In 2021, the Archdiocese of Malta, which includes more than 100 entities and employs more than 1,340 persons, registered a surplus of €3.4 million. This was a result of the receipt of the APS Bank dividend, after a one‑year gap, income from proceeds from the disposal of property, and an increase in collections in parishes when compared to 2020.
results were announced by the Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of
Malta, Michael Pace Ross, during a press conference at the Archbishop’s Curia.
Mr Pace Ross said that the Archdiocese has started to recover from the negative financial effects of the pandemic.
The financial results for 2021 show that the Archdiocese registered an increase in revenue of €6.9 million. Although collections in parishes did not reach pre‑pandemic levels, there was an increase of 26% when compared to the previous year when churches were closed for three months and collections decreased by 40%. Increases in income from donations, property rentals, fundraising activities, and public funds have also been registered, in particular for the financing of the salaries of the Minor Seminary and Sacred Heart College which are administered by the Archdiocese. The increase in tourists also affected the income of the Mdina Cathedral Museum and the Mosta Basilica positively. There was an increase of 18% in visitors at the Mosta Basilica over 2020. Contrary to this increase, there was a decrease in income from inheritances and fees from homes for the elderly, since several beds had to be kept empty due to the pandemic in case of an emergency.
The Archdiocese registered an increase in expenditure of €4.5 million over the previous year, with two‑thirds of the expenses covering wages of the clergy and laity. Operating costs, including maintenance, restoration and conservation decreased by €440,000. Charitable donations to people in need increased by 17% adding up to a total of €560,000. The taxation charge paid by the Archdiocese amounted to €1.8 million.
During 2021, the Archdiocese continued to benefit from the financial assistance given by the Government through schemes in relation to COVID‑19. This amounted to slightly more than €1.2 million.
The Archbishop’s Curia, which manages the administrative and pastoral activity of the Archdiocese of Malta, registered a deficit of almost €2 million when compared to the deficit of €4.5 million in the previous year, after distributing €631,000 in subsidies to the various Church entities for the continuation of their pastoral and social work. The Curia’s revenue increased by €4 million over 2020, mainly due to the dividend from APS Bank. Expenditure also increased to €10 million. As a result of a new collective agreement for Curia employees, that was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, salaries increased by 17% to improve their competitiveness within the market. Donations to people and families in need increased because of difficulties faced during the pandemic. The taxation charge paid by the Archbishop’s Curia amounted to almost €480,000.
Mr Pace Ross noted that the surplus registered in 2021 shall help the Church continue its work during this year, in particular when one takes into consideration the instability in the financial markets caused by inflation and the war in Ukraine. He also stated that for the Church to meet the needs of today’s society, it cannot continue to depend solely on traditional sources of income.
The Administrative Secretary mentioned various projects that have been or are being carried out by the Church as it continues its mission and remains near to those in need. These initiatives include: the investment in the Siġġiewi and Birkirkara homes run by Dar tal‑Providenza, distribution of food by the parishes to individuals in need, the ‘Kenn’ project by the Migrants Commission, the teaching of catechism online, and environmental projects at Dar tal‑Kleru and the Seminary. On behalf of the Bishops of Malta, he thanked the employees, volunteers and all the Maltese for supporting the Church in these times.