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US Catholics were most generous to Peter’s Pence in 2022

Peter's Pence

ChiccoDodiFC | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 07/04/23

While the Catholic Church in the US may be seen to be shrinking, that didn't stop its faithful from covering 25% of Peter's Pence.

Peter’s Pence, the fund that allows the faithful to directly support the works of the pope, saw the faithful donate generously in 2022. A recent report from Vatican News cited capital gains of €107 million, with the charitable gifts of the faithful exceeding €93 million (over $101 million). These figures have significantly increased from those recorded in 2021, as the pandemic still affected giving.

Once per year, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Church takes up a collection for the Peter’s Pence fund. Catholics from all around the world band together to lend aid to the Holy Father and support the causes close to his heart, the Holy See’s Apostolic Mission and its Dicasteries, as well as projects that provide those in the most vulnerable situations with direct assistance.

Broken down by nation, the United States was the largest contributor to Peter’s Pence in 2022, donating an estimated €11 million ($12 million). The portion that came from the US accounted for about 25% of donations from the faithful, dioceses, and Catholic foundations. The next most generous country was Korea (8%), followed by Italy (6.7%), Brazil (3.4%), and Germany (3%). The Vatican News report notes that Peter’s Pence also generates income from financial activities, including the sale of real estate assets.

In total the contributions granted by Peter’s Pence amounted to €93.8 million ($102 million). Of this, €77.6 million was allocated to support the activities of the Apostolic Mission of the Holy See, and €16.2 million went towards direct assistance projects for the most vulnerable. In 2022, this direct assistance came in the form of aid for people and families in need, migrants and refugees, dioceses, parishes, religious institutes, and populations affected by natural calamities and wars.

While the Vatican has projects to fund in 72 nations, the largest share of Peter’s Pence (34%) was distributed to African nations. Much of this aid was put towards supporting, preserving, and expanding local African Churches, and even the construction of new church buildings. Peter’s Pence was further put to work in support of war-affected populations in Ukraine, healthcare initiatives, and educational projects.

The annual report on Peter’s Pence ended by quoting Pope Francis, from his General Audience on October 29, 2014:

“The Church is all of us! All those who follow the Lord Jesus and who, in his name, come close to the least and the suffering, seeking to offer a little relief, comfort and peace.”

Read the full report here.

CharityUnited StatesVatican
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