Saturday, August 20, 2011

Catholic Parish Churches Broke?

Oh yes you read  that heading correctly!  The following report has been aired on television and ran through the newspapers this week:

Dublin's Catholic archdiocese is close to a 'state of financial collapse' according to a leaked consultation document from its Council of Priests, details of which are printed in today's Irish Catholic newspaper.  The document says many parishes are in a precarious financial position, close even to a state of financial collapse.

The document blames decreasing levels of collections due to the economic downturn and declining participation at mass. It also cites the ongoing cost of compensatory settlements made to victims of clerical abuse.  This, the document says, has led to reserves the diocese has built up over decades being spent.  It suggests that all central administration posts must be assessed and pay cuts in line with public service pay reductions must be considered by diocesan agencies and parish workers.  The document proposes the possibility of a parish based levy on Catholic families in the parish, which could raise up to €3m a year.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese confirmed the existence of the document, saying it was aimed at addressing the economic realities facing the archdiocese.  She said to make no changes would have serious financial consequences.

It is understood that members of the Council of Priests, which advises the archdiocese, have been asked to consider the document, speak with priests at parish level and report back on their findings and proposals to a meeting in September.   Already, diocesan staff have seen a significant reduction in their pension provisions and have had their pay frozen over the past three years.  Priests' salaries, which are tied to collections, have also reduced by 6%.

Doesn't this make you mad?  The idea of victim compensation being partly to blame really takes the biscuit, as the Catholic church has managed to organise it so, they have only to pay 10% (mainly comprised of dilapidated property) of the total due to the victims of clerical abuse (estimated at this stage to be in the region of €1,000,000,000) the rest is to be paid by the Irish taxpayer!!!

I also read a report made by the editor of the "Irish Catholic" saying "Collections are down because of the economic downturn, and also there is no real indicator of how much to give to the church"  Can he really so brain-washed?  The Bible states clearly the concept of tithing and indicates what is an appropriate percentage to give.  Perhaps if the Catholic church actually encouraged its members to read the Bible for themselves then there would be no confusion.  Such a radical idea I know!


Elizabeth said...

To a much lesser extent than the true reasons which you mentioned, perhaps another reason they're "broke" is the same reason why the U.S. government is "broke:" they don't know how to cut back and live within a budget.

Back on the "Baptist with a little b" post... another source you may want to read after you finish The Trail of Blood is Foxe's Book of Martyrs. I recommend, however, finding one with the oldest publication date as possible. The newer versions leave out a lot of detail and skew the facts. Our copy we bought on eBay a few years ago from somewhere in the U.K. (that doesn't narrow it down a lot lol) It doesn't have a copyright date, publication date or anything. There is, however, a sticker inside with a woman's name, the words "first place in Sunday School," and the year 1886.

Sarah said...

Thank you for the recommendation Elizabeth! I'll check it out! My dad is now reading "Trail of Blood" and is enjoying learning the history of the Baptists.

Taryn said...

My uncle's Roman Catholic church started to teach tithing and he and his family left and went to another Catholic church. Our Baptist church does not teach tithing. They say that Acts 15 teaches that Gentile believers do NOT have to tithe, get circumcised(we circumcised our 4 baby boys),etc. Our church only takes a collection once a week-on Sunday mornings. There is a basket on a back table for missions or if anyone wants to give to the church other than on Sunday mornings. The ushers have seats by that table. There are envelopes for people who want to use them. We went to a Messianic Jewish church in South Florida in the eighties that taught the same thing-only the Jewish believers were biblically required to tithe-not the Gentiles-according to Acts 15:28,29(KJ).

Taryn said...

I Cor.16:1,2(KJ) should have been added to my comment.

Yuri Richardson said...


Yes, Foxe's Book of Martyrs is very interesting book. The Dawn of the Reformation (by David Fountain) is another good one. (one of my favorites).