Girlfriend advice?


#1

Hi, I need some advice.

My girlfriend thinks that our church(a wealthier church) asks for too much money and acts as if they are "rich" and they should not be asking us for so much money. Yes, our church does have nice things, and builds nice buildings, but how can I prevent us from fighting about that?

I tell her that no money amount will ever be asked too much of from me when it comes to my Salvation which the church gives me. I just want to ease her hostility without fighting. I know I'm going to pray about it, but any advice? Am I being a bad boyfriend by being somewhat firm about it and not being very understanding of her thoughts(because I don't think they are right)


#2

the money you donate to support your parish, to the missions, to the diocese, to Catholic charitable and other organizations, is not given to secure your salvation, nor can any material gift do so. Your salvation comes solely by the merits of Jesus Christ and his graciousness and mercy in sharing that grace with us.

that being said it is a precept of the church that Catholics are to contribute to those things, to the extent possible, that is just part of belonging. How do you think your parish got to be wealthy (if it is--did your gf see the financial report?" Because other members donated generously to construct and maintain the physical plant, to pay staff salaries, to pay the utilities, to run the various ministries and apostolates, and possibly if the parish leadership are particularly good stewards of these gifts, by establishing a development plan for the future.

if you and your gf, or any other member of the parish, do not contribute, who do they expect to pay their share of the cost of these things?


#3

I think you and your girlfriend need to get more involved with studying the financial statement of the parish. She probably does not realize how much money it takes to run a parish.

Attend some parish council meetings, ask for the financial statement, and learn how much it takes to heat, cool, keep the lights on, pay for liturgical supplies, religious education textbooks, etc.

Open her eyes.

You are not being a "bad" boyfriend. But, as you pray consider the qualities of a woman who has such an attitude, is this a woman you want teaching your children about charity?


#4

Is your girlfriend Catholic? You didn't say, and I know the "wealth" of the Catholic Church is one of the standard attacks from the anti-Catholic Protestants.

As another poster said, your salvation does not come through the Church. Jesus died on the cross for your salvation. Please don't think you can buy a first-class ticket to Heaven through tithing!

:)


#5

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:4, topic:218223"]
Is your girlfriend Catholic? You didn't say, and I know the "wealth" of the Catholic Church is one of the standard attacks from the anti-Catholic Protestants.

As another poster said, your salvation does not come through the Church. Jesus died on the cross for your salvation. Please don't think you can buy a first-class ticket to Heaven through tithing!

:)

[/quote]

I took the OP's post to mean we receive grace via the Sacraments, and that comes from "the Church" by means of the priest... i.e., supporting the Church supports the availability of the Sacraments, which give us sanctifying grace.

I did not interpret it to mean he thinks he's paying for salvation.


#6

Oh yeah, she's definitely Catholic, and yeah I love her to death, she will definitely be a GREAT and caring mother. Charity might be something she lacks but as she gets older, and gets closer to God, then she will learn to be more charitable.

Great advice 1ke, that way she can actually see how much things cost instead of basing it off of what the church has been building and what they are asking for.

Thanks!


#7

[quote="iloveyouJesus3, post:1, topic:218223"]
Hi, I need some advice.

My girlfriend thinks that our church(a wealthier church) asks for too much money and acts as if they are "rich" and they should not be asking us for so much money. Yes, our church does have nice things, and builds nice buildings, but how can I prevent us from fighting about that?

I tell her that no money amount will ever be asked too much of from me when it comes to my Salvation which the church gives me. I just want to ease her hostility without fighting. I know I'm going to pray about it, but any advice? Am I being a bad boyfriend by being somewhat firm about it and not being very understanding of her thoughts(because I don't think they are right)

[/quote]

I think both of you need to sit down and discuss how you see money and what your individual budgets might look like. Is she specifically saying you shouldn't give money because your parish is wealthy, or is she hearing what struck me the most in your post, that "no money amount will ever be asked too much of from me", because that would be a red flag to me if I was considering a future with you. Are you meeting your other financial obligations while giving to your parish? Yes, we are all called to tithe and give and its great that you have the attitude you do. But it could be a concern of hers that you would put the parish before the family financial needs. There has to be a balance, and BOTH of you might be a little out of whack in what is charitable to give and what is going beyond the call of duty. I do think you two need to hear what each other is saying beyond just this particular fight, because finances are one of the sticky areas of marriages and you need to see if you two are on the same page beyond this particular issue. You're really going to have to have a sincere, deep conversation about money.


#8

You're not married, so at this point your money is your money and her money is her money. If marriage is not on the horizon, it seems that you might just mind your own business about what either of you contribute or don't, just as I hope you would for everyone else in the parish.

So let's make this about whether your views on money are compatible enough to consider marriage. That is a conversation worth having.

In contrast to parishes that are always asking for contributions to the many self-improvement projects at the parish itself, I have actually heard a pastor say in talk on stewardship that a Catholic's tithe to charity should not all go to his or her parish directly, but that a certain amount--he suggested it be no less than half--should go directly to Catholic organizations who are known to obediently turn the tithe into works of mercy or that use the money judiciously for the greater spiritual advancement of the Church. IOW, your girlfriend may be right.

I would suggest this as you start this conversation: Realize that how much you give and where you give it are two very different things. You cannot simply give this money blindly to anyone who puts a hand out. You have a responsibility to give away your money according to the dictates of charity and justice. This will almost always include a portion to your home parish, but that is *almost *always. The fraction due to your home parish will vary greatly, as well.

Your girlfriend may only be concerned that giving money to this parish in the amounts that the parish is soliciting violates that standard. That is, she may think that the parish spends excessively, far beyond what the proper solemnity of worship demands or that far too much goes to things outside of the obligation to provide for the needy, educate, evangelize, and so on. If the parish is getting too much money already and using what it gets badly, it is OK to give to the Church in other ways.

Now, I am not against splendor in the appointments of a church. When it gives glory to God, these enhance the worship of the rich and the poor alike. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, for instance, is a church with splendor that almost has to be seen to be believed. Nevertheless, it is a treasure that enhances the worship and witnesses the faith for anyone who goes there, rich or poor. Having said that, if a parish has let its spending get out of balance, so that comfort of parishioners or the splendor of their surroundings is seen to at the expense of comforting the poor and needy or the other work the parish is obliged to do, your girlfriend might be right. The parish may be violating the demands of charity and justice in how it spends and how much it asks for.

The other question, though, is whether she thinks that her material wealth is at the disposal of God's purposes. This is the question that will illuminate that: If your parish wants too much, then how shall the money that is beyond your needs be spent? If she wants to give it to Catholic Charities or St. Vincent dePaul or the diocesan seminary or whatever, then obviously, this is not a matter of her selfishness competing with the needs of the parish. She is only being prudent, an admirable trait in a Catholic.

The faithful are obliged to obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability: this is a precept of the Church. This does not imply that you have to give the money to a parish that is not making use of the money it is already getting, which it has in excess of its legitimate needs. If that is the situation in your parish--that is, if you have determined this as a fact, not just presumed you know it by outward appearances-- then you may legitimately contribute the money you are obliged to contribute to other needs of the Church.


#9

I appreciate all of your comments.

Helps me very much, helps me realize that I can't be hard headed and yeah of course we donate, and although If I had to I would devote any monetary amount to the church I should not go about acting like I one day will have to.

Do you get what I'm saying? She's being more down to earth with how much we're going to donate, and I seem to be against that because I want her to understand that I will donate EVERYTHING including my life If i had to for the Church, so that is where the conflict arises.

Thanks for helping me realize that guys!


closed #10

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