VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is reportedly using donations meant for the weak and suffering to plug the hole in its administrative budget.
People familiar with the funds told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that as little as 10% of the money raised through the pope’s main charitable appeal, Peter’s Pence, is spent on charitable efforts.
The same people went on to say that about two-thirds of the more than €50 million ($55 million) collected annually has been used to help cover the budget deficit at the Holy See, the central administration of the Catholic Church.
Currently, the people familiar with the matter say Peter’s Pence assets total about €600 million ($666.4), down from about €700 million ($777.4) early in the current pontificate. The sources point to unsuccessful investments for the dip.
WSJ reports that some Catholic Church leaders are concerned that the faithful are being misled about how their Peter’s Pence donations are being used.
Church law says Pope Francis is allowed to use Peter’s Pence at his discretion in any way that serves his ministry, which includes the support of his administration.