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What Constitutes Tithing? - Printable Version

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What Constitutes Tithing? - Miquelot - 04-04-2011

I once saw an article that said that money donated to Catholic charities qualifies as tithing (though added that it is best done in conjunction with supporting your parish).  Another article I recently read explained that giving financial aid to family members -- one’s children, one’s aging parents, etc. -- does not constitute tithing. 

But what about monies given for Masses said on behalf of deceased loved ones?  Or the living for that matter?  Does that count as part of a tithe?  Or the almsgiving encouraged by the Church throughout Lent -- is that over and above one’s tithe? 



Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - The_Harlequin_King - 04-04-2011

It's my understanding that, at this point in time, the Church does not have a mandatory percentage for alms, nor does it specify exactly what the alms must go toward. Tithing isn't the best word to use since it refers specifically to a 10% tax. 10% is a good rule of thumb, but not mandatory. Also, the precept can be fulfilled by service in lieu of money.


Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - Miquelot - 04-04-2011

True the tithe is not mandatory, but it is traditional and as such I wondered what traditions and recommendations were prescribed, suggested, etc. by the Church in days of yore as well as recent times.  Is it entirely left up to prudential judgment with no guidelines?  If not, what are (or were) those guidelines?  I can't imagine a religion as precise as Catholicism would not have offered some detailed words on so important a topic. 


Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - spiritofjoy - 04-04-2011

One parish I attended suggested 5% of income be given to them, and 5% to a Catholic charity of some sort. Beyond that, I'm not sure.


Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - Miquelot - 04-04-2011

I have heard the same, more than once, but that formula does not address Lenten alms, Masses for the dead, etc. 


Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - Historian - 04-05-2011

(04-04-2011, 11:47 PM)Miquelot Wrote: I have heard the same, more than once, but that formula does not address Lenten alms, Masses for the dead, etc. 

Those do not count as tithing.  Masses for the dead are usually a stipend to the priest even though priests who take vows of poverty will not pocket the money personally.  Alms are given as part of penance.  If you stole something and cannot make reparation directly, so you write a check to the parish with the Confessor's permission, that does not count either.

Tithing is directly related to supporting the Church and her works with that intention: this money is given for that purpose.  It's what you drop in the basket on Sunday or write a check to Peter's Pence for, etc.


Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - SouthpawLink - 04-05-2011

Here's the link to the Catholic Encyclopedia entry: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14741b.htm

"In the Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live by the altar (1 Corinthians 9:13), provision of some kind had necessarily to be made for the sacred ministers. In the beginning this was supplied by the spontaneous offerings of the faithful. In the course of time, however, as the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy. The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the canons of the Council of Maçon in 585. In course of time, we find the payment of tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all the countries of christendom. The Church looked on this payment as 'of divine law, since tithes were instituted not by man but by the Lord Himself' (C. 14, X de decim. III, 30). ... In English-speaking countries generally, as far as Catholics are concerned, the clergy receive no tithes. As a consequence, other means have had to be adopted to support the clergy and maintain the ecclesiastical institutions (see CHURCH MAINTENANCE), and to substitute other equivalent payments in lieu of tithes. Soglia (Institut, Canon, II, 12) says 'The law of tithes can never be abrogated by prescription or custom, if the ministers of the Church have no suitable and sufficient provision from other sources; because then the natural and divine law, which can neither be abrogated not antiquate, commands that the tithe be paid.' In some parts of Canada, the tithe is still recognized by civil law, and the Fourth Council of Quebec (1868) declared that its payment is binding in conscience of the faithful."


Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - jovan66102 - 04-05-2011

(04-05-2011, 02:21 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: Here's the link to the Catholic Encyclopedia entry: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14741b.htm
In some parts of Canada, the tithe is still recognized by civil law, and the Fourth Council of Quebec (1868) declared that its payment is binding in conscience of the faithful."

That would have been in Quebec, which of course, has been effectively been 'de-Catholicised'. They've even abolished provincially supported Catholic education (which we still have in Alberta!).

wikipedia Wrote:Schools in Québec were organized along confessional lines until amendments to the Education Act took effect on July 1, 1998. Thus, just as in Ontario, there existed parallel Catholic and Protestant school boards, financed by taxpayers who chose which schools to support, but ultimately controlled by the Provincial Government.

Until the changes of 1998, the law in Quebec required all religion teachers in Catholic schools to actually be practicing Catholics. Religion courses at the time, while dealing with Theology and Church history, were more pastoral in nature, especially in elementary schools. It was thus assumed that a non-believer could not properly instruct children by modeling for them an adult living their Catholic Faith.

The changes of 1998 re-organized school boards along linguistic lines — English and French — and reduced their number, among other things. Catholic students no longer attend Mass. Teachers may lead children in prayer only when it is inclusive. Religion courses are still offered in schools, though students can choose to follow moral education classes instead. Furthermore, while schools in multicultural neighborhoods removed their crucifixes and requested name changes (most Catholic schools had been named after saints), those in Catholic or immigrant neighborhoods tended to passively resist the changes. For example, crucifixes still hang on classroom walls in many schools in the east end of Montreal, which is predominantly French and Italian.

Before the changes of 1998, each Catholic and Protestant school board had an English and a French sector. The importance of either sector varied from region to region and board to board.




Re: What Constitutes Tithing? - catholicSD - 04-05-2011

(04-04-2011, 06:50 PM)spiritofjoy Wrote: One parish I attended suggested 5% of income be given to them, and 5% to a Catholic charity of some sort. Beyond that, I'm not sure.

This seems like a fair tithing split!