The Vatican Deficit-Spends Too

There’s been some talk about how frugal and unassuming the new Pope is.

He used to bus to work and lived in a simple apartment. He chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, a man who took a vow of poverty. (So did the new Pope, at age 22.) He’s said he wants “a poor Church and a Church for the poor.”

So what does that mean for the Catholic Church’s spending? Will Pope Francis ramp it up until the church really is poor, or show more restraint than under Pope Benedict XVI?

According to Benzinga, the Catholic Church has assets worth billions, ranging from famous art and a stockpile of gold to more traditional investments like real estate and stocks…

Vatican investment fund managers favor an ultraconservative, low-risk investing strategy, but it is rumored to have billions in physical gold, along with a vast portfolio of property holdings all over the world, according to The Guardian. Excluding St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, the value of the holdings are reportedly worth nearly a billion dollars.

Then there’s the artwork, including works by Michelangelo and Raphael. The Vatican doesn’t try to apply a fair-market value to its art collection, but if sold, the works would likely fetch billions more.

Traditionally they’ve invested in Italian industries, but the article suggests Francis might diversify that with investments in the Americas. But he has his work cut out for him, because for the past two years Italian authorities have been investigating money laundering in the Vatican bank.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

The fast, free way to stay on top of your money.

If you’re not using online money management, it’s time to start.

Click here to find out more.

Money Talks News has teamed with PowerWallet for a free, confidential way to track your expenses, set budgets and goals, get bill reminders and earn free customized coupons.

Take a minute right now and check out PowerWallet. It's the simple way to get a handle on your money.

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.