The Vatican

St. Peter's obolus raised 107 million euros in 2022

The Denarius of St. Peter is the financial support that the Catholic faithful offer to the Pope to meet the expenses and needs of the universal Church. Throughout 2022, the Oblates collected 107 million euros, of which 95.5 million were dedicated to cover expenses.

Paloma López Campos-June 30, 2023-Reading time: 4 minutes
St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Square on June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (CNS photo / Vatican Media)

The Denarius of St. Peter is the financial support that the Catholic faithful offer to the Pope to meet the expenses and needs of the universal Church. As is customary after the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Holy See has made public the figures for the previous year, in order to improve transparency.

Over the course of 2022, the Obolo collected 107 million euros, of which 95.5 million euros were used to cover various expenses. 43.5 million of this income came from donations, which are divided between the collection for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the income from donations made through the bank in the web page of the Denarius, inheritances and legacies.

The communiqué of the Holy See categorizes the various donations into different groups, one of which is based on the persons, natural or juridical, who have given the money. Thus, it can be seen that the majority of donations come from dioceses (63 % of the total), followed by foundations, private donors and, finally, religious orders.

The United States, the country that has given the most money

The Holy See has also made a list of the countries that have given the most money to the Obolo. In first place is the United States, which has given 25.3 % of the total donations received. It is followed by Korea, with 8 %, and Italy, with 6.7 %. Spain is in eighth place and donated 1.8 % of the total in 2022.

The rest of the income obtained by the Denarius comes from the sale of capital that was in the hands of the Holy See. However, the document does not provide any further specifications regarding this aspect.

Two investment areas

All the money collected by the St. Peter's Obligation is mainly directed to two areas. On the one hand, to all the service activities of the Holy See, distributed among the Dicasteries, Entities and Bodies. On the other hand, there are all the charitable initiatives.

In total, all the contributions made cost 93.8 million euros. 43.5 million was covered by the money collected during 2022, while 50.3 million was covered by the Holy See's management of real estate.

Of the contributions made by the Óbolo, 77.6 million went to the apostolic activities of the Church and the Pope, while 16.2 million were invested in projects of direct assistance to people in need.

Africa, the country that received the most direct assistance

Of the five continents, Africa received the most money for direct assistance in 2022. The Obolo earmarked €5.5 million for 77 different projects underway there. On the other hand, Europe received €4.4 million for the war in Ukraine. The Americas received 3.9 million, while Asia and Oceania received 2.3 million and 0.1 million each.

All the activities to which the Denarius contributed can be grouped into three distinct groups: social projects, aid to local churches suffering shortages, and expansion and preservation of the evangelizing presence in the new local churches.

Social projects

In terms of the social projects financed, at the top of the list is the aid sent to Ukraine in response to the war. This is followed by Chad and the money sent to alleviate disasters following the floods caused by the Chari and Logone rivers.

The following projects include a medical center in Peru, a school for immigrants in Vietnam, and aid for victims of COVID-19 in India.

Helping local churches facing shortages

Funding for activities aimed at assisting local churches in need of help or in mission territories has been directed, for the most part, to the training of women religious in Malawi and the construction of a seminary in Venezuela.

Other projects that have received contributions include a missionary center in Guinea, the education of liturgical council members in Togo, and a parish-based girls' home in Tanzania.

Evangelizing presence in the new local churches

The St. Peter's Oblates have also financed the construction and maintenance of local churches in order to expand their evangelizing presence in different countries. The project that received the most money in 2022 was in Brazil, consisting of the construction of two chapels for indigenous communities in the country. On the other hand, in Bangladesh, a cathedral was built in the diocese of Sylhet and work was also completed on a parish in Pakistan.

The Denarius also allocated an amount to several parishes in the Congo and Angola.

Contributions to the apostolic mission

Since the money from the Obol is earmarked for the Pope's apostolic activities, the Denarius financed 20 % of the projects of different Dicasteries, the whole of which is called "Apostolic Mission Group".

The first of these projects was aid to local churches in difficult mission territories, which received 31.7 million euros. The St. Peter's Pillar also contributed 9.3 million to worship and evangelization, and 8.6 million to the dissemination of the Message.

On the other hand, charitable services received 7.4 million, and apostolic nunciatures around the world received 7.3 million euros. Academic institutions were granted 2.2 million and historical patrimony, 3.2 million.

From the list provided by the Holy See, the last place is occupied by "Family and Life", which received 0.9 million euros.

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