The Vatican reported a deficit for the third consecutive year Wednesday but an increase in donations provided a bright spot at a time of some dismal financial news for the Catholic Church because of settlements from the sex abuse scandal.
In its annual financial report, the Vatican listed a 2003 deficit of about $11.8 million, 30 percent lower than than the 2002 figure. It reduced the shortfall despite the costs for the Holy See's expanding diplomatic missions.
At the same time, it reported an increase in contributions to the pope, known as Peter's Pence, which it said were used for various humanitarian relief efforts around the world and for the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
Donate to Peter's Pence.
In other news, heavy rains have halted the Pope's drive into the Alps today, according to Zenit.