Pope orders pay cut for cardinals and clerics as the finances of the Vatican have severely been affected due to the pandemic. From April 2021, the cardinals will get 10% less of their usual salary, revealed the Vatican.
Pope orders pay cut for cardinals – how will it impact them?
The cardinals receive at the most of €5,000 per month, roughly $5,900. They also live in subsidized accommodations. As per reports, Vatican has been hit by a deficit of €50 million in the last year. Due to the closure of attractions like museums and religious places, Vatican has been badly impacted.
Pope Francis had stated that he does not want to lay off anyone during the trying times. Through an apostolic letter written in the Italian language, the Pope ruled out the decree in fees. It also mentioned that the cuts would be proportional.
Priests and clerics will have their salaries cut down anywhere between 3-8 percent. Also, salary increases will be halted till March 2023.
What did the letter state?
The Pope’s letter shared that, to bring economic sustainability they need to take decisions like salary cuts. The action is being taken due to the health emergency from the spread of coronavirus. The pandemic has negatively impacted the sources of income for the Holy See (the governing body of Roman Catholic Church) and Vatican City State. Further, the letter stated that the cuts are necessary to help people retain their jobs.
According to correspondents, the Pope is trying to safeguard the jobs of lay workers. Many cardinals who work in the Vatican live in big apartments in Rome and at a low market rent. Many nuns and priests work and live in religious communities that offer better protection from such economic instability. However, many people work in the Vatican with designations like cleaners, maintenance personnel, and police officers who live in Rome and on high rent. A spokesperson from the Vatican said that most lay workers would not have a problem with pay cuts.
How has the pandemic affected the Vatican?
The Vatican is an extremely popular tourist destination as devotees from all across the world come here. The main highlights, including Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica, were closed throughout lockdown. They were partially opened during the end of 2020.
The Vatican hoped to reopen museums in March 2021, but due to the surge of COVID variants spread across Italy, the plans were dropped. Earlier in March, the top economic official from the Vatican informed that the Holy See might need to use around €40 million worth of reserves for this year. Moreover, revenues this year will be down by 30% compared to 2020.
Pope Francis had issued a new law to bring more transparency in the financial deals done by the Vatican. This was after there were a string of scandals at the banks of Vatican that complained about mismanagement.