Issues with giving to your Diocese


#1

Every year our diocese has a diocesan services fund. This annual fund support many of the outreach programs in the diocese, and some goes back to the local parishes. I'm assuming that dioceses across the country have similar fund drives.

Over the last 1-2 years I've had more and more issues with the social stances the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have taken. In particular... immigration and health care.

I was talking with another parishioner who thought the same as I did. They cut their annual donation in 1/2, while they gave the other 1/2 to another Catholic charity. They then sent a letter into their local bishop so that they'd be aware of why they were going this route. The more I think about, the more I like this idea. I don't know if I'd give to another catholic charity, or if I'd just give the remainder to my local parish. I guess I just feel that this is one of the only ways we have to communicate effectively our disagreements with the bishops.

Anybody else ever considered this or a similar approach?


#2

Yeah. How dare the USCCB do those corporal works of mercy, and we all know that Jesus did not mean it when he said all that rot about being a stranger and you took me in or any of that. Yeah.


#3

[quote="kage_ar, post:2, topic:188205"]
Yeah. How dare the USCCB do those corporal works of mercy, and we all know that Jesus did not mean it when he said all that rot about being a stranger and you took me in or any of that. Yeah.

[/quote]

I think you count Kage down as someone who agrees with you. .;)

I know what you mean. I think you did fine. You don't need to support those two issues to be a good catholic, In fact, the case could easily be made that nationalized healthcare will cause more people to get sick and die. With illegal immigration, setting aside my view of it-you can be against it and not worry about being in error.


#4

Yes, I have completely stopped supporting my local parish because of really contemporay practices (blatant disregard for the Pope and Bishops regarding women priests, support of abortion, changes to the Mass that were offensive, etc.) and instead, supported a more traditional parish and a house of Catholic missionaries down the road. Though, that didn’t stop the first parish’s pastor from publicly defying his Bishop but he stopped sending us parish envelopes and other mailings :rolleyes:


#5

We have the same problem here in the SW, we didn’t give for the USCCB offering due to their ineptitude. We give a minimal amount for the Bishop’s Appeal, and we have a super liberal parish. I have given up on the priest so I go to a more conseravtive/orthodox parish with the older kids and my DH stays at the old parish as he likes it even though heresy is spoken from the pulpit pretty much weekly (he doesn’t consider it that). We have a pledge there from building the place (wasn’t as liberal when we made the pledge) and DH feels oblidged to keep it so we are at a family impasse. Praying for all of you in donation exile as I hope you are for me.


#6

Catholics are **obligated **to support the materials needs of the Church.

To what particular Church does a person belong? Their diocese. Who is their pastor? The bishop. To whom are the subject? Their bishop.

I think people who think that withholding money from the Church is a moral thing to do had better hope Jesus holds them to a different standard than he espoused all throughout the Gospels.

I wouldn't want to explain my blatant disregard for the authority he placed over me to him.


#7

[quote="Honus, post:1, topic:188205"]
Every year our diocese has a diocesan services fund. This annual fund support many of the outreach programs in the diocese, and some goes back to the local parishes. I'm assuming that dioceses across the country have similar fund drives.

Over the last 1-2 years I've had more and more issues with the social stances the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have taken. In particular... immigration and health care.

[/quote]

What does the stance of the USCCB have to do with the needs of people within your diocese and community? You even state that the funds go to "outreach programs" and "local parishes". So you punish your local parish because you disagree with a position of the Bishop's Conference? Wow.

The fund drive in our diocese supports Catholic education, religious formation, RCIA, training of religious educators and lay ministers, Priest formation, services for families, the elderly, the poor. I guess we should punish all priests, teachers, lay leaders, and people wanting to become better Catholics because you don't like something the Bishops do.

Does your parish really do all these things, including having female priests and supporting abortion? Wow; are you sure this is a Catholic parish? The Catholic churches around here do not have any women priests and they seem to be fairly uniform in their stance against abortion, so I wonder what is going on in your community. Does the Pope know about this stuff?

If I could suggest one thing to help destroy the Catholic Church in America, it would be to stop supporting it! It is amazing to me that Catholics are doing just that, undermining their own parishes and faith communities.

I too have issues with some of the things that our diocese does (or doesn't do) and even greater issues with Rome; but that doesn't stop me from supporting what our parish and diocese does to serve the needs of our community. It is strange that "good" Catholics no longer support their Church but people like me (bordeline heretic) DO! In these troubled economic times (which affect both parishes and their members) we have INCREASED our giving to the parish, and to the Diocesan appeal, and to the other church initiatives that will help those in need.

Isn't that the Christian thing to do?

I guess that's 1 for the apostate and "cafeteria" Catholics and 0 for the "good", obedient Catholics!


#8

In reply to that diatribe, I do give to 2 parishes, and to the local Bishop's Appeal and to local and national Catholic charities - just not to the USCCB as before stated. The National Bishop's organization has a lot to answer for in who/what they donate to and uphold as 'Catholic' charities. I will not now or in the future support that lapse in their leadership. I answer to God for what I do, not you. My conscience is clear.


#9

Catholics are obligated to support the materials needs of the Church.

WRONG. If individual parishes or the bishops go off the deep end, we are not obligated to support them. This blind support is very dangerous. The bishops do not speak for us on immigration or health care. I will continue to give the same amount, but some may just be funneled more directly to charities.

I wouldn't want to explain my blatant disregard for the authority he placed over me to him.

Again, the church doesn't have this kind of authority over its members. If you want this kind of authority, I'd recommend the mormon church.

What does the stance of the USCCB have to do with the needs of people within your diocese and community? You even state that the funds go to "outreach programs" and "local parishes". So you punish your local parish because you disagree with a position of the Bishop's Conference? Wow.

I won't question your reading comprehension skills, so I'll just assume that you missed it. I'm not punishing my local parish if I funnel the funds directly to them.

How dare the USCCB do those corporal works of mercy

No, they can do works of mercy, but I am under no obligation to support them if they preach a social message that I don't believe in.

The american bishops are like any other group in the fact that money 'talks' to them. They are not going to listen to average joe parishioner. However, if enough people change their donating habits, they may eventually wake up and listen.


#10

Agreed – why are you withholding money from your diocese for something that the USCCB does? Why not just withhold money from the USCCB collection? Your actions make no sense.

Per Canon Law, you are obligated to financially support the church.


#11

When my Archbishop gives to groups like Acorn and other groups that support abortion then I give in a different direction. (to where I know my money will help Catholic teaching).
I support my local NO Parish, the FSSP and our once a month Dominican Mass.


#12

Agreed -- why are you withholding money from your diocese for something that the USCCB does? Why not just withhold money from the USCCB collection? Your actions make no sense.

Because my bishop is a member of the USCCB..... because he pleads their causes in sunday masses. I don't want to have every parish in my diocese have to read a letter about health care initiatives. Me personally, I just think they've overstepped their bounds in the issues I've mentioned.


#13

[quote="Honus, post:1, topic:188205"]
. I don't know if I'd give to another catholic charity, or if I'd just give the remainder to my local parish.

[/quote]

This is more of a curiosity question, but don't local parishes answer to the bishop and so on? If USCCB needs money, couldn't it get it from the local parishes, or is there a lot more autonomy than that?


#14

Yes, you are. It is the fifth precept of the Church and Canon 222.

Can. 209 §1. The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always **obliged **to maintain communion with the Church.

§2. With great diligence they are to **fulfill the duties which they owe **to the universal Church and the particular church to which they belong according to the prescripts of the law.

Can. 222 §1. The Christian faithful are **obliged **to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.

§2. They are also **obliged **to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor from their own resources.

Yes, it does.

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian **obedience **those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

You have a modern, American view of the bishop. You need to study more on the Catholic view of the bishop. He IS the authority over us in Christ. And, yes, you do owe him obedience and material support.


#15

1ke, thanks a lot for posting those canons. Us conservative catholics often need to be reminded of our own shortcomings. Here are some thoughts on the subject:

The term "particular church" in canon 209.2 refers to your diocese, it does not directly reference your parish. In practical matters, support of your diocese includes support of your parish. So in effect, both support to your parish and diocese are obligations.

To the OP,Honus, probably a very small percentage of your diocesan contribution goes to the UCCCB (I am guessing in the range of 5-10%). This isn't too so much that you should feel like disobeying a canon is justified.

Rence's situation in post #4 is really a different situation than the OP since it deals with the parish and not the diocese. In her situation find a better parish, unregister at the local on and register at the better one, then support that one. One caveat, IIRC, there are canons dealing with "parish shopping" so you would want to look up those first before following my advice. It may be you have to stay registered at your local parish, but that doesn't mean you have to support them as long as you are supporting the parish which is serving you and the diocese.

Long and short of it. You have to contribute to the diocese and the parish. And, yes I know we have had some Bishops that are not that great, all I can say is trust in the Lord. Canon 212.2 is very applicable on a lot of these matters. And don't loose site of the fact that the pendulum is swinging back to the right. All those libs are getting a little long in the tooth and they don't tend to replace themselves so well.


#16

You may well be punishing your local parish. Few if any parishes have the resources (whether financial or personnel) to do the things a diocese can do; like providing family and marital counseling services, Priest and Deacon formation, NFP classes, training Christian Formation and Catholic day school educators, providing continuing education for lay ministers (which I know some dioceses require), liturgical planning and resources, a whole host of things that individual parishes can’t do.

So, when you direct funds AWAY from your diocese you do hurt your own parish, your priests, your deacon(s), your lay ministers, your teachers, your liturgists, and worst of all, your fellow Catholics and your neighbors.

Some have approached this from the point of view of what is required by the Church. I approach it from the point of view of loving and serving God and one another. Despite my issues with the Church (which are likely quite different from yours) I still recognize the wonderful good that is done by its members for other Catholics and for anyone in need.

Boy, I never thought I would be defending the institutional church in these forums!


#17

Can. 209 §1. The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church.

I am still in communion if I choose to give my money to the local parish or other catholic charities.

§2. With great diligence they are to fulfill the duties which they owe to the universal Church and the particular church to which they belong according to the prescripts of the law.

Can. 222 §1. The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.

Nowhere does this say what % I have to give, and who I have to give it. I am under no moral obligation to give any to my DSF fund.

§2. They are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor from their own resources.

The bishops are not infallible when it comes to teaching of social justice. I am not required to agree with their positions on immigration or health care reform.

Yes, it does.

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

You have a modern, American view of the bishop. You need to study more on the Catholic view of the bishop. He IS the authority over us in Christ. And, yes, you do owe him obedience and material support.

We'll have to agree to disagree. The church does not assign an exact percentage for giving. Nor, do they tell me what organization within the church that I have to give to.

The blind obedience here is scary. It is this type of thinking which kept the american priest sex scandal hidden for so long.

I'll follow the bishops on teachings of dogma/faith, but the rest is less 'cut & dry'.


#18

I think Catholics might over-analyze things too much. Heck, I was an English major in college, so I know what it's like-(this is TOTALLY the pot calling the kettle black, throwing stones in glass houses, insert your favorite hypocrite cliché here)

Donate to a retired priest charity, a catholic pro-life charity, there are so many that need help. If your local diocese supports nutty groups (get it? Nutty? Acorn? Come on! It's funny) like Acorn, I wouldn't give them a dime.

And lets face it-Wouldn't universal health care soon mandate us paying for abortion and euthanasia? Last time I checked, those actions where sort of frowned upon by catholics.


#19

[quote="Rascalking, post:18, topic:188205"]

And lets face it-Wouldn't universal health care soon mandate us paying for abortion and euthanasia? Last time I checked, those actions where sort of frowned upon by catholics.

[/quote]

And the Bishops are 100000000000% opposed to any funding for abortion of euthanasia.


#20

[quote="kage_ar, post:19, topic:188205"]
And the Bishops are 100000000000% opposed to any funding for abortion of euthanasia.

[/quote]

Right! And they should be! But because they are doesn't mean it won't happen. We don't live in a theocracy.


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