In 2017, the Archdiocese of Malta registered a decrease of €1.44 million in its net surplus to €0.37 million, down from €1.81 million in 2016.
Expenditure went up due to the continuous drive to improve pastoral services, resulting in additional employees across the entities of the Archdiocese. Significant additions in human resources were registered in homes for the elderly, homes for children, homes for persons with a disability and the Archbishop’s Curia. Amongst others, these additional resources were required to improve the services given to elderly residents, to enhance the services given to children and to expand the services offered to persons with a disability. The Archdiocese employed 1,209 persons, of which 883 were full-timers. In addition to these lay employees, the Archdiocese provided remuneration to 262 diocesan priests.
An increase was also registered in operational costs related to services offered by the Archdiocese. As part of the Church’s duty to preserve and maintain its cultural heritage, expenditure for restoration and conservation on property and works of art also went up. Unrealised losses on exchange due to the weakness of the US dollar against the euro had a negative impact. The tax charge for the year amounted to €1.11 million.
The increase in expenditure was possible due to a rise in income of €2.1 million. The decline of €0.22 million in fundraising income was more than offset by the increase of €0.48 million in collections and donations from the public. Government contributions towards homes for children and Caritas, amongst other entities, went up by €1.13 million. Income received from residents’ fees in homes for the elderly went up, primarily as a result of the public-private partnership (PPP) agreement.
The Archbishop’s Curia registered a net surplus of €0.89 million after the distribution of subsidies and unrealised losses on exchange. Subsidies advanced from €0.46 million in 2016 to €0.61 million last year. These were paid to various entities of the Archdiocese, mainly homes for children, homes for the elderly, media services and the Foundation for Theological Studies. Operational costs were contained while expenditure on repairs and maintenance increased by 15% as a result of the continuation of extensive works initiated in 2016 on Curia property. Donations registered a significant increase, with contributions for specific projects being a primary factor. Investment income increased due to a higher dividend from APS Bank.
The Administrative Secretary of the Archdiocese of Malta, Mr Michael Pace Ross, noted that the lower surplus was in part the result of an increase in financial support towards entities providing services to vulnerable people in society. Mr Pace Ross said that the Archdiocese is becoming an employer of choice for an increasing number of employees, which enables it to offer a more professional service.