Dear Father,

I'm researching the myth of Vatican wealth. It started with an offhand crack in our local newspaper letters to the editor page. As a columnist with HAWAII CATHOLIC HERALD, I felt that my readers would like to know how to counter accusations that the Church is so rich she doesn't need our donations.
I know that until recently the Vatican ran a deficit and that much of her wealth lies in art treasures that cannot be moved (like the Sistine Chapel) or would disappear from public view if sold. Can you lead me to any other factual material I could share with my readers?

Thank you for any assistance.

Kathleen T. Choi


Dear Kathleen,

Thanks for the e-mail. Sorry I have been slow in responding. Sounds like a great project. I really wouldn't have too much factual material on the subject of the church's wealth. I know we are just struggling to make ends meet in my parish here. I did read Penny Lernoux' "In Banks We Trust" a number of years back. It was more about the overall banking system, but did touch on Vatican bank and finances. As I remember she compared the Vatican Bank to a small midwestern financial institution.
I'll place this on my website and see if anyone else has some leads they would like to send. Please let me know how this turns out.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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