In order to save jobs as the pandemic pummels Vatican revenues, Pope Francis has ordered cardinals to take a 10% pay cut and reduced the salaries of most other clerics working in the Vatican.
The Vatican said on Wednesday that Francis issued a decree introducing proportional cuts starting on April 1. A spokesman said most lay employees would not be affected by the cuts.
Francis said that cardinals’ salaries will be reduced 10%. Superiors of the Holy See’s various departments, who, with few exceptions, are clerics, will be hit by 8% cuts while lower-ranking priests and nuns will see 3% remove from their paychecks.
In the decree he signed on Tuesday, the pope noted that the Holy See’s finances have been marked by several years of deficit. Worsening those financial woes, the pope wrote, was the COVID-19 pandemic, “which has impacted negatively on all the sources of revenue of the Holy See and Vatican City State.”
The belt-tightening “has the aim of saving current job positions,” Francis wrote.
Lower-ranking lay-workers at the Vatican aren’t affected by the salary reductions, but their pay raises, due every two years, are being temporarily frozen under the austerity measures. The lowest-paid lay workers will still get raise, though.
Bans on tourism by many countries and other pandemic restrictions have severely reduced revenues at the Vatican Museums, which, with its Sistine Chapel, is a perennial money-maker for the Vatican,