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Pope Francis orders cardinals to pay rent

Cardinals can no longer live rent-free in Vatican.

Pope Francis has ended the practice of allowing cardinals and senior church officials to live rent-free in Vatican-owned properties, as part of new cost-saving measures.

The decision was announced in a note on Wednesday by Maximino Caballero Ledo, head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, after being approved by the pontiff last month.

Under the move, which will also see an end to subsidised rents, the pope has called on senior Vatican officials to "make an extraordinary sacrifice" in order to increase funds flowing to the mission of the Church.

The new rules will see church-owned property in Rome and the Holy See rented to senior clergy and lay officials at the same rates that apply to tenants with no connection to the Vatican, Reuters reports.

Two years ago Pope Francis ordered cardinals to take a 10 per cent pay cut and reduced the salaries of other clerics working in the Vatican in a bid to save employees' jobs amid a financial crisis caused by the covid pandemic.

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