Salvation Army


I’m new to this forum. Thanks to all in advance for your advice.

My question is this: Is it acceptable for a Catholic to contribute to the Salvation Army, or is the fact that they are a separate church disqualify them from groups we can support?


it depends on their local organization. Usually their social service outreach – the shelters, rehab, and red shield stores, and emergency relief centers – are separate from the local corps - the local place of worship for SA members. If you volunteer as bell ringers at Christmas, for instance, be sure the money is going to relief and social services, not local places of worship. Practice varies in different areas. Can you donate used clothing and household goods, of course, they are going to provide jobs for their shelter residents, and sold at very low cost to those in need, in addition to removing discards from the waste stream. As for money, make sure you know how it will be used. Bear in mind that in the intake shelters, esp. for alcoholics and the longer term residents, participation in worship is often required, as is pastoral counselling from their perspective and training (basically fundamentalist, but rejecting some common core Christian beliefs).


What common core Christian beliefs do they reject?


The Salvation Army isn’t respected much here. A few years ago a local woman left a ton of money to the SA with the stipulation that it be used in the community. They took all the money to Spokane & haven’t done a thing up here. They do have a store, but it is the priciest of all the thrift stores.

The only money we donate is to Catholic Charities, which does spend it locally. We donate our 2nd hand stuff to Habitat for Humanity, which has affordable prices.


My mother is donating some household goods (TV’s, bicycles, table/chairs, portable air conditioner) to the Salvation Army because they are the only organisation in my city that will still come to the house and pick up the merchandise. We called many others, including St. Vincent DePaul, but they make you take the items to a drop off center. It was either put it on the front lawn for the rubbish or have the Salvation Army pick it up. She would rather donate it to somebody than throw it out. We do not have a way to transport it, so we chose Salvation Army.


I’m very involved with The Salvation Army. We allow Catholics into all of our programs for rehabiliation, social services etc. Why wouldn’t you support an agency that helps your very own?


I wouldn’t call the SA fundamentalist. And by “core Christian beliefs” I presume you mean the fact that they don’t practice the sacraments?



They support abortion…so beware of monetary donation.


The Christians present themselves as peaceful and loving persons. My question in the first place is why did they need to have an Army?
I am an Ahmadi – a peaceful faith in Islam bridging gaps between faiths/denominations/religions/agnostics



its Spiritual Warfare against the armies of darkness.

Eph 6:10-12

Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].


Good post! :thumbsup:


Please correct me if I am misinformed, but does “rehabilitation” include “conversion”? I was always under the impression that the SA includes evangelizing in their programs, which of course, would not be good for any Catholic. :wink: If this is indeed the case, the SA does not help our very own, but does tremendous damage. Again, if I am mistaken, I do apologize.


Sounds like you do not know what the Salvation Army is. It is not an army that uses weapons like guns and swords. It is an army (or group of people) who use the Word and their love for God as the basis of helping people who need help and preaching Christianity.

They have a uniform, like an army.

Here is a link to their web site so you can see some of the good they do.


I believe that the Catholic Church provides the same kind of help through Catholic Social Services. For this reason I give to Catholic 'Social Services (CSS). CSS provides its services to anyone on a sliding scale fee… the poor pay nothing.
I’ve worked with them helping the homeless and battered women.
Other things they do it counseling, adoption services, etc. We adopted a baby through them 19 years ago.
They have people who, at not cost, volunteer to help the elderly and sick with things around the house, cooking, visiting shut-ins. They do meals-on-wheels.
Other volunteers are available to drive those who cannot drive (like the elder and ill) to medical appointments. They will even find drivers to drive people to church… regardless of what denomination they are.
None of the services they provide require a person to listen for one moment to any religious indoctrination


the SA members I know (who are relatives) are some of the most dedicated Christians I have ever seen, and among the few that live out Christ’s great commission to the extent of their ability, and a terrific example to all Christians with actions not only words, so unless we are willing to respond to Christ with equal commitment we should be very slow to criticize. That being said, their social outreach programs are governed by the same laws that every social service agency contends with. In our area they rejected United Way membership several years ago (as did Catholic Charities in our diocese) because of onerous restrictions and rules, and because it entailed participation in ventures that contradict bible values.


They do not try to convert Catholics (or any other Christians) to their own way of belief. They encourage people to become active in their own chruches, regardless of denominational label.
The Salvation Army’s purpose is to help the needy, the forgotten, the unloved. They feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and they visit those in prison.
And they finance much of this, by selling secondhand merchandise to those who are able to buy their own needed items, at a bargain price.
(Salvationists in the:) family here, too).


Oh please. . . . they accept it in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. This is misrepresentation.



It’s a little worse than that. Their old position paper mentioned rape, incest, the life of the mother, likelihood that the baby wouldn’t live very long after birth, and a diagnosis that the baby would have little or no brain function. Their current statement backs off and just says “The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration . . .”

In studying these statements I see a lot of effort going into crafting a public statement that leans heavily against abortion, but leaves the door open for killing the little squirts if they need it. But the guy in the PR department isn’t on the street counseling the women. That’s being done by many, many individual soldiers, and it isn’t likely that they can split the hairs so well as the guy in the office.

They’re a good outfit in many ways, but their position here is definitely flawed (if you’re antiabortion).


Like I said in an earlier post, my family does not support them monetarily, but we do donate items in the house that we no longer need. They are the only organisation that will actually pick up the items. We think it is better to donate these items than to throw them in the rubbish.


In the end if a person is “down and out” and fallen away from any church, if they pick up on the love of God from the Army or Catholic services or any street mission.

Is that not better to have a first step back to God rather than staying in the state they are in? They will return to the Catholic church or wherever after they are strengthened in the Lord again.

But first things first, would anyone agree?? Back to the Lord first then allow Him to sort the person out.

and ps to the abortion, I couldnt find on the site they supported it, only “care for post abortion”.

pps lak thanks

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