One of my many tens of loyal readers sent me links to two stories today, which left me utterly speechless. No, not the stories themselves, just the fact that they have not been linked in the media given the propensity of television “journalists” to turn every single goddamn thing into a horse race. I mean, the headline of this post wrote itself.
Vatican pulls in $14 million profit
after three years of losses,
but donations dropped
The Vatican has returned to profit after three years in the red, but donations from the faithful fell nearly $22 million, or 18%, amid tough economic times and a year in which the priest sex-abuse scandal exploded.
The Vatican issued its annual financial report yesterday, saying it made a profit of $14.3 million in 2010 following a loss of $5.8 million a year earlier and losses in 2007 and 2008.
Revenues were $356.1 million against expenses of $341.8 million. In a statement, the Vatican said the results showed a continuing positive trend that began in 2009 but was hampered then by the effects of the global financial downturn.
The separately administered Vatican city-state turned a $30.6 million profit, thanks primarily to booming ticket sales at the Vatican Museums. But donations from individuals worldwide, the so-called Peter’s Pence, were down $14.8 million to $67.70 million in 2010, an 18% drop from the year before.
Vatican officials said the main reasons for the decrease were related to the lingering effects of the financial crisis, and the fact that two donations of a few million dollars apiece from individuals in 2009 weren’t repeated in 2010.
The abuse scandal also erupted in 2010 in Europe, traditionally a top source of donations after the U.S.
People gave the Catholic Church $356.1 million last year? WTF is the matter with them?
My witty correspondent’s take:
Looks like it should be rated “underperform, sell.”
Anyway, my faithful reader also sent me this:
Beneath a Temple in Southern India,
a Treasure Trove of Staggering Riches
MUMBAI, India — A court-ordered search of vaults beneath a south Indian temple has unearthed gold, jewels and statues worth an estimated $22 billion, government officials said Monday.
Descendants of the royal family still control the trust that manages the temple, which is devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu. Searchers have found bags of gold coins, diamonds and other jewels and solid-gold statues of gods and goddesses.
Now to be fair, I am not exactly sure what it costs to dig up Vishnu’s stuff — but I’m pretty sure it isn’t $341.8 million! And even if it were that much, it still leaves Vishnu’s temple with a profit of over $21 billion.
Plus, Vishnu has four arms, and as far as I can tell, none of them have nail holes in the hands. Just saying.
[h/t born on the wrong continent]