Pope Orders Cardinals to Take a Pay Cut

Pandemic has hit Vatican finances hard
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2021 3:28 PM CDT
Pope Orders Cardinals to Take a Pay Cut
Pope Francis celebrates mass at the Vatican, Sunday, March 14, 2021.   (Tiziana Fabi/Pool photo via AP)

Pope Francis, who worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor as a young man in a working-class family in Argentina, has ordered cardinals and other clerics to take a pay cut in order to save the jobs of ordinary workers at the Vatican. The Vatican says cardinals, who are second only to the pontiff in the church's hierarchy, will take a pay cut of 10% starting in April. Priests and other clerics will take pay cuts of between 3% and 8%. Cardinals receive salaries of up to $5,900 a month and usually live rent-free at the Vatican or in subsidized apartments, while Vatican cleaners, police, and maintenance personnel live in Rome, often with their families, and have higher living expenses, the BBC reports

With St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican museums closed during the pandemic, the Vatican has taken a huge hit to its finances, but the pope has insisted that he does not want lay workers to lose their jobs at a difficult time, reports Reuters. The Vatican says lay workers will not be affected by pay cuts, but scheduled pay rises have been postponed until 2023 for all but the lowest three grades on its 10-grade pay scale. With an expected deficit of $60 million for 2021, the Vatican says it is dipping into its reserves for the second year in a row. Officials say this appears to be the first time in living memory that a pope has ordered pay cuts for clerics. (More Pope Francis stories.)

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