What are we paying for? For the cashiers for the poor, for the pay raise for secular managers, or for the very expensive outside consultants they use so often? With this melodramatic question, an unknown number of Vatican employees are complaining to the Pope, who they want to talk to about the recent cuts in their salaries.
And the church leader decided in March to cut cardinals’ salaries by 10 percent. According to the Reuters news agency, cardinals who live in the Vatican or Rome earn between $ 4,000 and $ 5,000 a month, plus a host of other perks. Young clergymen must vacate between 3 and 8 percent, depending on their position. The salary for the next two years will be frozen for all employees, except for those in the lower three levels.
But according to the angry letter writers, the Pope is looking in the wrong direction in his austerity policy, as long as a lot of money is wasted on other things. Especially secular directors will suffer in the open speech, which is not yet clear who and how many people will endorse it. According to Italian media, the document will come from secular employees, who are not completely devoid of their directors.
“They live in beautiful apartments in the best areas of Rome without paying rent,” the writers complain. In addition, they will receive a salary of between 6,000 and 10,000 euros per month, with a peak of 25,000 euros. Not to mention their personal employees, private use of Vatican cars, discounts and expense allowances.
Due to the long closure of the museum, the Vatican has seen its main source of income – tourism – dry up during the pandemic. The mini-state has a budget deficit of 50 million euros compared to last year, with a budget of about 310 million euros. Pope Francis chose salary cuts to keep jobs for support staff, such as cleaners and administrative aides.
“The real problem is that the Vatican is based on a system of privileges that harm the economy and the reputation,” the letter writers complain. They are calling for managers’ salaries to be included in the cuts.
According to the Pope, his policy will be “proportionate and progressive,” but the Complainants feel he has saved a lot from this group. Francis, who is unpaid for his work himself and usually at the forefront of the fight against waste and decay in the Vatican, has yet to respond to the message.
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