When I read an announcement like that I can't help but snort. The Pope presenting himself as a champion of the poor ... who is he kidding?
This first I did after reading this was Googling "How rich is the Vatican?" and this is what I found:
Bankers' best guesses about the Vatican's wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of the listed shares on the Italian market.
The Vatican's wealth is not only measured in money though. When I visited St. Peter's Basilica, I was amazed at the amount of paintings, marble statues, jewel encrusted Bibles and jewelry that was on display. We're not talking a worth of millions, but of billions of dollars.