How charitable is the Catholic Church?


#1

Just wondering how much money does the Catholic Church gives away to the poor or needy in the world? Any one knows any actual figures? I am asking because a work friend of mine (atheist) has issues regarding the wealth of the Church (in regards to highly decorated churches and priceless art works and the like).

God bless

Alex


#2

It is the largest charitable organization in the world. I’m sure that others will be able to provide actual numbers.


#3

The great majority of the wealth that you mentioned, has been donated to the Church over the past twenty centuries. Most of this wealth is in the form of paintings and other artwork. If it weren’t for the Church, much of this artwork would probably be lost right now.


#4

The whole concept of charitable hospitals, hospices and nursing homes that have Catholic roots is huge. Somebody like Danny Thomas that organized St Jude and all the good it has done over the years. All the shelters and care facilities.

The whole concept of charity is Christian origin, care for the old, hungry and sick and widowed and orphans was one of the first things the organized church did, setting up deacons to care for these pitiful people, to show them the love of God. St Stephen was a deacon who waited on tables (See Acts 6-8 or so)

If you want to engage your friend in useful dialogue say the one of the forum members has a question:Ask your atheist friend a question for me? Why do charitable works at all if there is no judgement / afterlife? Why not just spend it on himself? What is the point to help the sick, underpriviledged, handicapped and weak? They are just in the way? I think he might be an agnostic looking for answers, not an atheist. Be sure to thank him for asking questions, and always give answers in love.

Bless your efforts with love and success


#5

[quote=alexaustralia]Just wondering how much money does the Catholic Church gives away to the poor or needy in the world? Any one knows any actual figures? I am asking because a work friend of mine (atheist) has issues regarding the wealth of the Church (in regards to highly decorated churches and priceless art works and the like).

God bless

Alex
[/quote]

I do not believe there are any centralized records like what you are looking for. Each parish, dioceses, religious order, and charity keep their own books and records. There is no “annual report” of the Catholic Church as a whole. Individual entities do usually have a statement of their income and out-go.

The charitable giving is enormous. The wealth of the Church is a myth. There is a Catholic Answers tract on this very topic, I believe it’s available over at their main website.


#6

I don’t have an actual figure, but I have read that the Church is the largest non-governmental social service provider. Your atheist friend is standing on shaky ground!

Also, beautiful churches are fitting in that they house the tabernacle—this is a house of God, not a house for people. Also, beautiful architecture, paintings, etc. help to elevate the mind to things of God (because beauty and order point to God). Ugly, spare churches actually are more Protestant than Catholic, because they show a lack of reverence for the Real Presence.


#7

Hi all,

Thank you all for your comments. I’m stirring the boat here but if there is no record of how much is spent how can one state the Church to be the most charitable non-gov. org. Some one had to add up the numbers (even if only estimates) to come to that conclusion.


#8

“While the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the community sector spends about $29 billion a year, a recent investigation by the BRW magazine estimates the figure is closer to $70 billion. The investigation found that churches alone generated almost $23 billion in 2004, with the Catholic Church turning over almost two-thirds of that”

Source: ourcommunity.com.au/

Ted is right - ask why the poor should be helped if they are just other ‘animals’ that inhabit the earth?


#9

[quote=alexaustralia]Hi all,

Thank you all for your comments. I’m stirring the boat here but if there is no record of how much is spent how can one state the Church to be the most charitable non-gov. org. Some one had to add up the numbers (even if only estimates) to come to that conclusion.
[/quote]

I’m not saying the numbers don’t exist: in fact, I remember reading the statistics at some point. However, I don’t remember the numbers.


#10

[quote=alexaustralia]Just wondering how much money does the Catholic Church gives away to the poor or needy in the world? Any one knows any actual figures? I am asking because a work friend of mine (atheist) has issues regarding the wealth of the Church (in regards to highly decorated churches and priceless art works and the like).

God bless

Alex
[/quote]

I would look up Catholic Charities online and ask them. I bet that they can get the figures for you.

Brad


#11

[quote=alexaustralia]Just wondering how much money does the Catholic Church gives away to the poor or needy in the world? Any one knows any actual figures? I am asking because a work friend of mine (atheist) has issues regarding the wealth of the Church (in regards to highly decorated churches and priceless art works and the like).

God bless

Alex
[/quote]

You may want to point out that the artwork and other expensive things at the Vatican were almost all made during one period of Church history. Its not like we are out buying art all the time.


#12

Ask him how much the atheists organizations give each year.

Since the Catholic Church is made up of its members I would guess that total worldwide giving exceeds 1 trillion dollars.


#13

as for action, my diocese is the 2nd largest social service proovider in Washington, second to the state itself (but really it is first becuse the state then turns around and contracts [get volunteers from] the ArchD)

Im pretty sure this situation is pretty common across the US.


#14

All art work & other treasures held by the Catholic Church are considered to be a negative asset. The Church does not own these treasures as much as safeguards them for all. Not only do they have to store them but they also have to looked after. These costs of restorations and up-keep is taken right out of the Vatican budget. As mentioned earlier all treasures held by the church are donated free of charge. The church can not sell these artifacts for profit or a means of creating income.

The Vaticans yearly budget is aprox. 300 million US dollars and is usually in the red at budget time. All Catholic churches run their financing atonomously and I believe there is a drive once per year where all the donations in a diocese are given over to the Vatican. This helps with the 300 million buget.

I can not remember where I read this but for aid to the 2005 Tsunami The Catholic Church (through donations) raised and donated 500 million dollars for tsunami aid. More than most countries. I will try to find that info for you.

Peace! :thumbsup:


#15

This collection is called Peter’s Pence. It also helps fund humanitarian efforts. This year the collection will be taken on July 2. However you can contribute at anytime, you may even charge it using Visa, Mastercard, Diner’s Club, or American Express.


#16

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.