Some Financial Information for 2021

In this section of Romana we periodically gather financial information corresponding to the previous year. In this way, we also wish to express our gratitude for the help given by many benefactors who assist in the work of evangelization carried out by Opus Dei. Moreover, we should also remember that the faithful of the Prelature are ordinary Catholics, mostly lay people, who carry out a professional work. They support themselves like any other citizen and, to the extent of their possibilities (after providing for their personal and family support), they assist the financial needs of the Prelature and the apostolic initiatives to which the Prelature offers spiritual guidance: a university, a school, a social initiative, a residence or a center where formative activities are given. The directors of Opus Dei provide information about these initiatives, their needs and how to help out.

It was the explicit wish of the founder of Opus Dei (reflected in number 122 of the Statutes) that the Prelature not take on responsibility for the managerial, technical or financial aspects of these activities, nor that it be the owner of the goods used for the various apostolic activities, but that it limit itself to providing Christian leaven for these initiatives. It is up to the faithful of the Work, in keeping with their secular condition, to assume full responsibility for the apostolic initiatives they organize as citizens. Therefore we need to distinguish the finances of the Prelature of Opus Dei from the independent financial functioning of these apostolic initiatives.

In any case, although in this bulletin the Prelature’s institutional financial information is limited to its central offices in Rome, data from some other regions is also included for illustrative purposes. In addition, information is offered on some of the apostolic initiatives that receive support from the faithful of the Prelature, as well as from cooperators and friends.

Finances of the Prelature

With regard to the Prelature as such, the faithful of Opus Dei and other benefactors offer alms and donations for the support and formation of its own clergy (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 295, § 2), for the material functioning of the prelatic curia and the governing bodies in the various circumscriptions, and for financial assistance to needy persons. The Prelature accepts only those donations required to cover these needs, with the desire not to accumulate funds.

a) Curia of the Prelature in Rome

In 2021, the operating expenses of Opus Dei’s central offices amounted to 1,750,000 euros, broken down as follows:

1. Maintenance of the property (buildings within the triangle formed by viale Bruno Buozzi, via di Villa Sacchetti and via Domenico Cirillo): 421,000 euros. This amount does not include the investment in the renovations of the central offices, which are described below.

2. Expenses for the consumption and assistance of those who assist in the work of the Prelatic Curia: 1,066,000 euros. This item has been increased, since a provision has been included for the future support of people who work in these tasks.

3. Administrative expenses (including expenses of the curia offices, the communications office, legal advice, alms, travel, etc.): 262,100 euros. The increase in this item is due to the increase in the price of products and services, and the resumption of various expenses budgeted and not made due to the pandemic in 2020.

In 2021, work continued on the renovation of the building known as Casa del Vicolo (part of Villa Tevere, the Prelature’s central offices), which was reported on in issue no. 73 of Romana. The goal is the total renovation of these facilities, which date back to the 1950s and have been replaced by more efficient and less energy-consuming ones. In addition, all the rooms in the building have been remodeled. For many years, this building was the site of the Roman College of the Holy Cross, where the students shared dormitories and common services. Among other things, the renovation has made it possible to readapt the rooms and better optimize the spaces. The investment earmarked for this purpose in 2021 amounted to 5,793,200 euros. In addition, at the end of 2021, work began on a new building (also described in detail in the previous issue of the bulletin), in the corner formed by Via di Villa Sacchetti and Via Domenico Cirillo. The cost of this work (which will be spread over several years) was 1,488,800 euros in 2021. In both cases, the expenses have been covered by donations from the faithful and friends of the Prelature, set aside for this purpose over the years.

b) Countries in which the Prelature is present

In the circumscriptions where it is established, the financial responsibility of the Prelature is limited to the support of its own clergy, the functioning of the seats of government and the assistance of needy persons.The regions of the Prelature are financially autonomous and therefore there is no consolidation of accounts, although they all function under the same principle of not accumulating more funds than are necessary to cover the purposes indicated above.

By way of example, the total expenses of the Prelature in the circumscription of Switzerland in 2021 were 255,000 Swiss francs (CHF), distributed as follows: 174,000 CHF (68%) for the support of the priests, 75,000 CHF (30%) for operating and running costs (rent, transportation, consumables, maintenance, etc.) and 6,000 CHF (2%) for miscellaneous expenses. These expenses were covered mainly by donations from faithful of Opus Dei (49%), cooperators and friends (11.4%) and institutions (32.5%).

c) Other initiatives in Rome

The Roman College of the Holy Cross and the Roman College of Holy Mary are interregional centers for theological and spiritual formation, for men and women respectively. The Roman College of the Holy Cross is also the seat of the international seminary of Opus Dei. With about 130 students, its economic turnover in 2021 was 2,131,300 euros. The Roman College of Holy Mary had 85 women students from 30 different countries. The economic turnover was 900,000 euros. Both centers are supported by contributions from the faithful of all the circumscriptions.

Also in Rome is the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, which offers four higher education degrees related to theology, philosophy, canon law and communication. A good part of the students are seminarians studying sacred sciences before being ordained priests, diocesan priests sent by their bishops to obtain licentiate and doctoral degrees, and religious. They come from every continent. The University’s website publishes an annual financial statement and income statement: http://www.pusc.it/info/bilanci.

The 2021 annual report records an income of 11,009,500 euros (70% of which came from donations from institutions related to this university in various countries, which include donations from benefactors), and expenses amounted to 10,929,190 euros, with a surplus of 80,300 euros. With regard to aid for the formation of priests, it is worth mentioning that the foundations connected with the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (thanks to thousands of donors) granted 1,782,800 euros during 2021 in scholarships for 211 students, coming from needy countries whose bishops cannot afford this expense. The University continued to take measures to cope with the health emergency caused by Covid-19. For some months, face-to-face teaching activities were suspended, but continued on-line; and many of the extraordinary academic activities (conferences, seminars, etc.) were postponed to 2022.

Financial functioning of the apostolic initiatives to which the Prelature offers spiritual assistance.

These initiatives are educational and social institutions of a civil nature, brought forward by members of Opus Dei together with many other people. The Prelature takes responsibility for the pastoral care and Christian orientation, through an agreement with the promoters of each one. The juridical and financial concerns of these initiatives are the responsibility of their directors (associations, foundations, social cooperatives, etc.) and the civil juridical entity that owns them, set up for this purpose. They are of course subject to the laws and regulations of each country, and report their financial results in accordance with the principles of transparency established by law and by their own statutes.

Each entity has its own governing bodies and is autonomous. That is, it has a clearly identifiable ownership and does not depend on the Prelature for its management or organization. They are financially sustained thanks to the income generated through their own activities (for example, the payment of tuition fees at a university) and, in many cases, also thanks to private donations and public subsidies in line with their purpose, as they are initiatives of social, educational and cultural interest.

As already mentioned, the directors of the Prelature inform the people of the Work and others about how to assist these initiatives. At the same time, they also ensure that the conditions for the correct management of goods are in place (seriousness, temperance, transparency, etc.), and that the laws and fiscal obligations are fulfilled.

The faithful of the Prelature also help out, to the extent of their possibilities, with the needs of the diocese and parish where they live. For example, through the regular collections for the missions (Domund), for Caritas, for the support of the diocesan seminary, and others that arise throughout the year to alleviate hunger or other basic needs. Many of them take part in other civil organizations dedicated to caring for the needy: soup kitchens, food banks, support associations for single mothers, medical clinics for the needy, etc.

In this issue of Romana we draw attention, by way of example, to the financial reports of some institutions of this type: theUniversity of Asia and the Pacific (Philippines) and the Centro Educativo Los Pinos (Uruguay). In subsequent issues of Romana, information on other institutions on various continents will be included for illustrative purposes. The above-mentioned initiatives have authorized the publication of their data in this bulletin.

The University of Asia and the Pacific is a private university based in Manila, Philippines, offering 15 undergraduate and 11 graduate degrees. It also has two fast-track master’s degree programs: the 5-year program (5YP), which is offered to first-year undergraduates and allows them to earn a master’s degree in only 5 years; and the 6-year integrated program (6YP), which allows them to earn a master’s degree in 6 years. All of UA&P’s programs seek to foster genuine intellectual discipline in students. As found in the financial report of this institution, the total income for 2021 (from the operation of the various faculties and schools) was PHP 485 million, 4% less than the previous year, due to the limitations caused by the Covid pandemic. PHP 75 million corresponds to a non-cash donation of a property that will be the future site of UA&P’s expansion in Mindanao. If this amount is deducted from total revenues, 95% comes from student tuition fees, while the remaining 5% is from other cash donations, research grants and interest income. More detailed information about the university can be found at: https://uap.asia/.

Fundación Los Pinos (and the educational center with the same name) promotes the integral development of children, adolescents and young people in Casavalle (Montevideo, Uruguay), seeking their academic, professional, human and spiritual growth. Through various educational programs and innovative plan, it provides quality education in the neediest neighborhood of the city, with an educational method that encourages the participation and involvement of families in their children’s education. It currently has 450 students enrolled in its programs and assists 400 families. In the last year, the job insertion rate was 75%. The Foundation’s financial data for this year, audited by PWC, are published at https://lospinos.org.uy/.

Other solidarity and charity initiatives

Among the social assistance initiatives organized by faithful of the Prelature are many that provide services to the most disadvantaged sectors of society. By way of illustration, in the year 2021 the NGO Harambee Africa International (born during the canonization of St. Josemaría Escrivá to encourage educational projects in Sub-Saharan Africa) collected 468.500 euros to be used for initiatives promoted by local African organizations, among which are support campaigns for the emergency caused by Covid in its second year, especially for the benefit of three hospitals: Niger Foundation Hospital (Nigeria), Centre Sanitaire Walé (Ivory Coast) and Monkole (Democratic Republic of Congo); emergency food interventions in some communities in Kenya; improvement of educational facilities in Cameroon (EFA schools); support for school education in Kenya and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (diocese of Luiza, Yangala); rural development in Mozambique and Cameroon; and the award of 4.378 scholarships in various countries. Detailed information is available at www.harambee-africa.org.

Romana, n. 74, January-June 2022, p. 89-95.

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