The Vatican has published a breakdown of the charitable contributions of Catholics directed to the pope, known as Peter’s Pence.
The fund is composed of a yearly collection from dioceses worldwide as well as individual contributions, to support service activities carried out by the Roman Curia and contribute to charities assisting those most in need.
In 2021, the fund recorded a deficit of more than 19.2 million dollars, with an an income of 48.9 million dollars, and 68.4 million dollars in expenses.
This continues a downward trend of giving to Peter’s Pence. 2021’s collection was down 15% from 2020’s, which was 18% less than in 2019. The Vatican has said the losses were compounded by the pandemic, which left many churches closed.
Questions over the use of Peter’s Pence have been raised in light of a scandal involving the Vatican’s investment in a London property, in which the Vatican lost some 120 million dollars, the majority of which was derived from the fund.
Perhaps as a result, the Vatican listed how the funds had been spent, with some 58 million dollars listed to run its various departments, embassies, communications, and local churches, and 10 million dollars directed to charities.
Africa and Asia were the largest recipients of aid, and the United States, Italy, Germany, and South Korea were the largest contributors.