VATICAN, EUROPE – Donations to the Catholic Church have plummeted Worldwide because of the Vatican’s eroding faith due to waves of sexual abuse scandals, according to a new book.
The finances of the Church are heavily spiraling downward as the result of a mixture of corruption, incompetence, and internal infighting. Its finances are in such bad shape that the Vatican risks a default by 2023, the book exposes.
Donations given to the Church by ordinary Catholics are known as Peter’s Pence, and the amounts have plunged from 101 million Euros in 2006, down to 70 million Euros in 2016, and are reported to currently be lower than 60 million Euros.
Out of those donations, only one-fifth of the amount goes towards helping needy and poor people, while the rest is kept in bank accounts, or is used to patch up financial gaps of the Vatican’s governing body, known as the Curia.
Nuzzi’s book named Universal Judgement was just published on Monday, there is a portrayal of the Vatican as a viper’s nest of embattled departments and financially greedy officials who are well educated at parallel bookkeeping, along with cardinals filled with jealousy.
“If the pontificate of Frances fails, it won’t be because of the attacks of conservative Catholics or the crisis in vocations or because of the declining number of faithful,” Gianluigi Nuzzi writes in his book. “It will be because of the financial collapse that is coming ever closer.”
Nuzzi referred to the Vatican’s deficit as being, “like a voracious and insatiable parasite, attacking wealth that was accumulated over the centuries from the pious offerings of the faithful.”
The contributions being in a steep and dangerous decline is directly connected to the crisis that millions of Catholics are facing, they view the multiple sex scandals with cardinals and priests involved as being appalling.
There have been thousands of accusations that ranking members of the church molested or raped children, including the former finance chief for the Vatican, Australian Cardinal George Pell, who is serving prison time after he was convicted of the sexual abuse of teenage boys in the state of Victoria.
The percentage of Catholics in the United States who hold a high or very high opinion of the clergy fell from 49% back in 2017 down to just 31% when 2018 ended, according to a Gallup survey.
The sharp decline in confidence is due to the sex abuse crisis that affects the Church’s standing in the United States, Australia, Ireland, Chile, and other countries.
It has been admitted by the Church by Pope Francis himself that, “credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them.”
The Vatican is making efforts to combat its financial crisis by setting up an emergency task force because of the steep decline it has seen financially.
Mr Nuzzi quoted a Vatican official in his book from one of the obtained documents who said, “The deficit is recurring and structural and has reached worrying levels. We risk a default if no urgent steps are taken.”
The Vatican does have an immense property portfolio, but its asset management is “Catastrophic,” Mr Nuzzi says. These properties include about 800 that are empty and hundreds more that have been leased out for rental agreements, or that aren’t even collecting any money at all.
The acronym Apsa is the entity that manages the property portfolio, and it lost more than 22 million Euros in 2018. Nuzzi writes this was the first time ever that Apsa was “in the red,” and losing money.
According to Nuzzi, Vatican insiders are constantly making attempts to sabotage or impede accountability and transparency efforts made by Pope Francis.
While describing his book, Nuzzi said it’s, “an account of the Pope’s fight to stop the slide towards the financial collapse of the Vatican.”