THE Pope Francis has decided to end housing privileges enjoyed by cardinals and high-ranking officials of the Holy See, who do not pay rent for their residences, the Vatican’s official news website Vatican News reported.

Based on this decision, ministers, cardinals and other officials are required to make a “sacrifice” and henceforth pay market rent for the apartments where they live. The goal is “to deal with the growing needs” of the Roman Catholic Church “against the backdrop of an economic context, such as the current one, of particular gravity,” the text continues.

The Vatican emphasizes that it is necessary “let them all make one more sacrifice so that more resources can be allocated to the mission of the Holy See”.

The measure will not apply to current contracts, which will expire without changes. However, they will no longer be able to be extended or renewed unless the new regulations are met. Any exception would have to be approved by the pope himself.

The Vatican has vast real estate, worth billions of euros. Among other things he has expensive properties in Paris, London and Geneva, as well as many apartments in Rome.

After his election in 2013, Francis sought to put the Holy See’s finances in order and strengthen transparency. In 2021, to strengthen the finances of the Vatican he had reduced the salaries of cardinals and other officials.