In 2020, the Archdiocese of Malta, which includes more than 100 entities and employs more than 1,300 people, registered a significant decrease in its surplus from €3.5 million in 2019 to €1.2 million in 2020. The two main factors which contributed to this surplus were a one-off donation in shares to Fondazzjoni Sebħ, as well as inheritance received by Dar tal-Providenza and Dar tal-Kleru.
This was announced by the Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese, Michael Pace Ross, during a press conference at the Archbishop’s Curia where he explained that the pandemic brought about great challenges.
Mr Pace Ross explained that the pandemic had a negative impact on the income of the Archdiocese which decreased by more than €3 million. This resulted mainly from the fact that no dividend was paid by APS Bank and from a decrease in collections. Since churches were closed between March and June, parishes registered a decrease of over €1 million, or 40%, when compared to the previous year. Overall donations also decreased by almost €767,000. The reduction in tourists also impacted the income of the Mdina Cathedral Museum and the Mosta Basilica, where the number of visitors decreased by over 80%. On the other hand, an increase in income from inheritances and public funds was registered, including financial support schemes offered by the Government during the pandemic.
Due to the pandemic a number of projects and works were postponed. As a result of this, the Archdiocese registered a decrease of €2.6 million in expenditure. 66% of the total expenditure covered wages of the clergy and the laity. Operational expenses, including expenditure on maintenance, restoration and conservations, decreased by 15%.
The Archbishop’s Curia registered a substantial loss of €4.5 million since no dividend was paid by APS Bank on the recommendation of the European Central Bank. Expenditure decreased by €946,000. The COVID wage supplement helped the Archdiocese not only keep all its employees, but also increased the number of employees who work directly in the pastoral mission of the Church and in the social sector. Donations from the Archbishop’s Charity Fund increased, which helped more individuals and families in need particularly during the pandemic. Despite the decrease in revenue, the Church continued its charitable work and assisted vulnerable persons. Subsidies to Church entities, such as those of children living in residential homes and homes for the elderly, amounted to €857,000.
On behalf of Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna, Michael Pace Ross expressed his gratitude to employees and volunteers who are doing their part during this time, in order for the Archdiocese of Malta to carry out its pastoral mission despite the difficult financial situation. He also thanked all those who contributed through their donations u all who on behalf of the Church were close to those affected adversely by the pandemic.