Combating the $ issue


#1

I suppose I never really spent much time thinking about this one, but it is always something new and exciting to defend about our Church…
What do any of you do to put people “at ease” when they complain that the Church is rich and only in this for the money,or that we are just like a big corperation/buisness, etc…
I guy yesterday said that he respects the buddist monks because they give up everything and become poor and don’t ask for money…
Oh, how I grow tired of the whole buddist example being thrown around with issues of "see, look what they do, isnt that great!"
I was thinking of the religious orders who do take vows of poverty…still, I think that is not enough.
I understand their gripes but I am not worried about it like them because I know that men are fallible and greedy. Would anyone have good experience/advice with this issue? What sort of answer are these people looking for? We have an image to maintain as Catholics and when people see those weaknesses, they attack!


#2

oh man! i just typed you a really long and (in my opinion really good) response to your question and the website messed up! arrgg. i’ll try to find the energy to type it again . . .


#3

The Church gathers funds to a common pot. Most Protestant churches are nothing more that a store on the corner. They barely make enough to keep the doors open thats why they fold so quickly. With the minimal funds they do have what is left after payroll and the electric bill, there is not much left over to do good. With the common pot method the Church can raise the required amount to feed the hungry, provide temporary shelter, clothing, etc.All over the world they do this.
NO OTHER GROUP IN THE WORLD DOES THIS MAGNITUDE OF CHARITY, ESPECIALLY WITHOUT GETTING A PAYCHECK AT THE END OF THE DAY. There is so much more to say, help groups, retirement for the elderly, disaster relief. Having these funds is a gift from God to help spread love. Its as easy as that.


#4

Very well said, Catholic Dude:thumbsup: You hit a lot of the main points I attempted to post (but the website timed out and i lost the post!), so i’ll just add to it.

Catholic Dude makes a very good point that it is completely necessary to collect money . . . how else can you help the world? It’s great that the buddhists don’t collect money, but I can guarantee you they don’t do squat to provide relief for troubled peoples, like the Tsunami victims. Catholic Relief Services was there, where were the buddhists? You NEED money to operate in the world.

Also, it’s not like the Catholic Church has membership fees. It’s based on tithing, which is firmly rooted in the Bible–give your first 10% of profit to God. So really you’re not giving your money to the Church, but to God through thr Church.

Those who claim the Catholic Church is just a fat cat corporation sitting on billions of dollars should be more careful in their assumptions. I’m sure the Church has hundreds of millions of dollars, but you know why? IT’S THE LARGEST CHURCH IN THE WORLD (and oldest)! If all the 33,000 protestant denominations combined their money into one huge pot, they’d have hundreds of millions too! It’s because the Church is actually ONE, CENTRALIZED Church (you know, as Jesus commanded) that it seems it’s so rich. People forget that it has the responsibility of helping its 1 billion-member congregation, not to mention its outstanding reputation for helping the world.

Ok so I’m done venting. Hope that helps.

Peace and God bless!


#5

and all those guys in orange buddhist hare krishna robes in the airport are collecting for what? what kind of charitable network like Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are the buddhists running worldwide? what kind of hospital and AIDS hospice network have they established? which of their shrines is a virtual museum of their art and culture? No doubt they do have their charities, and certainly their architectural and artistic wonders, but comparing individual buddhist monks taking a vow of poverty (the ordinary buddhist “in the pews” does not do this) with the Catholic church is absurd. anybody who thinks Catholic clerics are in it for the money doesn’t know many of them.

if every art treasure of the Vatican and every Church in Rome and every Catholic Cathedral around the world was sold or melted down for its precious metal, and the proceeds given to the poor, it would feed them for about 3 days, whereas 1% of the GNP of the biggest industrial nations could end world hunger in a year. Perspective, people. Bishop Sheen had a story about a young priest who made the same criticism, and as the good bishop acutely discerned, turned out to be stealing from the collection basket.


#6

Relative to the average, middle class schmo in America, sure, the Church is rich. Relative to the dirt poor peasant in some faraway country, sure, the Church is very rich. Relative to Besy Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble, Borders Books and Music, Denny’s, and most big businesses and their enterprises, the Church is dirt poor.

Nowadays the Church really isn’t rich when you consider just how wealthy some people are. I always say, you might see an extravagent basilica or something like that and think, “Wow, these guys are really rich!” but one Target store is worth more. You just don’t see it from the outside. It’s all in merchandise and capital in general.

Jamie


#7

If the Church wanted to make money, it would be in some other business that spreading the gospel and doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Ask your local pastor if his parish is rich. I’ll bet he has trouble meeting the budget. My parish would be considered rich by the standards of some others. But look at the budget and you see where it all goes–mostly to education, but also to upkeep, utilities, support for the diocese and the local Catholic high school, as well as tithing to other charities.

Same with the diocese. Are they rich? I doubt if there is any surplus whatsoever.

People who accuse the Church of being “rich” should try operating a parish, or a diocese, or a worldwide church for a few days.

Of course there are many religious orders in the Church whose members do take vows of poverty, and own nothing personally. But they still have to survive. The community has some income from the members’ own work.

The only real source of ‘wealth’ that one can point to are the art treasures that represent the common heritage of western civilization held in custody for all. If the vatican were to sell those off, like Annie said, you could help the poor for a few days; in the meantime all those artworks would be scattered across the world to private galleries or private individuals, no longer available to all.


#8

[quote=puzzleannie]and all those guys in orange buddhist hare krishna robes in the airport are collecting for what? what kind of charitable network like Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are the buddhists running worldwide? what kind of hospital and AIDS hospice network have they established? which of their shrines is a virtual museum of their art and culture? No doubt they do have their charities, and certainly their architectural and artistic wonders, but comparing individual buddhist monks taking a vow of poverty (the ordinary buddhist “in the pews” does not do this) with the Catholic church is absurd. anybody who thinks Catholic clerics are in it for the money doesn’t know many of them.

if every art treasure of the Vatican and every Church in Rome and every Catholic Cathedral around the world was sold or melted down for its precious metal, and the proceeds given to the poor, it would feed them for about 3 days, whereas 1% of the GNP of the biggest industrial nations could end world hunger in a year. Perspective, people. Bishop Sheen had a story about a young priest who made the same criticism, and as the good bishop acutely discerned, turned out to be stealing from the collection basket.
[/quote]

Just a clarification - Hare Krishna followers are not Buddhists, they are Hindu. Here is a clip of what they believe:

3) Krsna is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful and all-attractive. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings and the sustaining energy of the universe. He is the source of all incarnations of God.

Hence, this is not a part of Buddhism, but part of Hinduism.

And, by the way, a lot of talk goes on about the lack of Buddhist charities and so forth. I’ve yet to see any proof that they lack any such organizations. I would like somebody to come forth and show me. Buddhism is not hierarchal in structure like Catholicism, so there’s no “pot” to put money in.

Peace…


#9

To those that say that the Catholic Church should sell all of its art treasures, etc to feed the poor, I tell they why dont they ask the same of the Smithsonian, The Lourve, The Hermitage, etc. etc and they themselves why not sell all of their posessions to feed the poor, they have no answer…


#10

Because Catholics have rarely emphasized tithing per se, we usually have proportionately less money than Protestant denominations. It is not at all uncommon for a Catholic parish of 1000+ families to “gross” less per week than a Protestant church of <100 member families. Many Catholic parishes publish all the financial news in the bulletin–how much was given, a pie chart of how it is spent, etc, and I think this is a respectable and practical way to combat the perception of “church greed.”


#11

[quote=puzzleannie]and all those guys in orange buddhist hare krishna robes in the airport are collecting for what? what kind of charitable network like Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are the buddhists running worldwide? what kind of hospital and AIDS hospice network have they established? which of their shrines is a virtual museum of their art and culture? No doubt they do have their charities, and certainly their architectural and artistic wonders, but comparing individual buddhist monks taking a vow of poverty (the ordinary buddhist “in the pews” does not do this) with the Catholic church is absurd. anybody who thinks Catholic clerics are in it for the money doesn’t know many of them.

if every art treasure of the Vatican and every Church in Rome and every Catholic Cathedral around the world was sold or melted down for its precious metal, and the proceeds given to the poor, it would feed them for about 3 days, whereas 1% of the GNP of the biggest industrial nations could end world hunger in a year. Perspective, people. Bishop Sheen had a story about a young priest who made the same criticism, and as the good bishop acutely discerned, turned out to be stealing from the collection basket.
[/quote]

Thanks everyone,
Puzzleannie…your 2nd paragraph answered my next part where I was wondering what to say when someone ask about why we have all the gold and intricate things. It loks like we do have a lot of money laying around…but like you say, we wouldn’t last long if we threw it all together and tried to provide for the world on it.

Funny, if we got everyone in a country to be Catholic and give their money like that, we could end world hunger…provided we were rid of a few regimes that block those efforts.


#12

I understand the need for money in the Catholic Church, however, we have a priest that does nothing but preach about how much things in the church costs, the school costs. . …bending his ear is his financial advisor, the head of his finance committee (which is made up of very wealthy members of the parish, who send their kids to elite Catholic schools, as opposed to our own). He even preached about money at my daughter’s Kindergarten graduation, which I found inappropriate—the constant hands out is turning people away. Yes, he does things with the money, but he never wants to be questioned. He’s become more like a CEO than a pastor (with a garage full of sports cars and a rolex—all from his family, and I don’t deny his right to have them, but it just flaunts in our faces!)

It’s hard to want to give under those conditions, I have to remind myself that it is for the church, and we’re here to worship and praise God, not our pastor.


#13

True, in some cases a priest may talk too much about money, and that’s not good. I haven’t found that to be the usual case, though. Often it seems they talk less about money than they should. Our parish only gives the “money talk” once a year in connection with the “stewardship talks” about volunteering time and talent. OK, so that’s three weekends. But people become complacent. The finance committee looks at the numbers and sees that perhaps only half the parish is actually supporting the parish.


#14

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