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Fallible dollar devils Holy See

July 10, 2008|From Bloomberg News

The fall of the U.S. dollar gave the Holy See, the central administration for the Roman Catholic Church, its first budget deficit last year since 2003.

The Holy See's deficit totaled 9.1 million euros, or $14 million, compared with a 2006 surplus of 2.4 million euros, according to a statement on the Vatican website. Between 2004 and 2006, the total surplus was 15.2 million euros.

Revenue was 236.7 million euros last year, while expenses amounted to 245.8 million. Revenue from financial investments fell to 1.4 million euros from 13.7 million the year before because of the "brusque and accentuated inversion of the currency markets, above all the American dollar."

Revenue from donations and Episcopal councils around the world was little changed, as were the Holy See's expenses.

Media operations, which include television, radio and the L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, lost 14.6 million euros.

The Holy See employs 2,748 people, an increase of 44 from the previous year.

The Vatican, the world's smallest country, publishes separate figures for its finances, which were also hurt by the falling dollar.

The city-state's surplus fell to 6.7 million euros from 21.8 million euros a year ago.

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