Apr 22, 2006

On giving to the Church

In the current Tidings (click on this post's title), Carole Norris Greene writes, "I think people who've bailed out on the [C]hurch financially in the wake of the sex abuse scandals need to rethink their response and why it took the direction it did."

Miss Greene must not realize that Catholics can still give to their local church without giving to the Archdiocese.

Lots of Catholics just ask their pastor about what kind of restricted funds their parish has, and they make out their checks accordingly. Those funds stay 100% in the parish. One pastor, and probably there are more, tells his parishioners that if they contribute specifically to his parish's restricted funds, none of that money will go to the Archdiocese or to pay for the Cathedral or the abuse awards.

Contributing that way fully meets our obligations to Holy Mother Church. Catholics who do this ask why any Catholic would think of doing anything else.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I do--for example, new sacred vessels were purchased and I have been sending in my contribution for that fund.

I do not want anything to go to my dissenting diocese!

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree - I do not feel that giving only restricted funds meets our obligation to Holy Mother Church. As we, the laity, are in fact full members of the church, we share in the responsibility of our current situation. By not proactively demanding action when we knew or suspected abuse to be happening, we ourselves bear some burden. By not praying as much as possible for reconciliation now, after the fact, we continue to affect our situation negatively. By selfishly earmarking our donations only for the local church, we deprive the poor of the charity we owe them and we pridefully reject the notion that God, through the Holy Spirit, will watch over our church and keep His promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. In short, we cheat ourselves by reducing our church to just our individual local community. That is simply not a true reflection of our universal church; nor does it meet our obligation to the poor to behave in such a manner as you advocated.

As Archbishop Dolan wrote - there are many people willing to answer the question: "What's wrong with the Church today?" Unfotunately, there are few, if any, people willing to look within for the answer and respond "I am."

God bless,

- Tom

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom...that was a great post, well said, I agree 100%! Thanks!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Anonymous, or Tom (whichever name you prefer), if one lives in a diocese in which the bishop builds or intends to build a monument to his ego rather than a cathedral glorifying God, who lives the life of a feudal prince, who insists on wasting money to fly first class, who by word and action disobeys the General Instsruction or the Roman Missal and other directives from Rome, etc., etc, I think it is quite acceptable to withhold one's hard earned money and instead give it to worth charities and apostolates, which reach out to the Church beyond what one person can do. If that's not broad enough for you, pay a monthly stipend to Peter's Pence -- the Pope will appreciate it 00 or send it to overseas missionaries.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Jared said...


Unfortunately, giving to the archdiocese of Los Angeles is only going to perpetuate a lot of the ills that you cite.

I've given to the archdiocese before, and to answer Bishop Dolan's statement (who by the way is a really nice guy--I had the pleasure of meeting him back in 2002 and I know people who work regularly with him) ... but anyway, by giving to Mahony I WAS what was wrong with the Church.

And how giving to the Church (in this way or any other) could possibly be considered selfish is beyond me. You're still giving, even if you do give with the idea that you don't want your money to be used to destroy the institution it's supposed to be helping.

Thanks for the post, Quintero. It makes a lot of sense.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, Jared, anon "8:18 AM", & of course Quintero.
When I saw the intransigence of Hiz Eminence, in the face of the sexual abuse crisis in our diocese, and church and seminary closings, our family decided that we were just perpetuating a bad thing if we contributed to Hiz Eminence's "Together in Mission" money collection scam . So we stopped.
Luckily, our church contribution envelopes have spaces for donations to the expense fund, the building fund, and of course "TIM". "TIM" always gets a big fat zero from us.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Jared said...


I'd be curious to know just what in particular Archbishop Dolan said that is not faithful to the Truth. I'm not trying to challenge you or anything. I've just not heard him say or do anything out of line with true Church teaching.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Tom,

Thanks for writing! Just to clear things up: I did not say to give ONLY to the local parish.

What I was saying is that giving to a restricted fund in your local parish is a way to avoid giving to an archdiocese that has problems.

In no way is that saying to not contribute to the missions and other worthwhile charities!

5:53 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Tom,

One further point, and I am sorry if this led to any confusion:

When I said that contributing to a parish restricted fund fully meets our obligation to Holy Mother Church, I meant our obligation to support our local Church.

That is what I was indicating in the second paragraph of my original post: "...Catholics can still give to their local church without giving to the Archdiocese."

Naturally, we all have an obligation to support more than our local parish. We can fully meet our obligations to support the Church, but without having to give to a particular entity when doing so would violate our fully informed Catholic conscience.

6:07 PM  

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