Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Sep 1, '11, 1:08 pm
mike34 mike34 is offline
Observing Member
 
Join Date: September 1, 2011
Posts: 2
Religion: Catholic
Default The Church and its treasures.

I was in mass several months ago (I think right before Easter) and there was a pamphlet that I was reading about the budget of the Church. Assuming it was all the truth, it was very cool to see that all of the money they made went to charities, orphaniges(spelling?) and then of course to there "employees". But today I was thinking about how while the church does give away most of its money, why do they hold onto all of their assets? First off, I understand that books, paintings, historical artifacts, treasures...etc., in the Vatican especially, are there for safe keeping. But 1.) why do they no allow anyone to see of study them. 2.) what about stock that they own, money that they have in banks all over the world, and the one thing that I always wonder about, the gold and precious stones in the church itself?
I hope that someone can clear this all up for me.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Sep 1, '11, 1:18 pm
Flavius_Aetius Flavius_Aetius is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 607
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

You may as well go to the root of this problem and ask why did Jesus scold Judas when he was annointed with expensive perfume that they could of sold for the poor?

John 12:5

Quote:
"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."
Quote:
You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
I would agree with the statement you will always have poor among you. What happens after the Church strips itself of all its precious monuments, gold, and monetary assets? The poor will burn through it in less than a month, they'll come back just as hungry as before if not with more mouths now and the Church will be crippled to do anything for them.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Sep 1, '11, 1:40 pm
promethius's Avatar
promethius promethius is offline
Regular Member
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Posts: 2,471
Religion: Catholic of the Latin Rite
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike34 View Post
1.) why do they no allow anyone to see of study them.
Some items are single copies of documents... if they are damaged or destroyed then that item will be lost to humanity... FOREVER. So while large portions of the vatican collection are available to all in the vatican museum, some works of humanity are protected for posterity and study by only those qualified to review those items.

Quote:
2.) what about stock that they own, money that they have in banks all over the world,
That's called the endowment. The endowment is an investment that generates capital gains, which is then used in paying for the building, the salaries, and the charities. You'd be surprised how little (percentage speaking) of the money in your parish comes from the people sitting in the pews (on average).

You can kill the golden goose to get at the eggs, but when you do that it will be used up in a matter of months, and the primary source of funding for both charities and parish operations will be gone... in other words, large numbers of parishes would close, people would be laid off, and charities would go without.

The endowment, contrary to anti-catholic babble, is a GOOD thing because it directly feeds charity and enables more of the weekly contributions of parishoners to go to charity rather than church operations.


Quote:
and the one thing that I always wonder about, the gold and precious stones in the church itself?
First, most of these items are MORE valuable in their present context as works of art than they are in terms of raw materials.

Second, Honor God. As has already been quoted, there is nothing wrong in offering a gift of beauty to God.

Third, travel to a poor area that has a nice church. Offer to the local people to take the beautiful works from their church, sell them, and then give them the money. Most of the parishoners (if not all) will be very upset with you. The church is the one place in the world where the pauper and the king are equal in experiencing the glory of God... and bankrupting that experience is NOT a good thing for the poor. Going to church ELEVATES them from the squalor of their surroundings and gives them something beautiful of human creation to enjoy and offer to God.

Finally, people pay and donate to visit cathedrals and historical churches. That generates income for charity. Would you pay to see an empty building that had been raped in order to satisfy immediate desires? Probably not. Again, this is killing the goose to get at the golden eggs.
__________________
For those of you from the old greenspun forum ~paul h
Tiber Swim Team
class of 1990
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Sep 1, '11, 2:54 pm
Church Militant's Avatar
Church Militant Church Militant is offline
Forum Elder
Greeter
Prayer Warrior
Forum Supporter
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2004
Posts: 25,518
Religion: Catholic: Revert
Lightbulb Re: The Church and its treasures.

I found the following list of articles and books on this topic up in the Ask An apologist forum.
__________________
Dominus meus et Deus meus
Michael


Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Sep 1, '11, 5:27 pm
Mintaka Mintaka is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2005
Posts: 2,621
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

The Vatican Museums, the Vatican Library, and the Vatican Archives (aka the "Secret Archives" or "Papal Archives") are actually very, very generous with scholars.

(Except for the last couple years, when both the Library and Archives were at times closed for several months during the renovation of the building. But heck, that happened at the Library of Congress and Ohio State too. Man, there was nothing like going out to the university's heavy equipment building to find books -- you were watching out for forklifts and following the yellow painted line on the concrete floor....) They do take off some time during the summer, but that's normal for Italy. (And geez, they didn't use to have any air conditioning in the library and archives. You don't want to think how hot and close that would get, back in the stacks.)

In fact, in the past the Vatican Library and Archives were a little too generous with scholars. (For example, the Ohio State art professor who made off with thousands of small Renaissance drawings and sketches, because the Vatican librarians didn't look over your shoulder all the time and search your briefcase and not let you write except with their pencils, like most rare books and archives places do.)

The Vatican Library and Archives currently have a very generous online request system through their webpages, which allows you to get copies made and sent to you with a lot less trouble and cost than many institutions give you.

If you object to closed stacks, I hate to tell you that you'll find that system in pretty much every rare book library and archive in existence. The librarians and archivists deal with dust, confusing stack arrangements, fragile materials, heavy boxes and books, and dangerously steep climbs up ladders and stairs with stuff that will break your neck if you fall backward. All you have to do is sit there at a table in your designated chair and wait for your stuff. In exchange, you have a certain amount of assurance that your stuff will be in good shape and will not have been stolen (unless former White House aides have made off with it in their pants, as happened at the Library of Congress, or it's still in Paris after having been stolen by Napoleon).

The Vatican Museums have also been fairly generous in lending things out to art, history, and archaeology museums and exhibitions. Of course a lot of this stuff isn't seen outside Italy, but there have been several touring exhibitions in the US and the UK recently which included Vatican stuff.

Much of the stuff that happens at museums and libraries happens behind the scenes. But if you're interested, many of your local institutions (or even non-local ones, like the Met or the Vatican Library, Museums, and Archives) are happy to put you on their mailing list, accept your donations, and give you behind-the-scenes tours or make you some kind of useful volunteer.

And of course many of the great old museums and libraries in the world belong to Catholic monasteries and local dioceses, though they are not under direct Vatican purview.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Sep 1, '11, 7:12 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2005
Posts: 5,094
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via ICQ to Ignatius
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike34 View Post
First off, I understand that books, paintings, historical artifacts, treasures...etc., in the Vatican especially, are there for safe keeping. But 1.) why do they no allow anyone to see of study them.
Why do you think they are not available (under proper supervision) to be studied?

Quote:
2.) what about stock that they own, money that they have in banks all over the world, ?
I am not aware of this, can you please give us some information on all of this stocks, and money all over the world? What stocks? What money in which banks?
__________________
-
Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
Dirige Domine Deus meus, viam meam in conspectu tuo.
http://catholictruth.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-jBa...layer_embedded
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Sep 1, '11, 8:13 pm
midori_ midori_ is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2011
Posts: 648
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

You also have to remember, historically speaking, the church and the nobility were both major sources employment for vast numbers of people: architects, artists, sculptors, engineers, stonecutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, common laborers, and more. If a cathedral took 100 years to complete, imagine how many generations of workers made their living off the church in that time period. Just because the people who directly benefited from the creation of X spent that money a long time ago, and are dead and gone, doesn't mean that you have to begrudge the Church the physical objects and structures that remain from that patronage--- and what's more, remain preserved, known, and easily accessible to the rest of humanity.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Sep 1, '11, 9:06 pm
promethius's Avatar
promethius promethius is offline
Regular Member
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Posts: 2,471
Religion: Catholic of the Latin Rite
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
I am not aware of this, can you please give us some information on all of this stocks, and money all over the world? What stocks? What money in which banks?
Actually, Ignatius, if I'm not mistaken then every diocese has an endowment which consists of stocks, mutual funds, real estate investments, etc. It's these endowments which are being tapped to pay settlements for the sex abuse scandals, because the devil figures he can hit us in the pocket books to cripple us.
__________________
For those of you from the old greenspun forum ~paul h
Tiber Swim Team
class of 1990
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Sep 2, '11, 9:19 am
Swiss Guy's Avatar
Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: May 14, 2011
Posts: 4,001
Religion: Christian in the Holy Catholic Church
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike34 View Post
I was in mass several months ago (I think right before Easter) and there was a pamphlet that I was reading about the budget of the Church. Assuming it was all the truth, it was very cool to see that all of the money they made went to charities, orphaniges(spelling?) and then of course to there "employees". But today I was thinking about how while the church does give away most of its money, why do they hold onto all of their assets? First off, I understand that books, paintings, historical artifacts, treasures...etc., in the Vatican especially, are there for safe keeping. But 1.) why do they no allow anyone to see of study them. 2.) what about stock that they own, money that they have in banks all over the world, and the one thing that I always wonder about, the gold and precious stones in the church itself?
I hope that someone can clear this all up for me.
My guess is they hold onto some of it so that Vatican City doesn't go bankrupt and have to have the Pope and the Church be in a conflict with Italian politics or something .

1. Who needs to see a study of them?

2. The church/cathedral part I can answer by saying look at John 12:5

The money part, it helps give money to charities and the poor, and so no greedy person can steal some from the banks - ever wonder why there were SWISS guards? The money is locked up in Berne and Lucerne. All over the world, come on. You KNOW it's in Switzerland - where else would it be?
__________________




*I converted to Catholicism on the Easter Vigil on 3/30/13. Some posts may contain information that I believe is incorrect or was poorly understood. Usually someone else is a better source for a Catholic voice.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Sep 2, '11, 9:22 am
Swiss Guy's Avatar
Swiss Guy Swiss Guy is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: May 14, 2011
Posts: 4,001
Religion: Christian in the Holy Catholic Church
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midori_ View Post
You also have to remember, historically speaking, the church and the nobility were both major sources employment for vast numbers of people: architects, artists, sculptors, engineers, stonecutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, common laborers, and more. If a cathedral took 100 years to complete, imagine how many generations of workers made their living off the church in that time period. Just because the people who directly benefited from the creation of X spent that money a long time ago, and are dead and gone, doesn't mean that you have to begrudge the Church the physical objects and structures that remain from that patronage--- and what's more, remain preserved, known, and easily accessible to the rest of humanity.
No wonder the Church and government were closely connected back then (forget Charlemagne - after all, what did he do? ). The government was envious that the Church was creating jobs, not themselves.

Just kidding of course.
__________________




*I converted to Catholicism on the Easter Vigil on 3/30/13. Some posts may contain information that I believe is incorrect or was poorly understood. Usually someone else is a better source for a Catholic voice.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Sep 2, '11, 8:13 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2005
Posts: 5,094
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via ICQ to Ignatius
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by promethius View Post
Actually, Ignatius, if I'm not mistaken then every diocese has an endowment which consists of stocks, mutual funds, real estate investments, etc.
I think you are mistaken. Can you please give us some actual facts to prove this? What stocks? What money in which banks? How much?
__________________
-
Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
Dirige Domine Deus meus, viam meam in conspectu tuo.
http://catholictruth.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-jBa...layer_embedded
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Sep 6, '11, 10:30 pm
promethius's Avatar
promethius promethius is offline
Regular Member
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Posts: 2,471
Religion: Catholic of the Latin Rite
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
I think you are mistaken. Can you please give us some actual facts to prove this? What stocks? What money in which banks? How much?
The Diocese of Wichita actually details SOME information about their endowment online, although the specific details you're asking for are confidential... they do, however, provide contact information where you can ask for more specifics.

Here's the link to their website discussing diocesan and parish endowments:
http://catholicdioceseofwichita.org/...s-an-endowment

The Catholic Encyclopedia has an article discussing them:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05421b.htm
__________________
For those of you from the old greenspun forum ~paul h
Tiber Swim Team
class of 1990
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Sep 7, '11, 2:38 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: September 7, 2006
Posts: 13,031
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: The Church and its treasures.

The thread title reminds me of that story about the 3rd century deacon-martyr St. Lawrence:

Lawrence was once ordered by the prefect of Rome to hand over all the wealth of the Roman Church. He asked for three days, ostensibly to gather all these up. In reality though he spent this period giving up all these possessions away as alms to prevent their seizure by the prefect. At the end of the three days, he shows up before the prefect with the poor and the infirm of the city and defiantly proclaimed: "THESE are the treasures of the Church!"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8479Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Weejee
5153CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4429Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3864SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3762Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: daughterstm
3332Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3288Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3225Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3116For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Weejee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 3:45 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.