How much does the Vatican collect per day?
During the last 2000 years, the Catholic Church has accumulated an immense fortune. However, the secrecy and opacity surrounding the Holy See make it extremely difficult to quantify it. Today, the Catholic Church has a wealth of 2 billion euros in real estate alone. If we add the cash, gold reserves, stocks, jewelry, works of art, etc… the figure will surely be stratospheric. This reality collides head-on with the continuous words of help to others, solidarity, humility or modesty coming from the golden dome of the Vatican .
The Holy See is one of the most opaque institutions in the world. Your secrets are kept under lock and key and protected at all costs. Let us remember that the Vatican has its own security and intelligence service, one of the best in the world according to some sources, to carry out this task.
Many journalists and researchers have tried to quantify the wealth that the Vatican possesses in monetary terms. However, because it is one of the most sensitive issues for the Holy See, most have failed.
According to Nasdaq.com , it is very likely that no one knows the truth for sure outside the Vatican, as there are several reasons for uncertainty. First, the Vatican Bank has been the center of embezzlement and fraud scandals for many years, making it difficult to get an accurate count of what the bank has available in terms of cash flow. Second, in some countries (the United States is among them), religious groups are not required to publish their financial data.
However, thanks to some leaks that have occurred in recent years and the estimates that have been made, some data can be known.
WHAT IS KNOWN
To date, with the available data, the following can be stated :
- In 2014 the Vatican Bank managed $64 billion in assets on behalf of its 17,400 clients.
- The bank has 764 million dollars in capital
- The bank maintains gold reserves worth more than 20 million dollars in the United States Federal Reserve.
As Nasdaq.com underlines , while these numbers may not sound like much in terms of the transparency of information from such a large and mysterious institution, until a few years ago not even this kind of information was available to the general public.
After Benedict XVI left the papacy, Pope Francis instituted a sweeping tax reform. In this regard, an article published on June 5, 2014 in The Boston Globe described the effort of the new pontiff to internationalize the financial management of the Vatican, entirely Italian. As reported, Francis replaced officials with representatives from Singapore, Switzerland, Italy and the United States.
This event marked a turning point in what was called Pope Francis’s “honesty and transparency campaign,” a campaign that was not taken seriously until then. The pontiff made public the bank’s financial, transparency and operating statements. According to a Reuters article dated May 29, 2015, for fiscal 2014, the Vatican Bank reported about $76 million in net profit , more than 20 times the $3.16 million reported the previous year.
According to some sources, in 2014 it was estimated that in the coffers of the small State there were around 10,000 million euros between gold, securities and currencies .
Referring to gold reserves , according to the newspaper Nuevodiario.es , the Roman Catholic Church controls approximately 60,350 tons , the equivalent of 30.2% of all the gold extracted. “At current prices, it is possible to estimate the value of the assets […] at more than 1.245 billion dollars ”, states the newspaper.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONTROLS A FIFTH OF THE REAL ESTATE IN ITALY
The Catholic Church has built its treasure for centuries on a foundation that is very solid: brick . “This is where an estimate of Vatican wealth of close to two billion euros comes from ,” says researcher Giovanni Vegezzi.
This calculation, which has been published by the Italian press, has not been denied and is based on data from Gruppo Re, the Vatican’s real estate advisor. According to Vegezzi, “ the Church owns 20% of Italian real estate ”, and it turns out that in Italy alone the ecclesiastical real estate is worth around one billion euros .
The Church is estimated to own some 300,000 buildings in Italy alone , of which 115,000 are in Rome. “Their number is growing since only in the Italian capital there are 10,000 wills in favor of the Church every year,” emphasizes Vegezzi. “If to these are added the 700,000 properties that the Church controls throughout the world, the value of the heritage could skyrocket to two billion euros ,” says the same source.
THE SPANISH MONUMENTAL PLUNDER
Much of the architectural and monumental legacy of the Spanish State is in the hands of the Catholic Church, thanks to a legal subterfuge that has allowed this organization to register 3,111 monuments in its name, and up to 100,000 real estate of all kinds. A true legal plunder that makes the Catholic Church one of the largest owners of property in the Spanish State. In France and Portugal all historical-artistic monuments are property of the State. The Catholic Church, in both cases, retains the right of use for its liturgical activities, but ownership is public.