Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State Pope Francis, in a first, ordered a salary cut for his cardinals amid the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid the eviction of other employees and rendering them without a job during the tough times. According to a sealed decree that ran on the Vatican’s official website on Wednesday, Francis ordered the 10 percent cut in pay for the Vatican staff’s April salaries as the church’s revenue pummeled. Vatican’s Holy See’s departments are expected to suffer the most, the clerics, although, will be the among the least affected with just 8 percent cut, while the nuns and row rank priests will only face a meager 3 percent slash.
The pope, in the document, noted that the Holy See’s finances have severed, marking several years of deficit due to the ravaging impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The church announced that the two-year freeze in automatic seniority increases will impact all employees from pay grade level four and up. “A sustainable economic future requires today, among other decisions, adopting measures that also concern employee salaries,” the Vatican clarified. Therefore, the Pope, in a motu proprio, has decided to cut proportionally and indefinitely the salaries of Cardinals, it said. The church stressed that the Pope did not want the employees to be laid off during times of unprecedented financial hardships. And so, he has acted “according to criteria of proportionality and progressivity”.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the financial management has been “negatively influenced” impacting all sources of income for the Holy See and Vatican City State,” the religious authority stated. It explained that the church was now focused on assuring a “sustainable financial future” for the mission of its central offices. And hence, effective April 1, all pay grade levels C and C1 will be slashed, which includes department heads and secretaries of dicasteries. All automatic biennial pay raises for the superiors at Holy See, Vatican City, and other associated institutions will also be frozen by the church from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023.