Vatican budget emerges from the red

Pope Benedict XVI (right). Photo: 2 July 2011 The Vatican has been making financial reports public since 1981

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The Vatican has announced its finances have returned to profit - after three consecutive years in the red.

Its report said the Holy See saw revenues of 245.2m euros (£222m; $356m) against expenses of 235.3m in 2010.

But annual donations from churches worldwide - known as Peter's Pence - were down nearly $15m to $67.7.

The separately administered Vatican City State also made a 21m-euro profit due to strong ticket sales at the Vatican Museums.

The Vatican lost 4m euros in 2009 and was also in the red in 2008 and 2007.

Most of the Vatican's outlay is to cover the activities of Pope Benedict XVI, and services such as Vatican Radio which is broadcast on five continents in 40 different languages.

The Vatican began publishing annual financial reports in 1981 when Pope John Paul II set out to challenge perceptions that the Vatican was rich.

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