Pope's finances back in the black

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The Independent Online

Routinely regarded as one of the wealthiest institutions in the world, the Vatican has announced that its finances have only recently returned to profit after three consecutive years in the red.

The Holy See has reported revenues of €245.2m (£221m) in 2010 against expenditure of €235.3m. But annual donations from churches worldwide – known as Peter's Pence – fell by nearly $15m (£9.3m) to $67.7m.

The Vatican City State, the secular local authority that houses the Church of Rome, also made a €21m profit as a result of strong ticket sales at the Vatican Museums.

The Vatican made a loss of €4m in 2009 and was also in the red in 2008 and 2007. The Vatican's total assets, however, are still conservatively estimated at £1bn.