tithing


#1

Hi there-

I belong to a parish that has been turned somewhat “upside down” due to the fact that we have been given a full-time Deacon that is now running the church. We had a full-time priest for almost eight years that was transferred to another parish. There has been a lot of discord with the new Deacon and so many parishoners are “turned off” by some of his actions that they have decided not to give anymore money in the collection basket. I have a very hard time with their choice since I feel it is very important to help support our church. I understand completely the church’s teaching on tithing, My question would be, is this considered sinful, not to help support one’s Parish?

In HIS NAME and mine.
K.D.


#2

[quote=Krystal]Hi there-

I belong to a parish that has been turned somewhat “upside down” due to the fact that we have been given a full-time Deacon that is now running the church. We had a full-time priest for almost eight years that was transferred to another parish. There has been a lot of discord with the new Deacon and so many parishoners are “turned off” by some of his actions that they have decided not to give anymore money in the collection basket. I have a very hard time with their choice since I feel it is very important to help support our church. I understand completely the church’s teaching on tithing, My question would be, is this considered sinful, not to help support one’s Parish?

In HIS NAME and mine.
K.D.
[/quote]

There is a moral duty to support the Church. That dyuty may not be so specific as to require that the parish one belongs to be the object of one’s donations - perhaps someone knows more specifics, but I don’t recall anything which says that there is an absolute moral duty to support the parish. However, if they are withholding funds, they still have a duty to supprot the Church; so they should either be setting that money aside that they would ordinarily contribute, until something changes, or donating it elsewhere.

I’m curious as to what he is doing that has them so upset; they may be right, or he may be right and they are wrong, or it may be that he is right but has no tact as to how he handles things.

I suspect that eventually it will blow over.


#3

I have the luxury of living in a large metropolitan area where it’s a short drive to the next Catholic church.

I’m a firm believer in taking my business elsewhere if I don’t like the “product” I receive. In the event that I’m so dissatisfied not to tithe, I’d be inclined to take my money to another parish until the undesireable situation is resolved.

It’s wrong to attend a parish and not tithe to that parish.


#4

I give what I can…every week…different amounts sometimes…but always something.
Kathy


#5

You need to support the Church, how is up to you - you can give your donations to the Diocese directly, although you may want to consider how Christ-like that would be - “What would Christ do?”

Keep in mind also the 6 precepts of the Church, violating any of them is a grave sin (see #6). This is the minimum requirements for Catholics, but they are requirements:

  1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. 2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

    1. You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.
  2. You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.

  3. You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.

  4. The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.


#6

[quote=Krystal] My question would be, is this considered sinful, not to help support one’s Parish?

In HIS NAME and mine.
K.D.
[/quote]

Yes, it is.


#7

[quote=1ke]Yes, it is.
[/quote]

Since the precept of the Church is that one has a duty to support the Church, not that one has a duty to support a specifi parish, how do you come to that conclusion?


#8

[quote=Krystal]…There has been a lot of discord with the new Deacon and so many parishoners are “turned off” by some of his actions that they have decided not to give anymore money in the collection basket. I have a very hard time with their choice since I feel it is very important to help support our church…
[/quote]

Is there anything about what the deacon is doing that is keeping YOU from making your contributions? If not, keep up what you are doing and don’t involve yourself with either the gossip/grumbling or other people’s financial decisions. It’s none of your business if, how much or how often others contribute–the only person for whom you can make those decisions is yourself.

If others are publicly complaining, then I would admonish them to either approach the deacon in person to address their concerns directly or find a more productive way to help the deacon in his new role instead of just complaining.


#9

Unfortunately tithing is a forgotten requirement.

We are still suffering from the backlash from the abuses of the middle ages. So many Catholics may be placing themselves at risk but giving little or nothing to the Church.

I happen to live in a well to do parish and my guess is that less than 30 percent of parishioners give anywhere close to what they should be giving. And IF the standard were 10%, which is what tithing was originally meant to be, my guess is that the number would shrink to less than 1%, myself included.

I personally did not even hear about what should be given until fairly recently as in the last 10 years. I’ve always heard be as generous as possible but no one really spelled that out.
All too often I see $1 or just change go into the collection basket. I know some folks are living on the edge but in our parish and in this day and age, anyone other than kids or the homeless makes a heck of a lot more than $10 a week.

I suppose that people giving anything at all should be appreciated, and I try not to pay attention to what anyone else gives. It is between them and God. I know I don’t give nearly enough, certainly not even close to the 10% recommended.

The only Christian group giving 10% or more are the Mormons. It’s estimated that they give between 10 and 13% of income to their Chruch and the poor. IF God were keeping track of who were abiding by the rules by amount donated, Heaven would be heavily populated with Mormons, and Catholics would be a very small minority.
When it come to putting our money where our mouths are, we are holding up the rear. That’s pretty sad, and we really should be doing a whole lot better, myself included.:frowning:


#10

[quote=wcknight]Unfortunately tithing is a forgotten requirement.

We are still suffering from the backlash from the abuses of the middle ages. So many Catholics may be placing themselves at risk but giving little or nothing to the Church.

I happen to live in a well to do parish and my guess is that less than 30 percent of parishioners give anywhere close to what they should be giving. And IF the standard were 10%, which is what tithing was originally meant to be, my guess is that the number would shrink to less than 1%, myself included.

I personally did not even hear about what should be given until fairly recently as in the last 10 years. I’ve always heard be as generous as possible but no one really spelled that out.
All too often I see $1 or just change go into the collection basket. I know some folks are living on the edge but in our parish and in this day and age, anyone other than kids or the homeless makes a heck of a lot more than $10 a week.

I suppose that people giving anything at all should be appreciated, and I try not to pay attention to what anyone else gives. It is between them and God. I know I don’t give nearly enough, certainly not even close to the 10% recommended.

The only Christian group giving 10% or more are the Mormons. It’s estimated that they give between 10 and 13% of income to their Chruch and the poor. IF God were keeping track of who were abiding by the rules by amount donated, Heaven would be heavily populated with Mormons, and Catholics would be a very small minority.
When it come to putting our money where our mouths are, we are holding up the rear. That’s pretty sad, and we really should be doing a whole lot better, myself included.:frowning:
[/quote]

I have heard a lot about tithing. Where in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in the canon law does it specify the 10% number?


#11

[quote=Al Masetti]I have heard a lot about tithing. Where in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in the canon law does it specify the 10% number?
[/quote]

I think 10% is average amount that the average American should be able to afford. In the real world, a lot of people give more, but most give less. Of the latter, some can’t afford to give, but most don’t care. What difference will my little body make one hour a week?

IMHO


#12

[quote=otm]Since the precept of the Church is that one has a duty to support the Church, not that one has a duty to support a specifi parish, how do you come to that conclusion?
[/quote]

Take this example, everybody goes to parish A, but tithe to parishes B, C, D, and E, the diocese, Notre Dame University or a Franciscan monastery. How does parish A stay open?

At parish A, who pays the utilitiy bills, the salary of the employees, the priests and their housing. cutting of the grass, cleaning of the church and other buildings, coffee and donuts, etc., etc., et., While parishes B, C, D, and E sit empty.

Get the idea?


#13

[quote=LeahInancsi]Take this example, everybody goes to parish A, but tithe to parishes B, C, D, and E, the diocese, Notre Dame University or a Franciscan monastery. How does parish A stay open?

At parish A, who pays the utilitiy bills, the salary of the employees, the priests and their housing. cutting of the grass, cleaning of the church and other buildings, coffee and donuts, etc., etc., et., While parishes B, C, D, and E sit empty.

Get the idea?
[/quote]

Considering that most people give to the parish they reside in or attend, your scenario won’t happen.

The question of the OP was whether or not it is sinful to withhold the weekly offering when someone is upset with how the parish is being handled (change of pastor to, in this instance, a deacon). This could result, if enough people are upset, with something approaching a serious problem financially.

My understanding is that there is not a specific moral duty to support a specific parish, but there is a specific moral duty to support the Church. Obviously, if the parish gets into enough financial hot water, something is going to be done to address whatever the issues are in the parish.

And as to some of your specific questions as to who pays what, I believe that it is the diocese that pays the salary of the pastor; and the parish would be responsible for paying the salarys of office staff (including a deacon, if the deacon is the pastoral assisstant under the pastor), and the diocese probably pays the deacon in this parish since the deacon is in the place of a pastor. The parish pays the heat, lights, water, mortgage, and any other costs.


#14

[quote=LeahInancsi]I think 10% is average amount that the average American should be able to afford. In the real world, a lot of people give more, but most give less. Of the latter, some can’t afford to give, but most don’t care. What difference will my little body make one hour a week?

IMHO
[/quote]

One of my priest friends, senior priest, told me one day that the Catholic Church didn’t make an issue of the 10% number because in his words, the Catholic Church is the church of the poor.

But while some folks find a biblical basis for the 10%, AND make it a central part of their religious practice, so far we don’t have any reference from the CCC or the canon law.

Coming from what is arguably [one of ] the most expensive cost of living areas of the country, I am reluctant to state what other people are capable of affording.


#15

[quote=wcknight]Unfortunately tithing is a forgotten requirement.

We are still suffering from the backlash from the abuses of the middle ages. So many Catholics may be placing themselves at risk but giving little or nothing to the Church.

I happen to live in a well to do parish and my guess is that less than 30 percent of parishioners give anywhere close to what they should be giving. And IF the standard were 10%, which is what tithing was originally meant to be, my guess is that the number would shrink to less than 1%, myself included.

I personally did not even hear about what should be given until fairly recently as in the last 10 years. I’ve always heard be as generous as possible but no one really spelled that out.
All too often I see $1 or just change go into the collection basket. I know some folks are living on the edge but in our parish and in this day and age, anyone other than kids or the homeless makes a heck of a lot more than $10 a week.

I suppose that people giving anything at all should be appreciated, and I try not to pay attention to what anyone else gives. It is between them and God. I know I don’t give nearly enough, certainly not even close to the 10% recommended.

The only Christian group giving 10% or more are the Mormons. It’s estimated that they give between 10 and 13% of income to their Chruch and the poor. IF God were keeping track of who were abiding by the rules by amount donated, Heaven would be heavily populated with Mormons, and Catholics would be a very small minority.
When it come to putting our money where our mouths are, we are holding up the rear. That’s pretty sad, and we really should be doing a whole lot better, myself included.:frowning:
[/quote]

It comes down to your state in life. Yes sure most people would make more than $10 but they may also have large mortgages that do not allow them to contribute 10%. I have also been told (correct me if I am wrong) that 10% could also make dontaing to up poor charities!


#16

[quote=otm]Considering that most people give to the parish they reside in or attend, your scenario won’t happen.

The question of the OP was whether or not it is sinful to withhold the weekly offering when someone is upset with how the parish is being handled (change of pastor to, in this instance, a deacon). This could result, if enough people are upset, with something approaching a serious problem financially.

My understanding is that there is not a specific moral duty to support a specific parish, but there is a specific moral duty to support the Church. Obviously, if the parish gets into enough financial hot water, something is going to be done to address whatever the issues are in the parish.

And as to some of your specific questions as to who pays what, I believe that it is the diocese that pays the salary of the pastor; and the parish would be responsible for paying the salarys of office staff (including a deacon, if the deacon is the pastoral assisstant under the pastor), and the diocese probably pays the deacon in this parish since the deacon is in the place of a pastor. The parish pays the heat, lights, water, mortgage, and any other costs.
[/quote]

Since you didn’t understand the example I gave you, I put it plain words.

If you’re so upset with your parish that you are willing to withhold you tithe, the **GO TO ANOTHER PARISH! ** Do not make others pay your way at the parish you are unhappy with. :banghead:


#17

[quote=1ke]Yes, it is.
[/quote]

Ike:

It very well may be - I have a few at my parish who are proud of refusing to support the parish.

If I recall correctly, the Church’s teaching is that one can send the tithe to the Diocese, Catholic Missions/Charities or to another (poor) parish if one feels that the clergy are misrepresenting the faith or failing to provide pastoral care to the members of the parish.

In a situation like that, I would find a parish with a priest who is proclaiming the Catholic Faith in another neighborhood and go there, and then tithe to that parish. I see no point in occuping space in a pew where one is so angry at the ordained clergy at that parish that one can’t bring one’s self to support the work of the Church.

If I saw that several people in the parish felt as these people do, I would write a joint letter to the local Ordinaries (Bishop, Archbishop) explaining how we feel and why we feel that way, and get everytone to sign it, Included in that would be a statement hat all further tithes would be sent to a struggling inner-city parish that does proclaim the Faith (or to one of the Mission Orders). Then, Each week all of the tithe checks would be copied and copies sent to both Ordinaries so they understand the willingness to tithe if the faith is proclaimed. But that would only be if several parishioners were committed enough to do that week after week.

Otherwise, for the sake of my soul, I would go to another parish and donate my tithe there.

I think it is more imprtant that one find a parish where the Faith is proclaimed and pastoral care is provided than it is to go to the parish nearest one’s home, even if the clergy in that parish don’t preach the faith.

In Christ, Michael


#18

[quote=Myangel]It comes down to your state in life. Yes sure most people would make more than $10 but they may also have large mortgages that do not allow them to contribute 10%. I have also been told (correct me if I am wrong) that 10% could also make dontaing to up poor charities!
[/quote]

Myangel:

Do you remember the story in the gospel about the “Widow’s Penny”?

*He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.

Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:41-44 *

The usual standard for tithing is 10% - I’ll let the Theologians and those in the Magisterium debate about whether that 10% of one’s before tax or one’s after tax income, or whether one can deduct reasonable rents and mortgages from the income subject to tithing. Although a roof over one’s head is obviously a necessity, I just can’t see a huge mortgage as a necessity.

If we realized the great gift of God we’ve been given, we’d do whatever is necessary to scrape together that 10% or something close to it, and we’d do this out of gratitude and so that others might be able to receive the gift.

I have a friend who’s a Secular Jew. Every year she gives some where around 10% of her income to charity. She has a mortgage and other expenses like everyone else, and she’s been doing this for several years. If a person who doesn’t know God can tithe, why can’t those who know Him do so?

I understand that people have situations that make it difficiult to imagine that God would take care of us if we gave money to his Church. That’s the Evil One, and we’ve been listening to him for far too long. Here’s what God says about tithing:

*Dare a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me! And you say, “How do we rob you?” In tithes and in offerings! You are indeed accursed, for you, the whole nation, rob me.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house, and try me in this, says the LORD of hosts: Shall I not open for you the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing upon you without measure?

For your sake I will forbid the locust to destroy your crops; And the vine in the field will not be barren, says the LORD of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the LORD of hosts. Malichi 3:8-12*

When are we going to listen to God?

In Christ, Michael


#19

There are also “issues” about not advertising our philanthropy… if we want reward in heaven instead of gaining the admirations of our fellows.

If I am not mistaken, there are alternatives to putting money in the basket or publicly announcing our generosity … like mailing money or going through the trouble of arranging for an anonymous contribution. (My wife is a church secretary and periodically large donations are made with anonymous checks… no clue as to the donor… known only to God and a couple of lawyers and bankers.)


#20

One of our previous pastors stated that he wanted to pay off the parish debt which had been there and a source of irritation for decades.

It was around a million dollars.

He said he would put all weekly contributions over a certain amount into a debt payment fund. Within a year, the debt was paid AND there was $300K left over… which he said he wanted to use to convert the bare cinderblock basement into meeting rooms… another $200K was donated (for the handicapped elevator)… and it was done.

So, it all depends on the confidence that the parishioners have in the credibility of the pastor… as well as the specificity of what the money is to be used for… is it for business as usual (“overhead” and “administration”) or for something special… is the money “well-stewarded” and used carefully… or do the parishioners perceive that the money is being spent carelessly…

There are also a large “cadre” of congregation members who have some spare time and help out on a daily or weekly basis… they donate their time… but often, when something needs to be purchased, they simply buy it out of their own pocket and never say anything about it. When the pastor asks what they need, they simply ask for his approval and then take care of it themselves with no further discussion of money.


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