reply to post by BayesLike
It seems that the actual wealth of the church is coming into question, and I have admitted previously it wasn't something I had looked into with
detail. I just assumed they were wealthy.
Well, I've taken a bit of a look and found some interesting figures and facts. Below is another quote (the website I'll list at the bottom) which
far exceeds my estimate. If even a small percentage of it is true, then the original question I believe now carries a whole lot more weight.
Please remember, the original question was supposed to be a simple as possible. Would you maintain the funds as you found them or release them to do
as much as you can? Now for some quotes :
1. The single largest asset class owned by the Vatican is also the easiest to see, as it cannot be hidden.
2. The Vatican is the largest holder of land titles for any organisation or government in the world with visible title to around US $316 Billion of
property (churches, schools, hospitals etc) and around US $2,623 Billion of investment property hidden in extremely complex networks of hundreds of
thousands of trusts and front companies.
3. The current market property value of Vatican City, in the heart of Rome alone is worth between US $1 Billion and $3 Billion. This excludes the
value of the priceless artworks and valuables stored within its walls.
4. The most valuable property holdings of the Catholic Church by nation is the United States with around $50 Billion in visible property holdings and
around $507 Billion in hidden property holdings through a massively complex network of front companies and trusts.
5. The next most valuable property holdings are Germany (US $297 Billion of which only $29 Billion is visible property), France (US $282 Billion of
which only $28 Billion is visible), Italy (US $230 Billion of which around $23 Billion is visible), Brazil (US $194 Billion of which around $26
Billion is visible) and Spain (US $158 Billion of which around $15 Billion is visible).
6. What are the major property portfolio holdings by key nations? How then did the Catholic Church accumulate such a historic and massive property
portfolio? How is the Catholic Church still able to hide such massive property investments while still successfully claiming to be “poor”? How
reliable are these numbers to the truth?
Major property holdings of the Catholic Church
7. The Major property holdings of the Catholic Church are listed in the following table. The property investments are divided into visible property
holdings and hidden property holdings.
8. Nation Catholics Visible Hidden
(m) (US millions) (US millions)
United States 83.2 $ 50,179 $ 507,363
Germany 27.9 $ 29,783 $ 268,046
France 54.7 $ 28,245 $ 254,209
Italy 49.2 $ 23,096 $ 207,866
Brazil 150.3 $ 26,260 $ 168,260
Spain 37.1 $ 15,827 $ 142,440
Mexico 93.7 $ 21,147 $ 135,499
Belgium 7.8 $ 9,558 $ 96,643
Canada 12.8 $ 8,393 $ 84,864
Austria 6.0 $ 7,514 $ 75,979
Argentina 35.9 $ 9,550 $ 70,031
Poland 34.5 $ 8,906 $ 65,308
Colombia 38.9 $ 9,319 $ 59,710
Philippines 73.3 $ 8,999 $ 50,993
Ireland 3.5 $ 4,241 $ 42,879
Chile 14.8 $ 5,203 $ 38,153
Peru 25.4 $ 5,800 $ 32,866
Hungary 6.7 $ 4,033 $ 29,577
Netherlands 5.6 $ 3,343 $ 30,091
Portugal 9.9 $ 3,984 $ 29,220
Venezuela 24.6 $ 4,105 $ 23,263
Switzerland 3.4 $ 2,355 $ 23,808
United Kingdom 9.0 $ 2,395 $ 21,556
Australia 5.2 $ 1,871 $ 18,923
9. Visible property holdings are those property holdings clearly visible as being owned by the Catholic Church, while hidden property holdings
represents between 85% and 90% of the total property holdings of the church.