By Vatican News
For the second consecutive year, the APSA publishes its financial statements under the sign of total transparency.
Bishop Nunzio Galantino, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, returns to the key figures of the 2021 financial statement, recalling that, as Pope Francis says in predicate evangeliumevangelization is a central priority of all entities of the Holy See.
For this, the credibility and gaining the trust of those who use their talents and resources for the mission of the Church are crucial. Of the 38.11 million euros in operating income and the 30 million euros allocated to the Curia, there is a surplus of 8.11 million euros.
In this regard, it should also be highlighted that in 2021 APSA made a greater contribution to the Curia (additional 4.6 million euros) than in previous years. Although in recovery compared to the previous year, the 2021 financial year remains marked by the lingering repercussions of the pandemic.
Moreover, the financial outlook remains uncertain due to the war in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the administration continued its policy of helping tenants in difficulty due to the crisis.
Q: Archbishop Galantino, this is the second time that APSA’s financial statements have been published. Why has this not been done in previous years?
It is not that APSA has not compiled its financial statements before or that APSA’s budget has not been subject to analysis and control. The timing of publication was lacking; the moment of communication was missing. It was an important time to provide those who wanted to know enough facts to make an informed judgment and avoid uttering platitudes, such as those we sometimes hear, about Church property or furniture. This is the only way to prevent these platitudes from surprising or scandalizing those who are in good faith about the patrimony of the Church. Communication is essential. It is an act of respect towards those – and there are many – who continue to entrust to the Church their talents and their resources to support it in its mission.
Q: What are the key figures to highlight in this APSA 2021 financial statement?
The operating costs of APSA, related to the activities of the three sectors in which the Administration operates, were 38.11 million euros for 2021 with an increase compared to 2020 of 16.1 million. Three points in particular should be underlined. The first: asset management made a gain of 19.84 million euros with an increase over the year 2020 of 4.5 million. This improvement can be attributed to unrealized gains in stock valuation at the end of the year. Second point: property management made a gain of 20.77 million euros with an increase compared to 2020 of 5.5 million. Third point: the management of other assets experienced a loss of 2.5 million euros but an improvement compared to 2020 of 6.1 million. This improvement can be attributed to the decrease in the deficit of Peregrinatio and Petri Sedem and the decrease in the ancillary management deficit, essentially attributable to the increase in income realized for the definitive acquisition of the inheritance.
Q: Apart from day-to-day administration, does APSA handle any other activities?
I can only think of two things. The Pope gave APSA the task of selling the well-known London property and removing the asset that had been the source of a scandal that certainly did the Church no good. Thank goodness we finally got rid of the London building, and the money earned went to Peter’s Pence.
Then, the other activity that has occupied the APSA lately, along with other Vatican entities and in particular the Secretariat for the Economy, has been the rescue of the bankruptcy of the Fatebenefratelli-Isola Tiberina hospital. Finally, thanks to an agreement with the Policlinico Gemelli Foundation, it was possible to carry out an operation that really required a lot of effort, many meetings, agreements and commitments, to be able to save this entity that was the flagship of health care Catholics.
The pope wanted this hospital not to leave the circuit of Catholic health establishments. Why? Not out of a frenzy of possession, but because being of excellence, it was right that it should not be outdone, that it should not only be used by individuals, but on the contrary remain an asset in the service of all, really of all. .
It is clear that the commitment of the APSA and the other entities of the Holy See is justified only for this, that is to say, to allow everyone, including the smallest, to be able to benefit from a ease of specialization with the now highly qualified collaboration of Gémelli.
Q: We have repeatedly mentioned the desire for change requested by the Pope. With Pope Francis’ reforms, how much harder is it to repeat the mistakes and scandals of the past?
Mistakes, I think, can never be completely avoided as long as human activity is involved. But the reforms that are being put in place aim to avoid as much as humanly possible that there may be mistakes or worse, actions that not only damage the heritage of the Church but also erode its credibility and reputation.
Q: How does the new Apostolic Constitution predicate evangelium guide the action of the APSA?
The Constitution predicate evangelium decisively redirected all the actions of the Roman Curia towards the unique mission of the Church, which is evangelization. Therefore, we too, as APSA, must continually keep in mind that we are called to evangelize through what we do. We certainly do not evangelize if the administration of the specific heritage purposes under which it was established is lost.
If I propose to make speculative investments, I certainly do not evangelize. Nor do I evangelize when, through negligence or incompetence, this patrimony struggles to achieve the goal of providing for what is necessary for the ordinary activity of the mission of the Church and of the Roman Curia.
I repeat: the credibility and reputation of the Church, as we well know, also requires competent and transparent management of the patrimony, so making the financial statement public is a concrete way of thanking those who, in different ways, continue to generously entrust resources to the Church for its mission.