Accusation that the Vatican is a greedy business


I read an article about the importance of dressing nice for mass (to show respect and love to the Lord) but that’s not what this thread is about. I was just wondering how you would respond to the following comment:

A dress code at church? what about the parents who sacrifice the finer things in life so that their children can have a catholic upbringing? especially when they do it becuse the alternative public school system is not a safe environment fo…
r their children and they have no other route to go. now they have the worry of the priests who prey on these children. for a congregation with their backs against the wall, they may want to reestablish their approach. the church was meant to be a house of worship, now people are suggesting that parishoners need to dress a certain way to show respect to jesus christ and the church. people need to stop buying into this “faith.” catholic schools are closing at an alarming rate, but htey don’t have to. rome could send money back to the people who have paid for years to sit in church and pray, but why would they? they are a business, that’s why. their business model is that of the mafia, the exact business model. it works, but not if you stop paying the piper…he doesn’t pay back. if he did, he would fund the schools so that they did not shut down and the gospel would be spread. now parents are forced to acept the public school system, because their parrish school closed. the church stayed open though, but only because people pay to go to church. it’s a god damn disgrace!


The problem is the misconception that the Vatican is wealthy.

The Vatican “owns” many priceless works of art and some valuable real estate - but that’s not exactly liquid funds. The Vatican could liquidate these assets and provide relatively limited funding for a finite period of time. But the Vatican really doesn’t have the moral right to do so - these things are held in trust for the benefit of all of the Faithful, including those not yet born.

The offices of the Vatican (including the Pope’s own study) have rotary-dial phones. How can the Vatican possibly prop up the entire United States Catholic school system when it can’t even upgrade its own antiquated telephones?

Where do people think the Vatican gets its money? There’s the annual Peter’s Pence - for the discretionary spending of the Pope. The Pope could devote these funds to the American Catholic school system - thus denying them to the hungry and sick (worldwide) that the fund typically benefits. It’s a matter of priorities. The United States is (by far) the wealthiest nation on earth - it seems like American Catholics ought to pay the bill for American Catholic education (and, indeed, my own Parish takes up a monthly collection for Catholic education, as do many).

If American Catholic education is failing because of financial concerns, it is not the fault of the Vatican - it is the fault of American Catholics.

Oh please. Would they let their children show up in tube-tops-and-flip-flops at a wedding?

All news stories I have seen about Catholic schools closing have the following in common:

*]Nobody mentions that the closing school is in the city where Mom & Dad used to live, but all the children have since moved out to the suburbs to raise their own families.
*]Nobody mentions the new Catholic schools that are opening in the suburbs.
*]Nobody mentions how suspiciously few children they are having. (Whose business model is that now?)

I regularly read many variants of this accusation. Is it me or is this type of accusation recycled?

Rants tend to be unoriginal. Notice he had to bring up the pedophilia thing.

It’s even worse that the likes of the Occupy Movement regurgitates these types of accusations to the point of sheer recklessness!

You can’t become an apologists to ‘designated’ Catholic haters …they’ll never stop or be content.

I wont bother to address the rest of your post… but I will address the issue of a mass dress code:
It is quite inappropriate for a parish to expect everyone to dress in a suit for men and equivalent formal wear for the ladies. While such a dress code might be culturally appropriate in some coutries, the Church is the church of all the faithfull… not just the church of those who have such clothes in their wardrobe, labled “Sunday Best”

On the other hand it is totally inappropriate to attend Sunday mass wearing revealing clothing which it is sinful to wear (or borderline sinful… depending on the clothes). This is sinful to wear, and leads the people around you to temptation and sinful thoughts when they are trying to pray.
It is totally inappropriate to wear clothing with logos or messages which are contrary to the teachings of the church or are morally corrupt.

Historically women were expected to wear a hat or head scarf. this is no longer mandatory, but is a good tradition to retain.

similarly on a Sunday you should not attend Mass wearing dirty work clothes. You should not be working and if you have a relaxing DIY project which requires such clothes you should change before / after mass. (daily mass may be different: it is fitted into a working day so work clothes are appropriate)

There are pictoral diagramms in the Vatican and other areas where there are tourist attraction church buildings which require a dress code of clothes which cover the shoulders and knees for both men and women.
This is a moderate and totally appropriate code that should apply to all churches at all times.

Globally the Catholic Church does more charitable work than any other organization on the planet.The Church, through various dioceses and religious orders/congregations, operates countless thousands of schools, hospitals, clinics, orphanages, soup kitchens, and other services… as another poster pointed out, much of the Vatican’s charitable givings go to causes in countries that are much more desperate than the United States. I can’t be sure that this is a fact, but I once read that the Catholic Church is the single biggest health care provider in Africa…should we let those hospitals close down and leave millions of Africans to die of very curable diseases simply because a few schools in wealthy American cities are being closed due to Western demographics?

More importantly, the Vatican is not rich by any stretch of the imagination. The vast majority of money that Catholics give on any given Sunday stays in the parish…a certain percentage goes to the diocese for regional works (including schools)…only a minute percentage of global Catholic donations go to the Vatican. In fact, the Vatican has often run deficits. Their entire operating budget is certainly much, much, much smaller than that of any large North American municipal government. In terms of cash, the Vatican has relatively little. The priceless works of art are for the glory of God and the edification of the faithful…if it was sold, it would help a few people in the here and now for a brief moment…but then all future generations would be deprived of these wonderful gifts. The argument really smacks of the arugment Judas made when the woman washed the feet of Jesus with the expensive perfume. God deserves our best. We work hard to make our homes look beautiful…how much more the house of God?

Why doesn’t anyone ever ask why the people who the Church would hypothetically sell its art collections to don’t use their money to feed the poor?

On a recent visit to the Vatican, my friend, a recent convert, was amazed at the amount of artifacts preserved by the Church. She stated, “Thank God they kept them and didn’t destroy them like others would have done.”

The history of former cultures were all there for us to appreciate and to understand that Christ came for all mankind.

As for the works of art who would by them and allow the public to view them?

We attended Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The Square can hold 150,000. No basket was passed. If everyone had put in $5, how much would have been collected? We had reserved our space for the Mass but we were not charged. If the Church was out for money, these instances are surely missed opportunities.

If the Vatican, or the entire church gave away or sold everything of value today, that may solve the problem for 1 day.

What happens the next day, or the day after? Easy. Those same people would complain, and say how irresponsible it was.

Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Thanks for this thread. Some compelling arguments. The OP’s quote sounds like what my parents-in-law (lapsed, cradle Catholics) say!! :eek:

The Vatican administers to 1.2 billion souls throughout our planet and has a yearly operating budget of approx. 350 million dollars, sound like a lot? The yearly operating budget of Harvard University is 1.3 billion dollars. I don’t think Harvard administers to even a tiny fraction of the earth’s population! The Vatican is a country, so it has many expenses of a country; diplomatic services, protection for the Pope as he travels, a small army (Swiss Guard), police force, etc.


I think this accusation type is on a loop to be recycled repeatedly in its variants. :banghead::bounce::bigyikes::wave:


‘Sunday best’ mightbe your clean ‘everyday’ best. I know of one country Baptist woman wore overhaw (?) to Sunday services when growing up. :angel1::nun1:

If you live in the richest country in the world,(US) - or any similar - why look to a ‘foreign’ body for the problems in your country or to fix the problems of others? What the dickens is your own country doing about the issues it sees?

Why look to your ‘neighbours’ yard when your own is overflowing and wasted?

Why look to The Church, and specifically, the Vatican?

The real depth of these ‘accusations’ is more about bothering with the speck in your brother’s eye, than dealing with the beam across one’s own!


It’s even sadder than there are conspiracy theorists out there who use any variant or a combination of said variants of that accusation a lot these days.

What does your question have to do with the subject false accusation?
The truth is, most years The Holy See gives away more in charity than it takes in. The Catholic Church is the worlds largest charitable organization. (see here:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit