VATICAN CITY, JULY 8, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See's latest financial statement shows that the "Vatican's riches" are a legend, says a Church official.
The president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See was presenting the Vatican's deficit numbers for the fiscal year 2003.
"And the Vatican's riches?" a journalist asked him.
He explained that in the last year, in an adverse international economic situation, the Holy See applied an austerity plan to contain the deficit as much as possible.
The cardinal presented in the Vatican press office the Consolidated Financial Statement of the Holy See for the Fiscal Year 2003, which shows a deficit of some $11.8 million.
This marked the third consecutive year of figures in the red, though the 2003 deficit is less than that of the previous year, about $16.6 million.
In 2003, the Holy See recorded income of $251 million and expenses of $263 million, a financial statement comparable to that of several dioceses in some developed countries.
Here is the truth: The Richest Man on Earth?
Remember when the pope came to the United States? How he chided us for not showing mercy? That we should give away what we have to the poor? We are such a wealthy nation. And then remember the great earthquake that took place in 1980 over in Italy? I remember when the pope came in to this ruined area, walked up to the bedside of some poor little wounded Italian man and the pope so benevolently laid his hand on his head and made the sign of the cross, blessed the man and walked off.
And the newscasters were telling of the devastation. And then we cut back to the United States and Senator Kennedy looked at the camera with sorrowful eyes and said, "Oh, we Americans, out of mercy we should send at least 45 million dollars to this devastated village so we can reconstruct it." Remember that? Now let me read something out of THE VATICAN BILLIONS by Avro Manhattan, and I think you're going to get as mad as I am right now. I want to bring to your attention the fact that this information was published 10 years ago, and the figures are probably even more startling today.
"The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.
"In a statement published in connection with a bond prospectus, the Boston archdiocese listed its assets at Six Hundred and Thirty-five Million ($635,891,004), which is 9.9 times its liabilities. This leaves a net worth of Five Hundred and Seventy-one million dollars ($571,704,953). It is not difficult to discover the truly astonishing wealth of the church, once we add the riches of the twenty-eight archdioceses and 122 dioceses of the U.S.A., some of which are even wealthier than that of Boston.
"Some idea of the real estate and other forms of wealth controlled by the Catholic church may be gathered by the remark of a member of the New York Catholic Conference, namely 'that his church probably ranks second only to the United States Government in total annual purchase.' Another statement, made by a nationally syndicated Catholic priest, perhaps is even more telling. 'The Catholic church,' he said, 'must be the biggest corporation in the United States. We have a branch office in every neighborhood. Our assets and real estate holdings must exceed those of Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined. And our roster of dues-paying members must be second only to the tax rolls of the United States Government.'
"The Catholic church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The Vatican, independently of each successive pope, has been increasingly orientated towards the U.S. The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican's financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.
"The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.
"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."
And I think back about how the pope, the wealthiest man on this planet, walked up to that poor little Italian man lying in that rubble, put his hand on his head, and said, "Bless you," and then walked away and just left him there. That has got to be the height of hypocrisy. And then Sen. Kennedy, the pope's boy over in the United States makes the big pitch to the U.S. people to foot the bill to repair that devastated village, right in the pope's backyard. What a set-up!
Just some added info: Other exploits of the Vatican
19 April 2002
• The Vatican Bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione, manages £2bn of assets. It does not reveal its profits or dividends, which are paid directly to the Pope. It enjoys the status of a central bank and has a dealing room adorned with crucifixes and papal portraits where 20 traders work.
• Despite the Vatican's assets, including the art collection in the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, it relies heavily on support from American dioceses.
• The Pope owns more than 1,000 apartments in Rome. The Vatican's property portfolio made a profit of 25.7bn lira in 1998, equivalent to about £10m at the time.
• The Vatican had a balance of 2.5bn lira in 1998, then worth about £1m. It had expenses of about 336bn lira (£106m) and income of about 338bn lira (£107m).
• The 2,500 officials of the Papal curia have a combined salary bill of 140bn lira (£44m).
• The 20,000 parishes in America had revenues of $7.5bn (£5.18bn) )in 2000, of which $6.5bn went to cover expenses and $1bn subsidised Catholic schools.
• In the 1980s the Vatican Bank was forced to pay $241m for its part in the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano. Roberto Calvi, who had been advising the Vatican over its dealings with the bank, was found hanging from a rope beneath Blackfriars Bridge.
• Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, the man tipped to be the first American Pope, has been building a new cathedral for the past four years. The cost is now estimated at almost $200m.
And of course the old Encyclical of Pope Pius XI "Rerum Novarum " which is in the making as we speak.None is left unscathed .click here
Learn more about the king of the North Daniel 11:40-45 here