If YOU could.change the Catholic Church


#41

You see it as lack of compassion; I see it as setting a value on a valuable item that people think they should just get for free. That young couple saving for a house will have no problem spending much more than 1000 dollars on a house, yet they expect to get the use of someone else’s building and the priest’s time for cheap or free. Presumably these people are currently living somewhere and not camping in a tent or a cardboard box, so they are not so poor that their every spare dime should go towards shelter. Their marriage should be every bit as important as their future home. They should be willing to make some sacrifices -1000 dollars is not an exorbitant amount in this day and age. By saying they don’t want to pay for it and thus won’t bother unless they can get it cheap, they’re making a powerful statement about their own values, and it’s nor a good one.


#42

I don’t know about you, but a thousand dollars would be a very significant sum for me, and I’m a working young adult.

And saving for a house? None of my generation that I know is expecting to get a house before their 40’s or 50’s.


#43

Jokes here at CAF are strictly forbidden. Everyone here is dead serious.

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#44

I agree!

If it’s taken then years to save up $5k, then yes 1/5 of that is quite a lot of money.


#45

I’ve seen people right on this forum complaining about how someone else is paying less for their children’s Catholic school and how parishes are taking tithes or finding some other way to make the school free to all parishioners to avoid this. The problem with people crying poor, at least in USA, is a lot of them clearly and visibly spend their discretionary income on other unnecessary things, then claim they cannot afford to pay for things like tuition, school lunch, or other fees we would typically consider “necessary”. People are not as nice and calm about this as you’d think especially in parishes where a lot of people are not well off.


#46

Putting a material value on a spiritual good is horrible.

No man has any right to sell what does not belong to him. Marriage is a gift from God!

“Oh, you’re dying and you want to confess your sins? How valuable is that soul to you? If you don’t pay then you’re not really sorry!”

I truly hope any priest who ever engages in this behavior repents before he dies.


#47

Just because some people take advantage of it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be practiced at all. We are called to be charitable, and kind.

Refusing to lower the amount because if financial difficulties (implied, proven, or false) is ludicrous.

Also, if they don’t get married in the Church, do you think they’ll have their children baptised or sent to a Catholic school? I don’t think so.

Someone posted in a different thread and I read on America Magazine last week, that Catholic weddings from the 90s to now have halved.

The next line of thought is if no one attends parishes or the Church because of a bad experience, they won’t tithe, donate, or offer any money. We will run into huge financial difficulties because we weren’t able to lower fees.

I agree.


#48

One for myself: Greater available times for confession, especially when there are multiple parishes in one area. It’s quite frustrating when there are three or four parishes within 15min, yet all of them hold confession within the same 2h window on Saturday. Especially as it often takes weeks to schedule confession if you’re unable to attend that slot.


#49

I think it’s understood that a wedding is not something that happens every day and again, takes a lot of time and resources to do. Did you expect to just get the church for free when you got married, while no doubt spending money on everything else associated with the wedding from the clothing to the food to the license to the honeymoon? Churches have bills to pay too.


#50

The Church needs to get it’s money some other way then, because it has no right to sell something it does not own. The Church does not own the sacraments.

“If you really loved the Eucharist you’d cough up a few bucks.”


#51

Amen. Well stated.


#52

Little bit of work:

Wedding dresses can be found for around $50. Pair of white flats, another $20. Basic veil for $30. Drop earrings (sterling) for $20. A silver-toned wrap for another $20.

Men probably own a suit, but if they don’t, you can rent a suit for $100, or you can get a white jacket for $60 and pair it with some black pants and a white shirt and black tie ($30 if you need it).

I found his and hers engraved titanium bands for $100 each. Not fancy, but they’ll work.

My parents did their wedding as a potluck and had family contribute dishes. You don’t technically need a dinner either, plus if you keep the guest list to immediate family a dinner isn’t that expensive - again, especially if you enlist help in cooking.

So yes, many people spend a lot of money on a wedding. But you can easily spend much less. And most of the stuff I mentioned isn’t even a requirement - nothing wrong with getting married in whatever the best you own is in front of the priest (or deacon!) and 2 witnesses.


#53

If I wanted to be really ambitious then I’d make it so the Fall Of Man never occurred.

Apart from that, I’d bring back the dead Chivalric Orders (such as the Knights Templar and the Livonian Knights). While the age of crusades is over, they could still find purposes in the modern era as medics (like the Knights Hospitaller) or as non-militant monks (like the Teutonic Order). Oh, and more missions to spread the word of God throughout the world.


#55

This is an old heritage building. Churches such as this (and Cathedrals such as St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney) cannot fund their upkeep from their local parishioners, and are also very popular with persons not belonging to that parish for ceremonies such as weddings. So yes, they look for a material contribution from persons who are choosing that location because of its exceptional character.

I checked with a relative recently married in her local suburban church by her parish priest. There was no fee.


#56

I recently saw Father perform a wedding while I was sitting in the front pew before the Tabernacle. I think it lasted 15 minutes at most. I felt a bit awkard- but didn’t get up and leave- as they went through the sacrament of marriage standing between the tabernacle and the altar. They were an older couple and just the bride’s mom was there to witness. No one else. I have never thought about how much weddings actually cost. I didn’t really know they did cost.


#57

Our diocesan newsletter, in contrast, recently highlighted a couple who chose to get married during the normal Sunday Mass and pointed out that this was an excellent option for couples who didn’t wish to spend a lot of money on their wedding.


#58

I know plenty outside of the major CBD of Melbourne who charge similar, if not more.

You do have to call them but yes generally $700-900 for the church and anywhere between $300-500 for the priest.

Edited to add: Brighton parish as an example.

Most parishes in Melbourne are quite old (there are around 216 parishes), thus one would automatically assume that they are heritage listed.


#59

Yes, but once you add up everything you mention, you’re up in the several hundred dollar range. Which is not all that far short of the 1000 dollars the church is asking. And the vast majority of people, while they may not be throwing money around like the Kardashians, are going to spend more than 1000 dollars on a wedding, even a frugal one. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, they want it nice.

The bottom line is, the couple in the example that led to this whole discussion are not poor - they simply have a priority other than the Church for their savings, which is the house they want to buy. The fact that they can even save towards this goal, rather than spending all their money on necessary food or utilities or other expenses, indicates they are not poor. Spending 1000 dollars out of their house fund would at most delay their house purchase by a few months to a year, since presumably they would need to save several thousand dollars at minimum to pay down payment and costs on a house. They’ve simply decided the Church is asking too much money, which is an indication of their priorities. We all set priorities with our money, and if they prioritize house above Catholic wedding, then they need to own that choice rather than act like it’s the Church’s fault for not giving them a cheaper option. It may well be that they are not being offered a discount because the pastors view them as able to pay. If they were truly destitute, perhaps the situation would change. That’s my final word on the subject.


#60

I’m really saddened to hear that the church doesn’t reduce fees for those in financial difficulty. My husband and I were happy to pay and we thought that our paying what we could would maybe help another couple with less money.


#61

For what it’s worth, I think most parishes do in fact reduce the fees. Or they don’t charge that much for the priest in the first place. Other aspects they may of course charge extra - you don’t actually need the musicians and the flowers.

I looked up my parish’s fee list. For a parish member, there is a $300 fee for the use of the church and a suggested donation of $150 for the priest. There are additional fees totaling $350 for the organist and cantor, however you are permitted to supply your own cantor and musicians subject to approval.

And like I mentioned, our bishop had it noted that couples are permitted to celebrate the sacrament within the context of an ordinary Sunday mass (and that it’s a beautiful way of involving the parish community). This would significantly cut down on costs.


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