID, but aid from the Church is also growing despite its own financial problems.

Pope Bergoglio with a motu proprio (by own initiative) has contained the expenditure for the staff of the Holy See, the Governorate of the Vatican City State and other related bodies given the financial crisis, aggravated by the pandemic.

“Considering it necessary to proceed according to criteria of proportionality and progressiveness” and “to safeguard current jobs,” it was decided that a cut in salaries which will affect the cardinals by 10% as well as other superiors and ecclesiastics needs to be administered. For these top religious figures, the Pope has also suspended seniority shots until 2023 (except for lay employees from the first to the third level).

“An economically sustainable future today requires, among other decisions, also to adopt measures concerning staff salaries,” wrote Bergoglio in his motu proprio. The Pope does not want to dismiss, but the expenses need to be contained. Therefore, the decision was made to intervene “according to criteria of proportionality and progressiveness” with some adjustments that concern especially clerics and the religious at the highest levels.

This financial squeeze has been motivated “by the deficit that has characterized the economic management of the Holy See for several years” and by the situation created by the pandemic, “which negatively affected all the sources of income of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.”