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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Why Catholics Don't Tithe As Much As They Used To

One thing I can clearly recall from my days as a Southern Baptist youth was that people often tithed ten percent or more of their income to the Baptist ministry they attended.  I suppose this is one of the many reasons their denomination and its cousin offshoots were able to afford their famous megachurches.

Why put money into something that
won't endure?
Then, recently, upon seeing the scraps and scant tithes of the collection basket at a local Tridentine Latin Mass service, I began to think about the reasons for such a small collection in Catholic parishes.  Call me evil, materialistic, and worldly.  If that's what makes you feel good about yourself, then whatever.  The question remains: Why is it that sometimes and in some places (or most times in most places), we see a small collection in our communities?  This is not to disparage any generous givers.  But I must ask the question.

Reflecting on this riddle, I recalled a 2016 article by Monsignor Charles Pope, and a public reply to that article by Father Z.  In the article, Msgr. Pope states:
"Frankly, our problem in the Catholic Church today is not one of money, but of people. When only 30% of Catholics go to Mass and many of those give less than 2% of their income to the Church, many activities, buildings, and institutions can no longer be sustained or maintained."
Why are people giving less than two percent?  A few thoughts.

For starters, current Gen X and Millennial generations lack Boomer money.  When it comes to talking about financial and material legacy, it would be negligent not to remind this audience of just how much the Baby Boomers, as a whole, have left following generations with nothing but smoking craters of debt.

Could it also be that many younger converts to Traditional Catholicism do not come from big families who were Catholic at all?  Perhaps, rather, such converts come from Protestant or non-religious parents who likely never supported their conversion.  Such individuals, then, are left adrift and on their own, black sheep who are outcasts in their own family.  This is not Medieval Europe, after all--when the entire community poured themselves into the local church.

Other causes?  Transcendental anti-materialism, perhaps?  A cursory glance at the protestant scene reveals an egregious hunger for funds.  Protestants are always having fundraisers, raffels, cookie drives...you name it.  Whatever it takes to get that non-denominational gymnasium and nursery kiddie park built by the end of the 3rd quarter.

Bare Minimum
The new post Vatican II aesthetic.
Catholics, these days, now have an aversion to material things.  Again, we are not living at the height of the Middle Ages.  One glance at the spartan designs of post Vatican II parishes will tell that story.  For more than a generation, there has been utter contempt for the materialistic and "triumphalist" development of the Catholic Church.  So, perhaps the very inclination of adequately feeding the Institution has been drummed out of people.

Yet, there may be one more unspoken reason that people do not give impressive tithes in the collection plate.  I think Fr. Z was spot on in his reaction to Msgr. Pope's article when he said:
"I think that strong-identity Catholics are demoralized.  The weak-identity drift like corks bobbing on the stream.  I suspect many of them belong to some other religion that has Catholic elements but… they are so squishy after decades of squishy preaching, squishy catechesis, squishy effeminate liturgy, cowardly leadership that they are… something, but not Catholic.  Lately, however, I think that even hard-identity Catholics are becoming demoralized.  You can only beat people so long until a supporting bone breaks."
Now, with that in mind, consider the footage available from past decades where we see wrecking balls tear down old churches.  Reflect on all of the times you read about how the beautiful interior of a parish was white-washed and modernized to accommodate the "beige modernism" of some liberal bishop.  Remember, if you will, the stories of tall, beautiful, majestic cathedrals that the local Church authorities allow other religions to utilize and desecrate.

Imagine that your generation pours hundreds of thousands of dollars in to build a grand cathedral in your community.  Your people expend a lot of time, energy, and volunteered hours to build such a grand edifice.  And then, a generation later, and effeminate bishop comes along; and on a whim, he decides it's out of date and out of style.  The building becomes abandoned, and later, demolished.  The solid stone structure you thought would endure for centuries is bulldozed just like every other American pre-fab building.  If that's what's going to happen, then why bother building it at all?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that a lot of people simply don't trust the Catholic Church with their money.  I'm betting that when that collection plate comes around, the parishioner thinks to himself "Hmm.  I feel a bit guilty, but my money will just be wasted anyway."  I can picture a parishioner sitting at the end of a pew, and next to him is a Catholic Relief Services "rice bowl" that you are supposed to put your money in.  The person then says to themself, "Gosh.  The CRS finances contraception, sterilizations, and abortions.  If this parish is giving my money to the unCatholic CRS, what else are they doing with my money?  I'll give them a $5 bill."

St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Duncombe, Iowa
This is an age of shaking faith.  The faith of pastors is either shaking or completely diminished.  And so, the laity's faith in their clergy's prudence is also shaky.  Why put money into something that will only be squandered later?  Why put effort into anything, when your contribution will only be taken for granted?

Honestly, it does not surprise me in the least to see serious money go into private chapels, rather than into the collection plate.  The whims of the post-Christian clergy is not the behavior of a Church built on a rock-solid foundation.  Modernist priests have done much to diminish the faith and monetary contributions of the laity.

Monsignor Pope says:
"Evangelize or else close and die.  It's a hard fact, but numbers matter.  Too many in the Church today demand respect and support without showing the fruits that earn respect and that make support prudent and reasonable."
So, you must somehow earn respect.  I do not foresee any sudden reversal when it comes to tithing.  And honestly, how are we expected to evangelize--in this utterly hostile, Catholic-hating, Hebraic-Puritan empire--when our very own pastors are set against us with their modernism and unstable fads?  I really doubt that Traditional Catholics expect any kind of respect from their diocese, if the past 50 years has taught us anything.  The carpet is pulled out from underneath us time and time again.  And it's our job to stabilize the Church?

In this matter, I disagree with with Monsignor Charles Pope.


  1. I agree with you Laramie. Only a fool would support the enemies of God who are doing all in their power to make the Catholic Church an NGO whose mission is the spreading of socialism as the key to happiness while neglecting to proclaim the Word of God.

    Sometime ago I cut my contributions 75% and give the difference to traditional Catholic blogs. Put your money in a place where it will do the most good in spreading the Catholic faith.

    1. I fear there is coming a day soon that the Catholic Church itself will become an enemy of God.

  2. In my experience, Protestants tend to support two types of pastors. One that tells them everything will be okay (prosperity) and the one that tells them that the work of human hands is evil (end times).

    I also believe that Catholics are influenced by the dreams of "Social Democracy." In the old world, the Church handled charity, but it was rife with things that are now considered politically incorrect (patriarchy, nationalism). In the modern world, the State can handle charity and give people a sanitized society and do it on a global scale.

  3. This is one of MANY reasons I attend a traditional Catholic chapel.(sedevacantist for lack of a better term even though I HATE the term "sedevacantist"!)
    I know my tithe is supporting Roman Catholicism pre-1950 standards.
    I am working class and tithe 10% or very close to that weekly.
    Ignoring the protestant
    "prosperity gospel" ethic,I do seem to recoup what I tithe.
    Sometimes I don't & other times it may be 3-4 weeks later.
    With that said I still don't care!
    We need to be hardcore & support the true Church!!!!!

    1. I supported my SSPX parish generously for 15 years. Now the Society is betraying the Faith and capitulating to the heretical Conciliar church. A few years hence, all that we, the earnest laity, contributed will be swept into Rome's gaping maw. I don't give to them anymore, though I continue to attend when no other options are available. But I do support visiting traditional priests at a local house chapel, when they can make it. I know the money I give will be used for transportation and support of a faithful priest, for as long as this phase lasts.

    2. This is the original anonymous poster.
      I attend a "sedevacantist" chapel but I HATE the term "sedevacantist"!!!
      I feel ya,that must truly suck to watch Bp.Fellay hand over your former Society to the Elder Bros.
      God bless you Keep the Faith!
      P.S. I recoup my tithe every time but in different ways as God sees fit.
      I wanted to clarify my 1st comment.

    3. This is the same original poster.
      You all need to obtain 1 consistent valid priest or valid Bishop and organize a consistent location for holy mass.
      Visiting priests who travel the globe weekly will not build a healthy small consistent Catholic Chapel.
      If interested,contact Bishop Ramolla (Thuc line) via his blog.
      "Our Lady of Victory Blogspot"
      He could put you all in touch with priests who aren't weekly globetrotters.

    4. "This is the same original poster."

      Please do get a Google handle of some kind so that you are consistently identified.

  4. Another thought. Could the lack of tithing be from a lack of faith? Could the parishioner be saying to himself, "I would tithe, but Christ doesn't seem to be with us or His Church any more, so I better hang on to my money."

  5. I used to be pretty serious about the 10% thing, but I haven't been for a while. I'm not happy about it, either, but that's how it is. I'm just plain worn out is all.

    I used to actually do the CRS Rice Bowl thing at Lent until I found out how that money gets spent. Same with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. And look what immoral trash that goes to. Just how much do they think they can get away with? We're tired of being fooled with.

  6. My local stone church is being rebuilt and the Pastor asked me to contribute to the construction. I said I was committed elsewhere, which is true. I didn't tell him the reason that I wouldn't realign my giving because of the waste I see in the work being done. From a necessary construction shed being painted with a 2 inch brush to the Diocesian appointed construction team traveling 175 miles on Monday morning, staying in a rented house until Thursday night when they travel another 175 miles to their homes. I live in an area where the wealthy build houses of stone. There is no dearth of stone workers in the area. In 2015 when the defunding of Planned parenthood was being debated in Congress I wrote several letters to my Bishop asking him to publicly support the Legislation. Although he finally did issue a statement, after many other Bishops had done so, none of my letters were acknowledged. i felt I was being ignored and subsequently informed the Diocese because they hadn't had the courtesy to respond to my letters, I had changed my will and deleted the Diocese as a beneficiary. They didn't even respond to that!!

  7. About not trusting the church with money, the Vatican is said to have dealings in Europe that are abominable. Thirty percent ownership in one of Europe's biggest gay bathhouses and owner of a publishing company--that's since been shutdown--that produced quite a bit of gay pornography.

    About tithes lacking due to lacking faith, that's just circular illogic; why faithfully give money to a group working against your faith?

    1. "About tithes lacking due to lacking faith, that's just circular illogic; why faithfully give money to a group working against your faith?"

      -Simply exquisite.

  8. "Evangelize or else close and die. It's a hard fact, but numbers matter."

    Translation: You want respect? Respect is for closers. Cash (not Christ)is King. It's someone (anyone) else's fault that we have to do head counts of the few that still show up for our novus horror shows. Someone (anyone) else must fill these empty pews. Someone (anyone) ordain and make me Bishop Pope."

  9. Yes, they destroyed our old heritage churches and altars, build by poor immigrant families who had the faith, then replaced them with monstrosities.

    Yes, they chased out the Faith from the seminaries and replaced it with Doubt, then let any doubters into the priesthood, but kicked out the zealous and orthodox.

    Yes, they use our money to promote sex-ed, immigration, anti-death-penalty, heterodox religious education, population control, contraception, abortion, and many, many questionable things.

    Yes, they live in houses and in styles that are better than any of their flock (the Bishops) or than most of their parishioners (the priests).

    Yes, they indicate by their actions that they actually do not really believe all of that stuff (if indeed any of it...).

    Yes, it is hard to find them when you want the sacraments, outside of an hour once in a while for confession, and one or two Sunday morning masses.

    Yes, the religious orders are for the most part dying, but it is no big deal, 'cause, again for the most part, they aren't really Catholic anyway nowadays.

    Yes, they are starting to notice that the funds are a bit more scarce, though they don't seem to know why.

    But that does not mean they do not appreciate our money.

    They NEED our money to pay off all the lawsuits created by the homosexual priests they let into the hierarchy, then ignored or covered for as they seduced and abused our children!


    The precept of the Church is that we should give roughly 10 percent. It does not require we give that money to the Church. It can be to the poor, to hospitals, to education, to promoting the faith. You know, the type of stuff the Church used to do. I bet if they went back to helping the poor and promoting the Faith, rather than helping themselves, they'd be loaded down with money.

    After all, Fr. Z is reputed to be a very good priest, orthodox, honest, and faithful. But a perusal of his blog indicates an inordinate amount of travel, fine dining, and investment in expensive vestments. If the good priests live like that, then those who write widely read articles from near the nation's capital, must lead similar lives. And the horror stories of the folks at the chanceries are probably true as well.

    Back in the beginning, a Preacher would "have no place to lay His Head." Not so long ago, a (diocesan) priest could be famous for among other things, wearing rags, eating sour potatoes, and spending up to 18 hours a day in the confessional.

    Maybe if we all gave more money, we could get back to that..?

    1. The future of Roman Rite Catholicism is the small traditional chapel hidden from the World with valid clergy,valid sacraments,and a complete repudiation of Jewish novus ordo ecumenism.

  10. This definitely applies to our family. We more than doubled our giving when we started attending an FSSP parish. But here is what holds me back from giving more: Whatever I give, a portion will be assessed by the (modernist, illegal-immigration-supporting) diocese where approximately 70% of the priests are homosexual. We are supposed to build a bigger church in a couple of years. I wish I could fully get behind the project. But why? So that the diocese can decide to shut the parish down when the property becomes a valuable asset or they don't want to tolerate the traddies anymore? They just aren't trustworthy.

  11. I'll tell you ONE reason why people are turned off from giving to their parish: it's that the clergy have NO CLUE how hard it is for the laity to earn the money that they want us to donate!
    From the day they entered the seminary, they have been handed everything they've ever needed. Free tuition, room and board, books, travel expenses, clothing, health insurance, on and on and on... And then they become parish priests and stand in the pulpit and say, "Please be generous!" to the struggling family with children wearing too-small clothes and that can't pay the electric bill this month. Yeah, sure.
    We are right to be concerned that seminarians are taught sound theology--but how about teaching them about LIFE? They have no idea of the value of a buck (or a Euro, pound, rupee, etc.) and unwittingly rub our noses in their ignorance constantly. I for one am sick of it. I'm lucky I can pay the rent this month. When's the last time a priest had that problem?

    1. Traditional clergy outside the diocesan structure know exactly how you feel.
      Some of them do have part time jobs & others do work around and with the chapel they serve.

  12. I grew up in a Southern Baptist home. My parents were dust bowl refugees. They gave far more than 10 per cent to the local church.

    1. Our currency is worthless & we are on the verge of a global economical collapse.
      I give 10% and while I don't mind,it does hurt financially.
      We are working class not wealthy or middle class.

  13. The answer lies in continuing education about our Catholic heritage for all ages. With today's technology this can be done for practically nothing and the reward$ will be a million fold! A simple thing like educating the alter servers of what to do by producing a simple 3 minute You Tube video will have impacting results! Next should be a video on the true Mass for incompetent priests. Lastly a video for the congregation on their responsibility at Mass. Once the education kicks in on "why we are Catholic" the money will follow. We need leadership at the community level. To coexist is for the ignorant. Make the Apostles Creed your wake up call! JLH