Pope orders pay cuts for cardinals to save Vatican jobs

Vatican cardinals to take 10 per cent salary cuts from 1 April.

Pope Francis has cut the salaries of cardinals and other clerics working in the Vatican in a bid to save jobs of employees amid the financial crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

The pontiff's 'Motu Propio' decree orders cardinals to take a pay cut of 10 per cent, with lesser cuts applying to other religious officials and lower-ranking clerical staff in the tiny sovereign city state.

The move, which comes into force from 1 April, has been taken "in view of the deficit that has characterised the economic management of the Holy See for several years," according to a statement released by the Vatican today.

The financial crisis has been aggravated by the "health emergency caused by the spread of covid-19, which has adversely affected all sources of revenue for the Holy See and Vatican City State."

The cuts come amid the near total absence of tourists and the lengthy closures of the Vatican Museums over the last 15 months, causing a significant fall-off in the Holy See's finances.

The measures will also apply to senior staff of other papal basilicas in Rome however lower-level lay employees are not expected to be affected by the cuts.

Pope Francis, who has often insisted that he does not want to fire people, has taken the decision "with a view to safeguarding current jobs."

Cardinals who work at the Vatican and live there or in Rome are believed to earn salaries of about €4,000-5,000 a month, according to Reuters.

For details of the "Motu Proprio" - in English - see the website of the Vatican press office.

Photo credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring