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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Peter's Pence Is Anathema To Our Catholic Faith


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NEW YORK, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Only about 10 percent of donations made to the Holy See’s “Peter’s Pence” actually goes to the poor while the majority of the annual collection, worth about $55 million USD, goes to plug Vatican budget deficits, a top U.S. financial newspaper is claiming. 
Catholics from all over the world donate to a special papal fund called Peter’s Pence every year. The money is ostensibly used to support charitable enterprises dear to the pontiff’s heart. Today the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) alleged in a piece titled “Vatican Uses Donations for the Poor to Plug Its Budget Deficit” that most of the over $55 million collected by the fund annually “goes toward plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget.” 
According to the WSJ’s unnamed sources, only 10% is “spent on charitable works." 

“The little-publicized breakdown of how the Holy See spends Peter’s Pence, known only among senior Vatican officials, is raising concern among some Catholic Church leaders that the faithful are being misled about the use of their donations, which could further hurt the credibility of the Vatican’s financial management under Pope Francis,” wrote Francis X. Rocca for the WSJ.  
According to the Vatican’s own webpage, Peter’s Pence is “the name given to the financial support offered by the faithful to the Holy Father as a sign of their sharing in the concern of the Successor of Peter for the many different needs of the Universal Church and for the relief of those most in need.” 
The custom of sending money to the pontiff is believed to have begun with the Anglo-Saxons in the 11th century, when every household in England gave one penny towards the papal fund. The modern Peter’s Pence, international in scope, was established in 1871 by Pope Pius XI. The collection is taken up from church-attending Catholics on the Sunday closest to June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. 
As the WSJ reported, the official Peter’s Pence website gives little indication that much of the funds may actually be going to support the Vatican’s administrative budget.  
“The Peter’s Pence collection is a gesture of solidarity. Through it, every member of the faithful can participate in the Pope’s activity. It is an activity that supports the most needy and ecclesial communities in difficulty who approach the Apostolic See for help,” the site reads.
In its “Works Realized” section, readers can find a gallery of recent donations made by Pope Francis to various communities around the world, which range from 100,000 € ($110,794 US) sent to Albania in the wake of this November’s earthquake to undisclosed sums given to a boys’ school in Syria.      
However, the WSJ notes that under church law, the pope may use Peter’s Pence fund in “any way that serves his ministry, including the support of his administration.” There is also an allusion on the Peter’s Pence webpage to funding ecclesial structures, but in a way that suggests these are predominantly in mission territories.


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