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Gianluigi Nuzzi's 'Universal Judgment'

A Vatican official, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, on Tuesday denied reports that the Catholic Church is at risk of a financial default as a result of plummeting contributions.

In an interview with the Italian bishops’ conference’s newspaper Avvenire, Bishop Galantino, who is in charge of the Vatican’s investments, said “there is no threat of collapse or default here.”

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Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi on October 21 published an investigative book titled “Giudizio Universale (Universal Judgment),” in which he reports that decades of mismanagement, shady deals and radically decreasing donations will result in the Vatican going bankrupt by 2023.

The book states that following the global rash of sexual abuse lawsuits, donations to the Vatican have dropped to $56.9 million in 2018, compared with $112.7 million in 2006.

The Vatican channels the contributions from Catholics into the Peter’s Pence collection, to be used by the pope for charity and emergency assistance; and a fund supporting the work of the Vatican. Nuzzi’s book reports that an estimated 58% of the donations to the Peter’s Pence collection were used “not for works of charity, but to fill in the (financial) gaps of the (Roman) Curia,” following the Church’s heavy losses in numerous court cases.

Recently, a new scandal has emerged, suggesting the Vatican has been speculating on a large-scale with funds from the Peter’s Pence collection – which will likely result in an even greater decline in contributions.

But Bishop Galantino insists the Vatican is doing fine, and that “there is only the need for a spending review, which is what we’re doing.”

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