The Vatican
The Vatican released documents showing their property holdings for the first time. Image – Canva.
  • Vatican has revealed its property holdings for the first time
  • 4,051 properties in Italy, and another 1,120 abroad, not including embassies
  • The church took an economic hit from the Covid pandemic, incurring a loss in 2020

Last weekend, the Vatican released financial statements which revealed their property holdings for the first time.

Within their real estate portfolio, there are 4,051 properties in Italy, and another 1,120 abroad, not including their embassies.

As expected, most of the properties are churches, schools, convents and hospitals. The institution owns property in some upmarket areas of London, Geneva, Lausanne and Paris, mainly as investments.

St Peter's Basilica and square
An empty St Peter’s square. Image – Canva

The church took an economic hit from the Covid pandemic, incurring a loss in 2020. The normal visitor traffic of 6 million to St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican buildings was cut as the area was either closed down or only partially open.

In addition, one of its properties in Kensington, London has led to an upcoming trial regarding financial crimes, which has pulled in a prominent cardinal.

The idea behind the revelation is to improve the perception of ‘transparency’ and the Vatican’s credibility as to its own financial matters. By putting all this out there, the idea is to “turn a corner”, one Vatican spokesperson said.

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