Do you think our Catholic church need to get rid of stipends?


#1

I know it is stated in the Canon law. Also, stipends don’t go to the priest sometimes; some dioceses have rule that stipends from baptism, marriage, etc goes to the parish.
But stipends give rise to the impression that one has to pay to get the sacraments. Stipends are said to be just stipend, voluntary, not fixed fee. (Although Pope Francis reminds us several times that he knows there are parishes that demand a certain fee in writing, for which he forcefully condemns as a scandal). But giving someone money after we ask for a certain service looks just like paying for service.

Stipends need to be removed from our church laws. It has been there for 2000 years, but Ecclesia semper reformanda. The church always has to change.


#2

No.
They are voluntary.


#3

No, I don’t agree with you at all.


#4

No, they are voluntary. Furthermore, they are Scriptural.


#5

I make sure that when I give a priest a gift card or money it is for him NOT because of what he did (the Sacraments for myself or family) but just because our family appreciates all he does and we just want to say thank you.


#6

We can give donations. Yes. More donations. But not right after the service is given. And an envelope is given … Just say go to the Parish Secretary and give the donation.


#7

I don’t think we should get rid of them, but I would like there to be some transparency about their use, especially in the context of paying to have a Mass said.

I occasionally will order a series of Gregorian Masses for my loved ones. My diocese offers this service and sends the money to a well-known mission society to have the Masses said. This is fine, I know that the time commitment is such that it’s best handled by a missionary and that the money goes to support the missions. The cost of these Masses also varies depending on which mission, order, etc. is arranging them. Also fine. I know that some places have fewer priests to say these and get too many requests, so they increase the stipend in order to get a reasonable workload while still receiving the suggested donation amount that they need to support themselves.

What is weird though is that I discovered if I send the check to the diocese for these, it costs an extra 100 dollars than if I just send the check directly to the mission society they use and ask for the same thing.

I specifically asked the diocese if they take any sort of administrative fee or donation for arranging the Masses (in other words do they get the 100 dollars and then send the other 200 dollars on to the missions). They insisted they did not.

Sorry, but either someone is being a bit less than candid, or there is some oddity about why it costs me 300 dollars to arrange this by sending a check to the diocese that they then send on to the mission, whose offices are in the United States, vs. me just sending the check directly to said Mission and asking for the same series of Masses, in which case it costs 200 dollars.


#8

From Paul–

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor,[e] especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; 18 for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves to be paid.”

If I want to give my ox a carrot in gratitude for a personal service rendered beyond the ordinary services performed for the parish at large, I don’t think other people should have a problem with it.


#9

A couple years ago, two nearby parishes “merged.” One listed the Mass intention for a particular person, but the other parish did not. When the parishes merged into one, you can figure which practice took over. In that parish which listed names, it took up quite some space, because apparently people submitted a whole list of family and relatives to pray for. So, dropping the publication of names seems to have had some pragmatic rationale.

In this context, offering a stipend is very academic, since the public announcement has been totally done away with. So, maybe the priest knows who the Mass is offered for, but the Mass attendees do not. In fact, can anybody be certain that their stipend offering has had any effect?

I’ve also heard of the parish sending away the Mass stipends somewhere else?

Never occurred to me before, but why is this different from selling indulgences?

As far as a stipend goes, I don’t know how much it’s supposed to be? How do I know that the office clerk just doesn’t put the money in her pocket? (there was theft at one parish I attended.)

I’ve never warmed up to going to the parish office with a Mass stipend. Don’t we already support the church and priest with the Sunday collection. I’m very confused. Don’t we already pray for those who have died, at Mass?


#10

Jesus never accepts stipends (at least directly). I won’t refer to the Acts or Letters for this…


#11

They are often sent to support the Missions and have the priest there say the Mass for the person, because with so few priests and limited Masses per day, many people in a parish cannot get their Mass intention said in the parish, or can’t get it said on the specific day they want like someone’s birth or death day. The Mission priests are usually in poor areas and rely on the stipends for their upkeep.

This is part of why I usually cut out the middle man and just try to go straight to the Missions.


#12

I think if someone isn’t a regular attendee/donor at their parish, and the priest gets a call to do his funeral mass, I don’t see a problem with the priest asking politely for a stipend.

If the people can’t pay, I don’t think demanding the stipend is right, but really a couple hundred bucks isn’t really that much compared to the price of funeral in 2017


#13

Our parish is large, and there are more Mass requests than can be said locally. The overflow requests are sent to the missions along with the applicable stipend. Those intentions said in the parish are published in the bulletin, but my understanding is that there is no requirement either to publish the intentions or to announce them. However, priests are under a canonical obligation to fullfill Mass intentions for which stipends have been accepted.


#14

Our parish priest in the place we got married specifically told us “don’t worry about money, you don’t have to pay to get the sacraments.” I still haven’t got around to sending something to him and it’s a year after the wedding. This thread just reminded me to send him something!!!

:wink:


#15

No.

Especially when it comes to “suggested” stipends for funerals/weddings/etc.

My husband and I paid the church “stipend” of $400 for our wedding. We figured that the priest would get most of it.

NOPE.

$300 went to the music minister who refused to show up for our rehearsal then told off my professional musician brother and hubby’s classically trained sister that they couldn’t play “because a wedding is not amateur hour”.

Fortunately, in the 15 minutes before our wedding, Father reminded her that they were professionals, even if they were my family.

We didn’t even want her to play/sing.

Then $50 of the 400 went to “facilities”. $40 went to the prep book and the FOCCUS test. Father got $10…

…yeah. In that whole stipend, after meeting with us regularly, doing the rehearsal AND saying Mass, he got $10.

My husband and I got him a nice gift and my parents gave him an additional $200.

We were all pretty angry about how much of the stipend the musician (who only let us pick from a list of songs) demanded.

Father said that if we did not have the money, not to worry.

I’m pretty sure he would of paid that witch out of his own pocket.


#16

Oh it’s transparent enough how else does someone employed by a church afford a Land Rover


#17

Which is why I am sending the check directly to the sister I spoke to at the NYC Mission office


#18

That’s disturbing. I seem to recall we were asked to pay the musician separately. We also arranged and paid for our pre-Cana separately (it was an “Engaged Encounter” weekend). I assumed the check we gave to the priest paid for the use of the church space and his services. I really would not want to write one check that covered all these things in one big batch.


#19

The last Catholic family funeral I did, the funeral director (at the usual funeral home used at our church, is in the parish and has been run by parish members for decades) included the priest stipend in the funeral expenses and took care of paying it as part of his funeral services. I’m not sure what would have happened if I’d said I couldn’t afford a couple hundred for the priest while I am throwing down a few grand on the rest of the funeral and burial expenses.


#20

We paid for our “retreat” separately. I think that was $80 or $100.

The check we wrote as a stipend was supposed to be A-Z soup to nuts so to speak covering everything that the parish incurred.

My guess is that at one point the musician’s fee was reasonable but it went higher and higher and Fr. agreed to take the hit.

But you’re right. I wish it wasn’t in one fell swoop.

Having a $ amount that the parish expected was great. To find out later that it was controled by an abusive element…not so much.


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