Archdiocese’s 2019 surplus helps balance out pandemic’s negative impact

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Archdiocese of Malta has registered a surplus of €3.5 million in 2019, which has helped make up for the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At a press conference held at the Archbishop’s Curia, the Archdiocese’s administrative secretary Michael Pace Ross nevertheless advised that this surplus – which contrasts with the €137,000 deficit recorded in the previous year – was not enough to make up for the severe financial challenges caused by the pandemic on the Church in Malta’s work, forcing it to resort to past savings.

Last year, the Archdiocese, which includes more than 100 entities and employs more than 1,300 people, saw its revenue increase by almost €6 million, primarily due to an increase in capital gains on investment and an increase in the dividend from APS Bank. It also reported increases in in income from inheritances and public funds.

Concurrently, its expenditure increased by €4.8 million, with 605 covering wages of clergy and laity alike, while 20% were operating expenditure. Spending on maintenance, restoration and conservation increased by 47%, whilst the Archdiocese paid almost €1.4 million in taxes.

The year’s financial results also include a one-off donation of €2.4 million in shares given to the Dar tal-Providenza and Caritas Malta.

After the surplus was distributed in subsidies to Church entities, the Archbishop’s Curia registered a marginal loss of €31,000, a significant improvement compared to the €1.36 million deficit recorded in the previous year. The Curia’s revenue increased by €2.42 million, primarily from investment, whilst expenditure increased by €1.17 million. Restoration and conservation works within the Archbishop’s Curia – including the restoration of the façade – cost €684,000 last year, more than double the expenditure in 2018

Pandemic leads to steep loss in revenue, additional expenses

Pace Ross also  took time to elaborate on the negative effects which the pandemic had on the Archdiocese’s finances this year, explaining that revenue decreased sharply across the board as the pandemic affected fundraising, donations, investments as well as the APS Bank’s dividend. A decrease in income was also registered from the Seminary, Dar tal-Providenza, Beacon Media Group and other church entities. The drop in tourism also led to a decrease in revenue from visits by tourists at major churches and at the Mdina Cathedral Museum.

Concurrently, the Church had to increase the subsidies provided to its entities, while requests for assistance from people in need increased.

On behalf of Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna, Pace Ross thanked the Archdiocese’s employees for their commitment, as well as various volunteers who have approached the Church to assist in recent months, thus allowing it to continue to carry out its pastoral mission despite the difficult financial situation.

To continue helping the marginalised and those in need, the Church is appealing for donations on church.mt/donate.