The Vatican has revealed that it owns more than 5,000 properties.
The revelation follows the release of information on its real estate holdings as part of its most detailed financial disclosures for the first time ever.
The information is in two documents – a consolidated financial statement for 2020 for the Holy See and the first-ever public budget for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA).
APSA, a sort of general accounting office, manages real estate and investments, pays salaries and acts as a purchasing office and human resources department.
Each document has an unprecedented number of pie charts, graphs and maps. In two explanatory interviews, the Vatican issued more than 50 pages of financial material. According to the details in the 30-page APSA budget, the Vatican has 4,051 properties in Italy and about 1,120 abroad, not including its embassies around the world.
Only about 14% of its Italian properties were rented at market rates, while the others were rented at cut rates, many to church employees. About 40% were institutional buildings such as schools, convents and hospitals.
The documentation also showed APSA owns properties as investments in upmarket areas of London, Geneva, Lausanne, and Paris.