The pope emeritus Benedict XVI passed away this Saturday, December 31, 2022, at the age of 95. The pontiff was not only the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church between 2005 and 2013, but also had at his disposal the patrimony of the Holy See, the governing body of Vatican City.
The Holy See generates income from Saint Peter’s Pence, a mechanism created in the eighth century in which Catholics and dioceses from around the world make donations to the Pope in Rome. According to the official news portal of the Holy See, these donations had a value of US$46.9 million in 2021, while in 2020 they were US$44.1 million.
Most of the donations came from the diocese, with 65%, followed by contributions from foundations with 10%. The countries from which donations were sent the most were the US (29.3%), Italy (11.3%), Germany (5.2%) and South Korea (3.2%).
The Holy See’s budget for 2022 was US$289 million, a reduction from US$293 million the previous year, as an austerity measure to mitigate the projected deficit of US$33 million that occurred in the wake of the pandemic.
The impact of covid-19 is due to the fact that the Vatican City it also raises revenue through its museum tickets, tours, highly sought-after stamps and coins, and publication sales, according to a Michigan Journal of Economics publication.