Q&A on the News

Q: We read about the salaries of Congress and the President, and how much Queen Elizabeth II is worth, but what is the salary of the Pope? Will he have a lifetime of personal protection when out of office?

—George Cannon, Cumming

A: The Pope isn't paid, according to published reports. A spokesman for The Vatican told The New York Times in 2001: "The Pope does not and has never received a salary." In 2009, Esquire magazine was told: "The Holy Father doesn't receive a salary, and the complete organisms of the Holy See provide or foresee to the needs of the daily activity of the Holy Father." Since Pope Benedict XVI's retirement is unusual, it's unsure what level of protection he will have when he officially steps down, Nicole Winfield, who covers The Vatican for The Associated Press, told Q&A on the News in an email. The retired pontiff will move to the Apostolical Palace and the Pontifical Villas in the small town of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are finished at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, which is within The Vatican. "Remember … he will be living inside the walls of Vatican City, where access is restricted, not just anyone can get in," Winfield wrote earlier this month. "He's also a bit of a homebody – even when he was on vacation as pope, he tended to stay put."

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).