Contributions to papal charities are slumping amid reports of financial scandals in the Vatican, according to reports.
Speculation is mounting that concerns over corruption at the highest levels of the Catholic Church may be a factor in the falling generosity of the world’s faithful.
It comes after the Vatican’s secretariat for the economy posted another drop in overall sum of money donated to Peter’s Pence, which funds the Pope’s charities.
According to The Times, the annual collection in churches all over the world for Peter’s Pence last year came to 44 million euros.
The figure represents an decline in contributions of 40 per cent in just the five years between 2015 and 2020.
The period corresponds with revelations of financial scandals which have dogged the papacy of Pope Francis in recent years.
They have culminated in the prosecutions of Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the former prefect of the Congregation of Causes of the Saints, and his former secretary, Mgr Mauro Carlino, along with eight others.
Their trial for financial crimes, which they deny, opened in a room at the Vatican Museums in July before it was adjourned until October 5.
The accusations revolve largely around the investment by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of 350 million euros, much of it derived from contributions by Catholics to church charities, in a fund run by Mincione, to purchase about 45 per cent of a commercial and residential building in Sloane Avenue, South Kensington, London.
The venture, however, resulted in enormous losses, according to Cardinal George Pell, the former treasurer at the Vatican.
The prosecution has accused Cardinal Becciu and his associates of a range of charges including embezzlement and abuse of office.
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