A New Publicity Campaign for the Dwindling "Peter’s Pence" Vatican Donations

Source: FSSPX News

Mgr Dario Edoardo Viganò.

Peter’s Pence is the annual contribution made by Catholics to Vatican finances to help cover the Church’s expenses. A publicity campaign called #OrdinaryHeroes has been launched for 2018 to give this collection greater visibility.


In our times, Peter’s Pence is collected in all diocesan Catholic churches at the annual collection on June 29, feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. In 2013, for example, it brought in 71.8 million euros. This money is meant to support “the concern of the Successor of Peter for the many different needs of the Universal Church and for the relief of those most in need” and for dioceses in difficulty. 

In the hopes of giving this voluntary contribution a second wind, a project has been set up by the Secretariat for Communications and was presented to the press on February 8, 2018, by the substitute for the Secretariat of State, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, and the prefect for the Secretariat for Communications, Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò.

A tee-shirt representing a work of street art will travel around the world and be signed by famous names in sports, culture, and entertainment. The tee-shirt will then go on auction, and the money will go to the Church’s charity works. Soccer players Francesco Totti and Diego Maradona have already responded positively to this initiative.

Peter’s Pence began with King Offa of Mercia (757-796), an Anglo-Saxon monarch who promised this annual contribution to the papacy in expiation for a crime committed by his wife. The Pence was abolished by King Henry VIII of England when he broke with Rome and began the Anglican schism.

Peter’s Pence was resurrected in 1860, enabling the Holy See to avoid bankruptcy when the Papal States were taken. While this fund has profited good works through its history, the same can not be said for the utilization of its funds in the past 5 decades. For this reason, the Society of St. Pius X does not participate in the Peter's Pence annual collection, encouraging its faithful to donate to various missions it has founded worldwide.