From parish funds, according to Berry's scenario, bishops have been able to build up considerable reserves, then use them to buy favor in Rome through large donations to papal coffers--labeled as Peter's Pence
to disguise the fact they were originally creamed off the top of church collections.
Peter's Pence is not the only stream of financial support to the pope.
Only Cor Unum, of the three major outlays of Peter's Pence funding, publishes annual data.
Across the last century Peter's Pence proved pivotal to the Holy See; but the money's major role went not for helping the needy but to plug Vatican operating deficits.
Traditionally, Peter's Pence is to be collected for the Holy Father's charities, but with the reduction of the income and the increase of costs, a move was made first of all to take money from the Peter's Pence, and eventually to take all of the revenue from Peter's Pence.
He said the practice of using Peter's Pence to help cover Vatican deficits, adopted as a matter of necessity in recent years, ought to stop," reported Catholic News Service.
During those same years, the Peter's Pence was just slightly above these amounts.
Peter's Pence, however, powered papal finances before the bank was formed in 1942.
The international funding drive revived a medieval tradition called Peter's Pence (historically, a tax of one penny per household in England for the occupant of St.
7 million lire for Peter's Pence yielded at an 1874 Catholic congress in Venice.