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The pope will charge rent to his cardinals



(Vatican City) Pope Francis has decided to end the real estate benefits previously enjoyed by cardinals and senior officials of the Holy See, including their rent exemption, the official Vatican news site reported on Wednesday.

Under the papal decision, leaders and officials of the Holy See are called upon to make a “sacrifice” in the face of economic constraints by paying market prices for their apartments, according to Vatican News, while cardinals living in apartments in the Vatican were hitherto exempt from rent.

The heads, second and third levels of the heads of the dicasteries, equivalent to the Vatican of the ministries, are particularly concerned.

This decision was taken “to meet the growing commitments” of the Church, “in an economic context, like today’s, of particular gravity”, according to the text.

He insists on the need “for everyone to make an extraordinary sacrifice to allocate more resources to the mission of the Holy See”.

This measure does not apply to current contracts, which will run until their term without being affected by the decision. However “they can only be extended or renewed in compliance” with the new rules and “any exception to the new regulations (must) be directly authorized by the pope”, according to Vatican News.

The decision was not the subject of an official press release and the Vatican officials contacted by AFP could not be reached immediately to detail the terms.

The Vatican has a vast real estate portfolio valued at billions of euros, including prestigious addresses in Paris, London and Geneva, as well as numerous apartments in Rome.

Since his election in 2013, Francis has sought to put the finances of the Holy See in order, while trying to increase transparency in the Vatican.

In 2021, to clean up the finances of the Holy See hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Argentine pope had already reduced the salaries of cardinals, prelates and heads of dicasteries.

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