Please consider Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit.

Every year, Catholics around the world donate tens of millions of dollars to the pope. Bishops exhort the faithful to support the weak and suffering through the pope’s main charitable appeal, called Peter’s Pence.

What the church doesn’t advertise is that most of that collection, worth more than €50 million ($55 million) annually, goes toward plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget, while as little as 10% is spent on charitable works, according to people familiar with the funds.

The little-publicized breakdown of how the Holy See spends Peter’s Pence, known only among senior Vatican officials, is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican’s financial management under Pope Francis.

The Vatican is currently embroiled in a scandal over opaque real-estate investments in London, which has triggered a power struggle within the Vatican’s bureaucracy and led to the dismissal of its chief financial regulator. Last month, the Vatican was suspended from an international network of anti-money-laundering watchdogs.

Meanwhile, the Holy See is struggling with a growing budget deficit, with the pope warning cardinals of the “grave impact” on the body’s economic future.

Money Laundering and Bribes

While the Vatican spends 90% of the money it collects for itself on the poor, the Catholic News Agency reports Vatican Investments Linked to Global Money Laundering Investigations.

A fund in which the Vatican’s Secretariat of State has invested tens of millions of euros has links to two Swiss banks investigated or implicated in bribery and money laundering scandals involving more than one billion dollars. The fund is under investigation by Vatican authorities.

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

The fund, Centurion Global Fund, made headlines this week that it used the Vatican assets under its management to invest in Hollywood films, real estate, and utilities, including investments in movies like “Men in Black International” and the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.”

Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra reported that the Centurion Global Fund has raised around 70 million euro in cash, and that the Holy See’s Secretariat of State is the source of at least two-thirds of the fund’s assets. The Vatican’s investment is reported to include funds from the Peter’s Pence collection, intended to support charitable works and the ministry of the Vatican Curia.

Along with an offshore bank and a New Jersey institution that has faced several investigations for non-compliance with money laundering regulations, Zarrattini was at the time holding funds subject to seizure in the PDVSA money laundering investigation.

Swiss financial news sites also linked the bank to an alleged $62 million bribe paid to a PDVSA official.

Charity Begins at Home

If you were pondering making a donation to the Vatican, you may as well spend the money on yourself.

Alternatively, just spend 85% of what you were going to donate on yourself. Give the other 15% to an organization that will use the money wisely.

The poor will be better off and so will you.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Sanity Check: Does Government Know How to Spend Your Money Better Than You?

Do you think the government can spend your money wisely, better than you? Think carefully.

Another Proposal to "Save Capitalism From Itself"

Jeff Lynn, CEO of Seedrs Limited has an idea to "save capitalism from itself".

Tesla's U-Turn, Poor Paint, Cancellation Numbers Questioned

UBS says the Model 3 Finish is "Below Average". Lawers say u-turn compounds legal issues. And what about production?

Turkey: Lira Bulls and Bears Duke it Out On Twitter

Is there a bullish case for the Lira? One person thinks so. Most think otherwise.

Trump Gives Huawei Another 90-Day Reprieve: Who is Desperate for a Deal?

For the second time since May, Trump postponed an order that would block US firms from supplying Huawei.

Personal Savings Rate: What's Going On? Can Spending Drive the Economy

The personal savings rate fell to 2.6% in the 4th quarter. The all-time low rate 2.2% in 2005. What's going on?

Durable Goods Mirage: Good Headline Number, Very Poor Details

Today's headline durable goods number looks good. The details are another matter.

Should the Middle Class Pay More for a Loaf of Bread than the Poor?

Iowa seeks to become the first state to dump Obamacare in favor of a state-run program that will allegedly lower costs. I suggest Iowa's replacement plan can't work. My reason pertains to the title question.

Let's Check In On Australia

I don't want my readers down under to think I have forgotten about them. Let's check in.