VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Institute for the Works of Religion, often referred to as the Vatican bank, made a profit of 17.5 million euros (about US$19.8 million) in 2018, just over half the profit reported in the previous year, according to its annual report.
The bank, which had made a profit of 31.9 million euros in 2017, said the decrease was due “to the strong turbulence of the markets throughout the year and the persistence of interest rates which are still very low.”
The institute held assets worth 5 billion euros (US$5.6 billion) at year’s end, which included deposits and investments from close to 15,000 clients — mostly Catholic religious orders around the world, Vatican offices and employees, and Catholic clergy.
In a statement released by the Vatican June 11, the institute said it continued to provide financial services to the Catholic Church present in the whole world and Vatican City State.
According to the report, the bank’s assets are worth 637 million euros (US$721 million), placing its tier 1 capital ratio — which measures the bank’s financial strength — at 86.4 percent compared to 68.3 percent in 2017. The increased ratio, the bank said, “is a testament of its elevated solvency and its low-risk profile.”
Additionally, the bank refined its screening process for financial investments to ensure that it is “consistent with Catholic ethics by selecting only companies that carry out activities that are in accordance with the social doctrine of the church.”
The Vatican bank, the statement said, continues “to make investments aimed at fostering development in poorer countries while respecting choices that are consistent with establishing a sustainable future for future generations.”
The IOR, which is the Italian acronym for the Institute for the Works of Religion, said that it also “contributed to the implementation of numerous charitable and social activities, both through donations of a financial nature and through reduced-rate or gratuitous leases for the use of its own real estate to entities for social purposes.”
Before the report’s release, the 2018 financial statements were audited by the firm Deloitte & Touche and were reviewed by the Commission of Cardinals overseeing the institute’s work, the press release said.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103