Pope Francis has ordered pay cuts for cardinals and other clerics as the Vatican battles

Pope Francis has ordered pay cuts for cardinals and other clerics as the Vatican battles to balance its books during the pandemic.

They are believed to receive up to $5,900 a month and often live in subsidised accommodation.

The pope has previously said that he does not want to fire people in difficult economic times.

But in an apostolic letter on Wednesday, the Vatican said that Francis had issued a decree introducing proportional cuts starting on 1 April.

Priests and other clerics will see their salaries cut by between 3% and 8% and planned salary increase will be suspended until March 2023. It said action was being taken “following the health emergency caused by the spread of covid-19 which negatively affected all sources of income of the Holy See and the Vatican City state

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