Cardinal Marx questions Cardinal Pell's statement on Vatican assets [CC]

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has questioned the wisdom of Cardinal George Pell’s recent announcement that the Vatican has $1.5 billion in previously unreported financial …


Somebody doesn’t like the light being shined on the German Chuch’s funding shenanigans.

As much as I hate to say this, Cardinal Marx does indeed have a point. Assets such as real estate, especially those one doesn’t plan to sell, are difficult to evaluate in dollar or euro terms. They might as well be listed twice or thrice above that price if they can’t pay today’s bills.

The pension situation seems to be a more concerning matter, both to bishops and priests. Understandably so.

In the article, Cardinal Marx mentioned that…“assets of the Vatican can only be measured meaningfully when they are balanced against financial obligations.”
Do you think that he means that if the assets can’t be readily sold (liquidated?) to pay bills, then they shouldn’t be counted as assets? It does make a certain amount of sense to me.

I think basically what he’s saying is that perhaps the information provided is misleading in terms of viability. The overall strategy (and this is true of corporations and households as well) is to have adequate cash flow. This cash flow can come from sale of assets or increased borrowing but those can come at a heavy future cost as well. In that respect perhaps they really shouldn’t be counted as assets. Yet they are required by our current accounting standards.

That said, we know what the Church’s real assets are, that is “we,us.” But how do you put that into a balance sheet accepted by the secular world? :wink:

It’s interesting that accounting standards count as assets those things that perhaps shouldn’t be counted as such, due to the problems that would be caused if they were sold, such as the sale of churches or church property, etc.

Regarding the Catholic faithful as being the real assets, I agree, but the secular world would not likely see us as such - quite the opposite! :slight_smile:

They are most certainly assets, just not fungible assests (ones that can be liquidated into cash)

The Cathedral of Munich (or even St. Peters) would be rightly valued in the 100’s of millions of dollars, but that does not mean that they could easily sold, or that such a sale would be a good idea from a Catholic perspective

Thanks for the info. :slight_smile:

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