Catholics Can't be Rich?

Hello, I often see some non-catholics, accusing us that we don’t follow Jesus teachings when he says:
“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.””

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”"

How do we solve that? What does it really mean? Catholics can’t be rich? Thank you!

Solve it? by giving a good amount to charity perhaps, doing something for other poor and sick people? living your life for God and not materialism.

Jesus also said “Where much is given, much is expected”. :blushing::juggle::gopray:

The reason Jesus told the rich man to sell all his possessions and give his money to the poor, is not because he was rich, but because his wealth was standing between him and his relationship with God. His material goods were worth more to him than his faith. As the Bible says, you cannot serve both God and Mammon at the same time. Abraham in the Bible was also very wealthy, but God did not hold that against him.

It’s not how much money or material possessions you have, but what role they play in your life that matters. The Bible says that the love of money-not money by itself- is the root of all evil. You don’t have to have a lot of money to love it and therefore be evil. Think of all the inner city pushers who sell drugs and poison their communities-they do it out of love for money, but most of them are dirt poor.

By contrast, you have wealthy people like Carlos Slim and Tom Gallagher who actually use their resources to benefit their communities and the less fortunate, and not simply themselves. I’m certain that their actions are pleasing to God.

In short, God judges us by our faith and our works. How much money we have-or don’t have- is completely irrelevant.

BTW I do not believe in the prosperity gospel, before somebody asks me that.

**A few wealthy saints:
King St. Louis of France
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Katherine Drexel
St. Thomas More
St. Margaret Queen of Scotland
Blessed Pier Giogrio Frassati came from one of the wealthiest families in Italy
St. Edward the Confessor (King of England)
St. Henry (Holy Roman Emperor)
St. Anthony of Padua (born into a wealthy family)
Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man who paid for Jesus’s tomb.

Obviously wealth was not an absolute hindrance to any of these people achieving sanctity.

I usually laugh when people talk of the riches of the Church when the Church is in so much debt. LOL! They talk about all the gold, paintings, sculptures, and art that could be sold to feed the poor. What a materialistic view of life! The artists who donated their works to the Church were giving these things to inspire souls to holiness, not to increase the Church hoards. If the Church were to sell all her art, they could feed every poor person one meal. Then all those works of art would be lost in private collections. At least having them on display in the Vatican allows poor people to have access to these inspirational pieces. Who knows, maybe people are actually inspired to saintly holiness and…wait for it…GET TO HEAVEN.

I usually let these criticisms roll off my back. I don’t lose any sleep over them at all. Especially when such critics should be going after the Health&Wealth Protestants out there.

No - Christians - and that includes Catholics - should not be rich.

That does not mean that a Catholic cannot or should not have control of some large amount of money. What it does mean that there must be a recognition of what that money is and what it is for. In short - where your heart is.

If a person is talented in business and is wise in his investments…creating and investing in businesses that provides jobs for others - while living modestly himself - is he wealthy?
Is a person “Rich” just because some “ledger” or “tax form” lists a large “net worth”?

The issue of money - possessions and so forth is a complex one and needs to be considered carefully from a spiritual standpoint. If one only looks at it from a “$$$” standpoint then one is simply being legalistic…(In my Opinion)


That’s a very good explanation. I have wondered about that myself before. I make pretty good money, but I consider myself very very blessed, and I don’t try to keep up with the Joneses either.

If we have no money, how could we help the poor?

Gee, may the Lord smite me with this conundrum!

People should have the basic necessities of life and not put things before God. However, if God does bless you with a high-paying job or your Uncle dies and leaves you with a million dollars, don’t sweat it. Give some to the poor. Even a little helps.

Domino’s Pizza founder, Tom Monaghan, a Catholic, has said that he plans to be broke before he dies, and is quite wealthy. He knows he can’t take it with him. And he takes an active role in helping the Church.


Then ask them to compare their pastor’s salary against a priest’s.

In all honesty, I’m going to have to second what JRKH said. I would say being rich and having wealth are two different things.

I’ve thought about that. Leaving it to the Church or other likewise causes, after my death. It is a comfort to me.

People do leave their money to the Church in a will.

Be of good cheer,


I am so embarrassed. I actually meant to refer to Tom MONAGHAN in my own post, instead of Tom Gallagher. I only remembered it was the Domino’s founder.

Hmmmm …

[GOOD question!]


All Christians, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, are entitled to the fruits of their labor.

So, if one of us gets a …


… and can turn it into cash …

… then, everybody benefits …

Other folks get the benefit of the new idea …

And the innovator or inventor makes some bucks … some of which can be used to help the poor.

A win-win situation.

And who benefits, if someone with a


hides their talent under a bushel basket … ?

Then everyone is denied that


So, then what we have is a lose-lose situation.

When on holiday in Faro in Portugal some years back I was inspired to write a verse on the topic. The amount of hoarding of art for the “glory” of God is beyond belief, paid for by the pennies of the poor.

How the Church ended up in debt after all that I will never know.

I dont see God in gilded churches… I see His glory in two teenagers in love kissing in a park, in a widow at her late husbands graveside, I see God in the smiles of those who have problems, yet are thankful for what they have got.

All I see in gilded artwork in a church… is gold. And that is known as the Devils Blood. Even Muslims refuse to wear Gold.

Tut tut tut… a little less sectarianism would be welcome. In Ireland here, its health and wealth catholics are our problem, with even Fr Brian D’Arcy - normally not of the cash for sancity brigade - standing up for Sean Quinn, a dubios ultra capitalist, though not one of the worse ones, I NEVER see a clergman stopping a house repossession.

You only have to solve it if you are rich.

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