(ANSA) - Vatican City, April 18 - In keeping with his desire
to lead "a poor church," Pope Benedict has opted not to give out
the customary bonus to the roughly 4,000 Vatican employees upon
the inauguration of a new pope.
According to French news agency I.Media, the move amounts
to a double loss for Vatican workers, ranging from clerks and
cleaners to pharmacists and butlers, who also missed out on the
traditional gratuity handed out upon the death of a pope, given
that in February Benedict XVI became the first pope in 700 years
to voluntarily resign from an otherwise lifetime appointment.
While the amount of the bonus varies, it is usually
In 2005, Vatican employees received 1,500 euros each -
1,000 upon the death of John Paul II, and 500 upon the election
Some employees remember the particularly fruitful bonuses
of 1978, the year John Paul died after 33 days in office,
leading to a second conclave to elect his successor.
Vatican watchers say that times are different and coffers
are light amid the global economic crisis.
Sources also say the pope, who told the press three days
after his election he wanted "a poor Church, a Church for the
poor," has instead given part of the employee bonus money to