The Toledo church closed the year of the crisis with a 4 million deficit


Toledo

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The Covid has hit, without exception, both companies and institutions. The Church has not been immune to this “atypical” situation experienced in 2020 and has also been resented by the economic crisis derived from the pandemic. The closure of the temples as a place of worship, the collapse of tourism and the behavior of the financial markets, have been a hard blow for the coffers of the Church which, together with the direct contributions of the faithful, were the main sources of income. .

This was stated this Friday by the diocesan treasurer, Anastasio Gómez, during the presentation of the Diocesan Church Day, which is celebrated tomorrow Sunday. In a ceremony held in the Council Hall of the Archdiocese, the Diocese of Toledo presented its economic data that showed a «one-off» deficit of 13.86%, in 2020.

According to the data provided by the economist, the sightseeing —One of the main sources of income in the city of Toledo— decreased by 87.3% in the past year, which means that “of every 100 euros that the Church received for the entrance to monuments, it has stopped receiving 87 euros” , exemplified.

Even so, this sector, one of the hardest hit by the economic crisis, is beginning to take flight. “This has been very negative for the Diocese, but after the spring, summer and autumn in which tourism, also international, is recovering, we have hope,” said Gómez.

He explained that at the end of September this year, tourism in the city’s monuments was at 32.90% of what it was in 2019, which means that “there is still a long way to go” so that the monuments it provides the Common Fund for tourism can do so “normally and with the amounts that have been doing it.”

But not only tourism has been a serious blow to the accounts of the Church. “With the pandemic, the behavior of the financial markets has not been positive. They began to recover at the end of 2020 and in 2021 the trend is slow but promising, although there is also the issue of inflation, “he warned.

Despite this, he stressed that the economic and financial structures “were prepared to withstand the impact.” He cited that in August 2021, the Archdiocese of Toledo finished paying the loans of 14.8 million euros that were signed in 2008 and 2009 to be able to face the investments that were made at the time. “This is going to cause the reduction in the payment of amortization of fees and interests to compensate for the fall in tourism income that has not yet risen,” he said.

The closure of the temples, the fall in tourism and the behavior of the financial markets have influenced the accounts

Despite highlighting the amortization of these debts, the economy said that the situation experienced by the Covid forced the Archdiocese, the cathedral, a diocesan school and the parish of Santo Tomé to go into debt to be able to face payments.

“The Diocese has done its homework and measures have been implemented to help the parishes that were doing works and that were exempted from having to pay into the common fund. So they have been able to have more resources to meet their needs but this has meant less income for the Archdiocese.

In this sense, he added that the main means of financing the Church has been through subscription of the faithful and that the Diocese “is up to date” in payments to its suppliers and that in these months of pandemic the premise has been “to keep all jobs so that no family is affected.”

Regarding the chapter of expenses and income, he explained that the Archdiocese of Toledo closed 2020 in a negative balance, because although it entered 31,218,781.55, it spent 35,547,245.55 euros, placing its financing need at 4,328,464 euros (13 , 86%).

Protocol for the use of religious temples

Asked about the controversy raised by the authorization of the recording of the video clip ‘Ateo’ by C. Tangana in the cathedral, which led to the dismissal at the request of the dean of the primate temple, the archbishop, Francisco Cerro Chaves, stated that it was “an error that has been corrected” and added that there is aprotocol for the use of religious temples in which “what can be done” and “what should not be done” is determined.

In this sense, the Vicar General, Francisco César García Magán explained that this document (which already existed previously) not only applies to the cathedral, but also to the monuments linked to the Archdiocese. Its objective is to ensure correct use in carrying out imaging activities. “We have had requests to record images in the Santa María la Blanca synagogue and that protocol has been applied. It is very common that images or photographs can be taken in the cathedral and there was a protocol that was applied for their subsequent commercialization, “said the vicar general.

Finally, he added that “they are working on shaping and adjusting these guidelines, taking into account the latest demands.”

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