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Vatican: salaries of Cardinals and department heads cut due to Covid crisis

The salaries of Cardinals will be reduced by 10%, department heads and secretaries by 8%, clergy and religious by 3%. A two-year freeze in automatic seniority increases will affect all employees from paygrade level 4 on up.

By Vatican News

“A sustainable economic future requires today, among other decisions, adopting measures that also concern employee salaries”. These words open the motu proprio in which Pope Francis has decided to cut proportionally and indefinitely the salaries of Cardinals (10%), department heads and secretaries (8%), and all priests and religious in service at the Holy See (3%). All employees will have automatic seniority pay increases frozen until 2023, exept for lay employees with paygrade levels one to three.

The Pope wants to ensure that employees not be laid off. However, as costs must be contained, he has decided to act “according to criteria of proportionality and progressivity” with some adjustments regarding especially clergy, religious, and those with higher paygrade levels. According to the motu proprio, the pope's decision is motivated by "the deficit over the years affecting the financial management of the Holy See”, and above all the situation caused by the pandemic, “that has negatively influenced all sources of income for the Holy See and Vatican City State”. The provisions are intended to contribute, along with other measures, to assuring a sustainable financial future for the mission of the central offices of the Church.

Given this situation, beginning on 1 April 2021, the remuneration “given by the Holy See to Cardinals is reduced” by 10%. Salaries regulated by law with paygrade levels C and C1 - that is, department heads and secretaries of dicasteries - will be reduced by 8% and affect employees of the Holy See, Vatican City, and other associated institutions. The reduction of 3% applies to clergy and religious employees - that is all non-lay personnel - with paygrade level C2 up to first level. The reductions noted here will not be applied in exceptional cases where health expenses are involved.

Another measure touches all employees in service at the Holy See, Vatican City, and other associated institutions, as well as the superiors noted previously. Automatic biennial pay raises associated with seniority will be frozen from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023. However, this will only affect lay employees with paygrade level four and above, and not those with the lowest salaries.

These measures will be applied also by the Vicariate of Rome; the Chapters of the Papal Basilicas of Saint Peter’s, Saint John Lateran and Saint Mary Major; the Fabbrica di San Pietro; and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.

The full text of the Motu proprio, in the original Italian, can be found in the Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office. 

24 March 2021, 11:59