The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Pandemic hits Church coffers as income drops by €3.13m

Janet Fenech Thursday, 5 August 2021, 12:48 Last update: about 3 months ago

A significant 2.3 million decrease in surplus was registered by the Archdiocese of Malta in comparison to that of 2019 which has been attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

1.2 million surplus was documented in 2020 whereas 3.5 million was recorded in 2019. The archdiocese’s income dropped by 3.13 million in 2020 when compared to 2019

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This was announced by the Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese, Michael Pace Ross, during a press conference at the Archbishop’s Curia.

The main contribution to this decrease was due to the fact that the Archdiocese did not receive its annual dividend 4.5 million by APS Bank as well as a decrease in donations of over €1 million or 40% when compared to 2019. The former was due to a the EU central bank recommendation due the pandemics financial impact, whereas the latter decrease was noted to be primarily due to the fact that churches in Malta were closed between March and June 2020.

Despite these challenges, there were two substantial revenues that enabled the 2020 Archdiocese’s surplus to persist; a one-off donation in shares to Fondazzjoni Sebh, as well as inheritance received by Dar tal- Providence and Dar tal-Keru.

Due to the pandemic a number of projects and works were postponed which in turn enabled a decrease of 2.6 million in expenditure for 2020.

Furthermore the Archdiocese succeeded to retain all of its employees as well as recruited 20 more employees in the pastoral and social sector to make up for the ‘Compassion Fatigue Syndrome’ many of the Archdiocese constituents experienced due to the pandemics impacts.

The Archdiocese comprises of more than 100 entities and employs more than 1,300 people.

The new full-timers were mainly recruited to aid the Archbishop’s Curia and homes for children and the elderly in pastoral and social sector roles.

In addition the Archbishop’s Curia saw a 4.45 million deficit being registered in 2020 when compared to the 0.03 million in 2019 which was attributed to providing various subsidies to several diocesan entities.
Their income dropped by 54% or 5.34million, whereas their expenditure declined by 10% to 8.1million. 

Seeing as the EU central bank has lifted its economic pandemic restrictions, the Archdiocese see 2021 being a better year than 2020, although the APS bank dividends will be capped for this year.

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