Charging to go to church


Has there ever been a time where the Catholic church charged money to get into church?



I do not know what the Catholic practice was in terms of pew rentals–in many Protestant (particularly Anglican) churches certain pews were rented to certain wealthy families, leaving the poor sitting on the “free pews.” I am sure that at many points in Catholic history wealthy and powerful people had special seats in church, and I know that in the Middle Ages the order in which people went forward to receive communion or “kiss the pax” indicated social status and could be a source of conflict. But the Church has certainly never charged money just to get into church and participate in worship.



Not that I’ve ever heard of.




Up until the mid-sixties many churches collected a pew fee at the door. I used to just make a comment about how it would be fun to play Jesus and the money changers, and go on by. Never got shut out.


nope. Untrue


I remember the pew fee.

I also remember it got to the point where about 25-33% of those in attendance were standing in the back of the church during the entire mass refusing to pay the pew fee and not using the pews.

I was a little kid at the time and didn’t fully understand what was going on but I do recall that suddenly one day the pew fee was gone and nobody was standing in the back any more.


I was told that in Germany, if you don’t pay a certain tax or something, you can attend Mass, but you can’t have a wedding, baptism, etc. in the Church. This was coming from someone who had lived in Germany, so I couldn’t argue with her… But I don’t know for sure.


I don’t know this for certainty but I think some Churches that charge a fee for touring them like a museum. Regular parishioners that are registered don’t pay any fee.


the usage varies by country, because in many Catholic (or formerly Catholic) countries of Europe where the Church was supported by public funds, the tax set up, including church tithe is different than in the US. you would have to research this by country. in the US, by extension, some ethnic parishes established by clergy from these countries may have instituted similar policies at some time and place.


That’s right - in Germany everyone has a tax taken out of their pay to pay for the churches. I don’t even think it is optional.


BTW, your picture of that saint confuses me. Whoever heard of a saint with a gun?


looks like the patron saint of target shooters and car insurance mascots.


lol - it definately does.
Patron saint of bank robbers maybe?





[/list] I can’t believe that you folks never heard of Saint Gabriel Possenti. Possenti was a Catholic seminarian whose marksmanship and proficiency with handguns single-handedly saved the village of Isola, Italy from a band of 20 terrorists in 1860. In 1920, he was official canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XV.


Hey, I’m sorry but I’ve never heard of him but guess what? I have now:D


Thanks to all that replied my concern was my son teacher told the kids that Catholics payed money to get rid of their sins (indulgences)and that they also had to pay to get into church. They were studying the reformation and middle ages.


If your son’s teacher said that people had to pay money for absolution of sins, your son’s teacher is completely misrepresenting the nature of indulgences.

Indulgences have only to do with remission of pennance done in purgatory for sins already forgiven but not yet recompensed. Receiving a plenary indulgence eliminates all such pennance, and a partial indulgence eliminates – obviously – only part of it. In neither case is one thus granted a get-out-of-purgatory-free card, as future sins also incur a debt of pennance, and certainly there is no free ticket to do as one will.



When I was growing up, I was led to believe that the pew charge was not just a Catholic thing.
Also I was told that people, for their penance, were made to sit outside the church wearing a sackcloth for everyone to see. I don’t think I would have liked to be a Christian a couple of hundred years ago.


I under stand what indulgences are and plan on having a talk with the teacher but I was not sure about charging to get into church, I’d never heard it before and wanted to get it right before I went to see him. The kids in class also made up posters and some of the groups of kids were telling the other in the poster that they you could go to their church for free not the Catholic Church because it charged money.

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