ROME, July 5 The Roman Catholic Church lost 14.9
million euros last year as "the negative trend of global
financial markets did not allow targets to be met," the Church
said, but donations from the faithful around the world were up.
The donations, known as Peter's Pence, rose 3 percent to
69.7 billion euros in 2011. Donations from dioceses to support
the central structure of the Church also rose, gaining 17
percent to $32.1 million.
The Vatican has posted annual losses in four out of the five
past years - all but 2010.
The Vatican bank, which has been in turmoil since May 24
when its president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was dismissed by the
board, handed 49 million euros over to the Vatican in 2011, the
Church's daily bulletin said.
The statement did not say whether the loss was due to
investments made by Vatican bank, formally known as the
Institute for Works of Religion.
The Vatican said it fired Gotti Tedeschi because he was an
ineffective and divisive manager.
Both Gotti Tedeschi and Paolo Cipriani, director-general of
the bank, are under investigation by Rome magistrates who in
2010 froze 23 million euros ($28.8 million) the Vatican bank
held in two Italian banks.
The Vatican bank says it did nothing wrong and had been
carrying out "normal operations" by transferring its own funds
between its own accounts in Italy and Germany. The money was
released in June 2011 but the investigation is continuing.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Janet Lawrence)