Rorate Caeli

Maybe next time ... but you can't hold me to it!

From the Associated Press:

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The global economic crisis is hitting Vatican employees in their cassock pockets.

The Vatican said Thursday that Pope Francis, known for his frugal ways, decided Vatican employees won't be getting the bonus that traditionally comes with the election of a new pope.

In the past, the Vatican's 4,500-plus workers - both religious and lay - would get an extra little something upon the death of one pope and another upon the election of his successor: In 2005, the total reportedly came to 1,500 euros (nearly $2,000) apiece.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said that given tough economic times - the Vatican posted a 15 million-euro deficit in 2011 - "it didn't seem possible or appropriate to burden the Vatican's budget with a considerable, unforeseen extra expense."


  1. I guess this act will not be tagged as "classy" in Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog.

  2. Where's me bonus Pastor? :-)

  3. Poor Vatican staffers. I hope no one whispers the words "outsource" and "redundancies" to Pope Francis.

  4. I'll wage that the employees who convinced Benedict XVI to retire so they could get a raise are bummed-out

  5. I thought the Church was supposed to be poor - would not this help?

  6. Wait until he starts the redundancy programme- cooks, chauffeurs, soldiers, police, lacemakers, cobblers, clerical outfitters, sacristans, monsignors, curial bishops and archbishops, makers of medals for papal honours....

    One man's humility could cost people their livelihoods!

  7. A more frugal lifestyle wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to those useless eaters at the Vatican. I don't think there would be a reason for sadness to see it going belly-up. The clean up of the filth is long overdue. God's justice is inevitably going to catch up with those apparatchiks and the whip will fall on their backs in the Holy Ghost's hands. They've been abusing financial donations, which have been given in good faith.

  8. John XXIII said: "justice comes before charity".

  9. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Crouchback, we will not tolerate ANY religious or ethnic slurs in our comments. Period.

  10. This is one "tradition" I could do without.

    Nine MILLION dollars?

    Seems like just another example of the Italian patronage culture where one expects to be rewarded not for doing but for merely existing.

    I'll bet handing out these "bustas" has some historical connection with that other great Roman tradition — plundering the papal palace after the death of a pope.

    So perhaps the busta began as a bustarella...

  11. Lets put it real terms: $9 million dollars no longer in their checking account at the end of 2011.

    They had to tap into the "savings" account and that's a big no-no.

    Wonder what 2012's checking account looked like as of Dec. 31st and then how much they had to swap out from their savings again.

    When Pope Francis said he wanted a "poor church for the poor" I had a feeling he was speaking of multiple meanings - one of which was the downsizing of the church since the western world has stopped supporting it (Archbishop to close many churches/schools in Pennsylvania), the emerging world's not donating to it, and so where's the money going to come from except the "newly evangelized" which I don't know the meaning of and don't know where globally this is going?

    The Vatican, as a "state", is in trouble. Their source of income is the tours of the museums and dvd's, books, etc. I guess they can start charging for the rights to air certain occasional St. Peters Square events that would be high dollar value because it would be watched by a huge number of people....

    That's really all they have unless they do a Vatican cookie sale.

  12. Vatican space can be rented out to infidels after retrenchments/outsourcing.

  13. I don't see the problem with this. But I can see it go a lot further. Remember Rex in Brideshead Revisited talking about the inefficiency and waste of the Flyte family residence. Bunch of old servants living off them, many people for different jobs instead of few to do many, etc etc. Make it more efficient! Make it better!

  14. Austerity practices, Budget-Balancing and out-sourcing are always directed against the poor and the wealthy who own the media (and we know who they are) are forever telling us that "those" people aren't actually even worth what they are getting paid now - say nothing about being deserving of a raise or a bonus.

    I must be economically blind for I can't see the wisdom in beggaring those who help keep the Capital of our Nation operating but, then again, I know I part of a minority that knows he is a Catholic citizen The Catholic Nation situated within the Nation of These United States and so I, reflexively,side with the middle class and the poor who help serve he who was elected to the Highest and most important Office ever Created on Earth for The Office of The Papacy was created by Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

  15. If you recall, John Paul II's reward for looking the other way regarding the Vatican Bank was to send $100 million (speculation) to the Solidarity Movement in Poland. The Vatican Bank has $8 billion (with a B) in assets and has funnelled tens of millions to American diocese to pay sex abuse claims. This according to CNBC.

  16. I'm not inclined to think € 9,000,000 deficit is a major headache given the organisation and it's function. When you think of the size of the Roman Catholic Church......

    Pope Francis, being perceived as a "man of the people", may attract more visitors than Pope Benedict.

    Futhermore, after Pope Francis deals with that file sitting in his safe I'm sure the finances will look a lot healthier. Blackmail and extortion usually go together.

    This is interesting:

  17. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Ben, the Holy Ghost doesn't pick the pope. Although I get your point.

  18. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Oh gosh, the Holy Father makes a joke and the response is to whip out the rule book to see if he's allowed to be funny.

    While hardly a paragon of Christian virtue for most of his life Oscar Wilde was able to make a death-bed conversion to the Church. Just imagine that wit for eternity!

  19. The "newly evangelized" are often mistakenly taught--by words and example--that the Catholic Church, while a wonderful institution, is really nothing special compared to other religions. It's a matter of religious taste, which has more to do with an individual's personality, which is celebrated nowadays more than the Church Christ founded.
    I don't see how such "newly evangelized" souls will be motivated to "give until it hurts" to support the financial needs of the Catholic Church.
    Plus, if giving out bonuses means going deeper into debt, wouldn't it be irresponsible to do so?

  20. Interesting custom. Reminds me of the Roman emperors paying out a donative to the Praetorian Guards upon their taking the throne. Wonder if there is any remote historical connection?

  21. Supposedly John XXIII was once asked how many people work in the Vatican and he responded "about half."

  22. The Catholic Church would have been so much better off financially if it had sold Roger Mahoney and Rembert Weakland to the Piskies in the late 1960s.

    The sale would definitely not have been simony - human trafficking, perhaps - but still, think of the money saved....

  23. I know that many people would disagree, however, I for one would not pay for the sex abuse charges. The separation of church and state in the USA is pretty clear. The clerics that offended should have gone to jail, period. The church should have lived on, period. She is made up of the will of God, not the clergy. Alas, I'm a jerk, and a man, far short of his Glory. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

  24. GMMF, and everyone:


    "Supposedly John XXIII was once asked how many people work in the Vatican and he responded "about half."

    Boniface in another thread:

    "there are some times when I think our Lord is intending to be when he says to the people of John the Baptist, 'What did you go out to see? A reed shaken by the wind?'"

    Beefy Levinson in another:

    "Cardinal Ottaviani once joked that there was clear Scriptural evidence for collegiality: 'And they all fled.'"

    AND then we have another thread where some people are seriously arguing that the Christian life excludes all kinds of humour, merriment, and joy! How bizarre! How sad! How completely un-catholic!

  25. Force your employees to be humble and they will react like the U.S. government employee unions.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!