St. Peters Basilica


Knowing how it was financed and the resulting schisms, shouldn’t it be seen with embarassment by Christians?


Oh my goodness, how was it financed?


Unlike, say, Westminster Abbey and all the other wonderful CATHOLIC English churches, abbeys and convents that were ransacked, desecrated or destroyed to satisfy the rapacious greed of Henry VIII, founder of Anglicanism?

You make it sound as if tourists were mugged on the way into Rome or something.

St Peters was in fact financed mostly by WILLING donations from devout Christians who wished to do so for the glory of God and in hopes of the salvation of their souls and those of their loved ones. True, many people didn’t like the idea of being sold indulgences - a practice which the Church afterwards reprobated - and I bet those who didn’t like 'em didn’t pay money towards any for precisely that reason. Those who DID pay would’ve been teh ones who were willing to do so, so you can’t say it was financed by force.

How much money, by the way, do you give to your church each week for exactly the same reasons?


Knowing how TBN is financed, shouldn’t it be seen with embarassment by Christians?


Knowing how Benny Hinn is financed, shouldn’t he be an embarrassment to Christians?


so, how was it financed, and how would the fact that some Christians are in schism from Christ and his true Church be a source of embarrasment to Catholics? A source of sorrow yes, but why should I be embarrassed at their separation? you might want to spend a bit of time, since you are new here, in exploring forum rules and procedures, esp. in how to post on this forum. also search for FAQs on your topics of interest for some background info on the Church, its history and teachings, which it appears you are lacking.


No. Despite some of the financing coming from sinful actions, the purpose of the Basilica was and is to glorify Jesus Christ. No action we sinful men take is without the taint of our sinfulness.

Our salvation itself has come about partially through the betrayal of Judas, the spiritual blindness of the Sanhedrin, and the moral cowardice/political scheming of Pilate.

God can take less than perfect means and make a perfect end to them.


I didn’t mean to offend so many.

The most famous church in Christendom was financed by the sale of indulgences, which lead to schism, etc…

Very sincerely, when I look at it that is what comes to mind. Evidently no one here shares the concern.

Knowing how TBN is financed, shouldn’t it be seen with embarassment by Christians?


Knowing how Benny Hinn is financed, shouldn’t he be an embarrassment to Christians?

Yes. I am very certain that both have tarnished Christianity at the cost of many souls. I think this in an excellent connection to my OP. On TBN we see rich preachers swindling poor fools of money for over the top studios, homes, and churches. How many poor peasents were swindled by Tetzel?

Many times when I consider the RCC, I wish they had a more modest headquaters.



Why? It contains the relics of St. Peter and is the functional church of the Pope. I don’t know what you’d expect it to look like. :confused:


I’m not the least bit embarassed.




Why I asked that was;

"Question: One of the causes of the Reformation was the selling of indulgences. Does the Catholic Church still sell them?

That’s like asking, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” The Catholic Church does not now or has it ever approved the sale of indulgences. This is to be distinguished from the undeniable fact that individual Catholics (perhaps the best known of them being the German Dominican Johann Tetzel [1465-1519]) did sell indulgences–but in doing so they acted contrary to explicit Church regulations. This practice is utterly opposed to the Catholic Church’s teaching on indulgences, and it cannot be regarded as a teaching or practice of the Church.

In the sixteenth century, when the abuse of indulgences was at its height, Cardinal Cajetan (Tommaso de Vio, 1469-1534) wrote about the problem: “Preachers act in the name of the Church so long as they teach the doctrines of Christ and the Church; but if they teach, guided by their own minds and arbitrariness of will, things of which they are ignorant, they cannot pass as representatives of the Church; it need not be wondered that they go astray.”

The Council of Trent (1545-1564) issued a decree that gave Church teaching on indulgences and that provided stringent guidelines to eliminate abuses:

Since the power of granting indulgences was conferred by Christ on the Church (cf. Matt. 16:19, 18:18, John 20:23), and she has even in the earliest times made use of that power divinely given to her, the holy council teaches and commands that the use of indulgences, most salutary to the Christian people and approved by the authority of the holy councils, is to be retained in the Church, and it condemns with anathema those who assert that they are useless or deny that there is in the Church the power of granting them.
In granting them, however, it desires that in accordance with the ancient and approved custom in the Church moderation be observed, lest by too great facility ecclesiastical discipline be weakened. But desiring that the abuses which have become connected with them, and by any reason of which this excellent name of indulgences be blasphemed by the heretics, be amended and corrected, it ordains in a general way by the present decree that all evil traffic in them, which has been a most prolific source of abuses among the Christian people, be absolutely abolished. Other abuses, however, of this kind which have sprung from superstition, ignorance, irreverence, or from whatever other sources, since by reason of the manifold corruptions in places and provinces where they are committed, they cannot conveniently be prohibited individually, it commands all bishops diligently to make note of, each in his own church, and report them to the next provincial synod" (Sess. 25, Decree on Indulgences).

In 1967 Pope Paul VI reiterated Catholic teaching on indulgences and added new reforms in his apostolic constitution Indulgentarium Doctrina (cf. Vatican II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery, O.P. [Northport, New York: Costello, 1980], 62-79). " -NA

I’ll ask again, How was it financed?


The schism occured b/c the German Princes wanted to seize Church lands and appropriate Church taxes to themselves, and wanted to defy the authority of the HRE.

If it wasn’t for their secular motives Luther would have ended shut up in a monastery somewhere, and would be at best a footnote to the era.

God Bless


I don’t quite see the problem, if you go back far enough just about everything traces back to something that is questionable. Countries have became rich on war and slavery, the money of their Kings, Princes and Lords came from killing and that then financed the building of Churches. Even if you do say that many Churches were funded by ordinary congregations that money still came from somewhere. You can’t look at St Peter’s with shame and not look at every other Church the same way. So does all money retain that sinful origin or is it purified by people who labour to earn it and then devote it to the purposes of God’s Church.

If you look at it that way every time you look at the US you should be reminded of the slave trade or the theft of land from Native Americans.

If anyone should be embarrassed about schism it is surely those who split off from the true Church lead by Peter’s successor.


I’ll ask again, How was it financed?

“In 1516-17, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commissioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome”

The Catholic Church does not now or has it ever approved the sale of indulgences.

How can this be if the Pope sent Tetzel?

So does all money retain that sinful origin or is it purified by people who labour to earn it and then devote it to the purposes of God’s Church.

Can you describe Leo and Tetzel in those terms?

Why? It contains the relics of St. Peter and is the functional church of the Pope. I don’t know what you’d expect it to look like

Modest, like Peter or Christ.



Wikipedia’s not exactly the best source, anybody can pretty much put anything they want on there, right?

How can this be if the Pope sent Tetzel?

Even if the pope knew he was doing it, and didn’t stop him, that’s still a personal moral downfall of the pope. He SHOULD have stopped him, others should have stopped him, that does not mean that official Church teaching ever condoned this at all.

Can you describe Leo and Tetzel in those terms?

Do you live in the United States? Our government did some pretty sad things, as did almost all other countries in the world. Do you think that the monuments in DC are an embarrasment to the US?

Modest, like Peter or Christ.

Was the Ark of the Covenant modest? No, it was beautiful, to glorify God!


Exactly right, bookgirl. :thumbsup: Further, Christ has entered into His Glory (and Peter is joined to Him in that glory), so St. Peter’s - as should all churches - reflects to the best of human ability a meditation in stone on that Glory.


To all the excellent responses so far, Timmy Z, I’d like to add: I take it you have never been inside St. Peter’s? So you criticize something without knowing it?

I challenge you to go to Rome someday and enter this structure built to the honor and glory of God.

A fundamentalist recently criticized to me the “glass” (it’s not) dome over the high altar in the basilica, outraged that the words carved there are “You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church.” He seemed to think this self-evidently an outrage to God, when it is in fact the opposite.

The same fellow voiced outrage that “all over Italy, all the churches have Mary statues that are bigger than the Jesus statues.”

He’s listening to somebody instead of experiencing Catholicism first hand (rather than through a prejudiced filter) and forming his own opinions.

No offence to you, Timmy Z., because I don’t know why you are handing out your tripe: but ignorance coupled with **bad will **tend to lie behind such accusations as yours and those I mention above, currently being handed around and relished inside certain introverted Protestant circles.

I also recommend you spend some time here on the Forums looking and learning before you unload. It would be responsible for you to do independent research from Catholic sources–it’s only fair since it seems you have allowed yourself to be wide open to biased anti-Catholic slander.


Tetzel’s gone, can’t do anything about him.
Hinn and TBN are alive and well, what are YOU doing about them?

read. Indulgences were not sold. donation if you want, not obligatory and certainly nothing to do with the gaining of an indulgence.


This is an excellent and exacting answer. Good work. I’ve gone back and forth in my estimation of the Renaissance popes. I’ve come to the conclusion that while they weren’t the best theologians the Church has ever produced and while a couple of them went over the line in their behavior as a group they fit in nicely with the needs of the era. They rebuilt Rome, made a repository for some of the best works of art in the history of mankind, and held back the Turks. Not bad accomplishments if you ask me.


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