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I have had people tell me that they "don't understand why our parish priest asks for donations because  the Catholic church is so rich already." I read somewhere a while ago that the Church actually runs on a pretty tight budget. Is the Church rich beyond imagination like a lot of people say or not? I've heard some people say that the Church hoards billions of dollars in artwork in storage rooms in the Vatican. I'm not sure how to answer these people. If I can't show them some kind of documentation to prove that the Church is not "a rich whore" as someone put it (sorry if that was offensive. Their words, not mine) , then they just look at me as if I'm an idiot. Can anyone help me? I apologize if this is posted under the wrong category.
I wish the Church were richer. I'd love to be paid to sing in choir like in some Episcopalian churches.
(09-23-2012, 06:38 PM)spunky76 Wrote: [ -> ]I have had people tell me that they "don't understand why our parish priest asks for donations because  the Catholic church is so rich already." I read somewhere a while ago that the Church actually runs on a pretty tight budget. Is the Church rich beyond imagination like a lot of people say or not? I've heard some people say that the Church hoards billions of dollars in artwork in storage rooms in the Vatican. I'm not sure how to answer these people. If I can't show them some kind of documentation to prove that the Church is not "a rich whore" as someone put it (sorry if that was offensive. Their words, not mine) , then they just look at me as if I'm an idiot. Can anyone help me? I apologize if this is posted under the wrong category.

Yes, the Church is fabulously wealthy, though the art (which I seriously doubt is worth 'billions'), is only a drop in the bucket. Most of the Church's wealth is tied up in land and buildings. Any of this wealth will only fetch what the open market will pay. If the art were all to be put on the market tomorrow, the market would collapse, meaning that it would only realise pennies on the dollar.

The land and buildings are somewhat different. St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC would obviously fetch millions of dollars just for the prime real estate, but St Malachy's Church in Beattie, Kansas is basically worthless on the market unless a prot church wanted to buy it. And a great deal of the real property is hospitals, monasteries, schools, convents, etc. In order to realise that wealth, the Church essentially must stop being the Church and give up her mission. No Churches in which to worship, no hospitals to minister to the sick, no schools to form young Catholics, no places for religious vocations, etc.

I am reminded of a friend of mine years go, a farmer. He lived, as many farmers do, from crop to crop, borrowing as needed to get by and paying the loan off at harvest. On paper, he was a millionaire since his land was right on the edge of town and prime development land. However, the only way to realise that 'wealth' was to quit farming the land which his grandfather had homesteaded and give up his vocation. Same deal with the Church.

The 'rich whore' accusation is a prot/atheist canard based in ignorance and stupidity.



Great post, Jovan!

The only thing I could possibly add is that many of the pieces of art that have great material value are also of a religious nature -- things we don't want in the wrong hands.  The same goes, even more so, for gold pieces used in Mass, etc, etc.
(09-23-2012, 09:05 PM)OCLittleFlower Wrote: [ -> ]Great post, Jovan!

The only thing I could possibly add is that many of the pieces of art that have great material value are also of a religious nature -- things we don't want in the wrong hands.  The same goes, even more so, for gold pieces used in Mass, etc, etc.

Sadly, not all think that way. I had just posted a link on my blog (within a bigger post) about the Benedictines of Saint Augustine, Ramsgate who sold a bunch of treasures in their abbey, including things made by Augustus Pugin himself for religious use, on the secular market. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commenta...-faithful/

Dogs and fiends.

from the north pole to south NO OTHER CHURCH OR GOVERNMENT DOES MORE CHARITABLE WORK FOR THE WORLD THEN THE Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. None...zero zilch nada. All the wealth of the world would not be enough to repay all She has done and will do.
(09-23-2012, 09:05 PM)OCLittleFlower Wrote: [ -> ]Great post, Jovan!

The only thing I could possibly add is that many of the pieces of art that have great material value are also of a religious nature -- things we don't want in the wrong hands.  The same goes, even more so, for gold pieces used in Mass, etc, etc.

Thank you. I totally agree. Whenever I visit a museum that has an altar, reredos, chalice, etc., I cringe!
There was a great "Bad Catholic" blog post about this sort of argument. I just searched and found two posts that weren't the one I remember, but I'll try to find it later.

His punchline was basically: go suggest to poor Catholics in poor countries that you could melt their churches into gold for their pockets, and see what happens. (hint: they punch you in the face)
(09-24-2012, 02:44 PM)Richard C Wrote: [ -> ]There was a great "Bad Catholic" blog post about this sort of argument. I just searched and found two posts that weren't the one I remember, but I'll try to find it later.

His punchline was basically: go suggest to poor Catholics in poor countries that you could melt their churches into gold for their pockets, and see what happens. (hint: they punch you in the face)
This is a very good point indeed.
(09-24-2012, 02:44 PM)Richard C Wrote: [ -> ]There was a great "Bad Catholic" blog post about this sort of argument. I just searched and found two posts that weren't the one I remember, but I'll try to find it later.

His punchline was basically: go suggest to poor Catholics in poor countries that you could melt their churches into gold for their pockets, and see what happens. (hint: they punch you in the face)

Literally laughed out loud at this one, in part because we all know it's true.
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