Financially unsteady Vatican to force early retirements

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is addressing its long-standing fiscal difficulties head on by forcing many of its employees into early retirement, Il Messaggero reports.

 The high number of staff members in the Vatican, combined with a recent downturn in revenues, has left the state unable to balance its books for some time.

 Coordinator for the state’s Economic Council Cardinal Reinhard Marx has reportedly brought the Holy See’s financials to light, complete with incoming revenue, operational costs and financial projections, in a bid to encourage the implementation of fiscally beneficial measures. The cardinal has also proposed multi-year budgeting to allow the Council to better formulate economic projections.

 Discussions over the social security policies of the state have been arranged, despite Pope Francis previously insisting that no personnel cuts would take place, as layoffs do not align with Church doctrine. Relocations, staff mobility and early retirement are all reportedly on the table.

 In order to streamline the various branches of bureaucracy that have grown significantly over the past 20 years, replacements will not be found for employees who are forced into early retirements.

 Proposals of this kind are nothing new to the Vatican. Throughout Pope John Paul II’s 27-year tenure there were calls to reign back the costs of the state. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then Secretary of State, was a particular critic of the state’s failure to address its financial issues, Il Messaggero reports.