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Gary Paul wrote:

Hi, guys —

I understand that the Catholic Church is extremely wealthy and has billions in the banks of the U.S. and other financial institutions around the world.

  • Why is this money not being used to help the poor and disadvantaged?
  • Are we not supposed to sell what we have and give to the poor?

I understand that the lawsuits for the priests can be very expensive, but there is no way that the Church needs all this money.

Perhaps if the priests were allowed to marry, they would not be sodomizing young boys.

I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.

Thank you.

Gary Paul

  { Since the Church doesn't need all its money why is the money not being used to help the poor? }

Mike replied:

Hi Gary,

You said:

  • Why is this money not being used to help the poor and disadvantaged?
  • Are we not supposed to sell what we have and give to the poor?

This is a common question; its even in our searchable knowledge base.
There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the knowledge base for you and found these web postings that should answer your questions:

You said:
I understand that the Catholic Church is extremely wealthy and has billions in the banks of the U.S. and other financial institutions around the world.

Who is your source for this "fact"?

As Mary Ann said in a previous answer:

The Church does not have much money (the Vatican was in the red recently), and most of what she collects she gives to the poor. She is the largest provider of social services.

I would only add that there may be an appearance of wealth due to fact that we are the largest faith on the face of the earth with 1.25 billion members.

  • Do you want to castigate those who freely choose to give to the Lord's One Church?

You said:
Perhaps if the priests were allowed to marry, they would not be sodomizing young boys.

Eric's addressed this at the end of his reply in this web posting:

By the tone of your question I sense you think we are nuts.

Before you jump to that conclusion, you may want to see what the Early Church Fathers (the very first Christians):

  • thought
  • taught, and
  • died for
On my other web site: BibleBeltCatholics.com.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Gary replied:

Thank you, Mike, for your reply to my questions.

I consider myself a Christian and have no desire to harm the Catholic Church, which I know does a great deal of good in this world.

However, your reasons for priests not being allowed to marry make no sense to me. Surely, it would reduce the sodomy of little children. I have attached an article relating to the wealth of the Catholic Church. Please get back to me with any corrections to this article.

[Web site address hidden]

Thank you for your time.

With respect,

Gary Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the reply.

I can say with total objectively that the source of your article is totally anti-Catholic.
Jack Chick and his cartoons have a history of anti-Catholicism and have no credibility within any Christian circles.

No one on our team claims to know everything but if there is a question you think we haven't completely answered try some of our colleagues at:

I'm also a big Scott Hahn fan.

You said:
Your reasons for priests not being allowed to marry make no sense to me.

Try reading what the Early Church thought and taught.

Use the time traveler slider [ >> ] at the top of each page below:

You said:
Surely, it would reduce the sodomy of little children.

No, a holier Catholic seminary culture would reduce it. As a matter of fact, instead of praying for vocations to the priesthood, I always first pray that any scandalous seminary professors, priests, or instructors who are teaching in these seminaries are removed and not allowed back in any where else within any Catholic seminary or school of Catholic theology and learning. I don't want vocations to the priesthood from any Catholic seminary that has scandalous professors or teachers that teach contrary to the Magisterium of the Church and neither should any Catholic.

From my cradle Catholic view, it all starts in the seminary. If that bastard Satan gets in the seminary, he brings down all of Christendom.

But getting back toy your point, two of the premier figures in the Bible were celibate and recommended it if possible:

  1. Jesus and
  2. St. Paul!

Check out my Scripture Passages page.

Holy Orders given to the celibate.
Matthew 19:12
"Some are incapable of marriage ... some have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom."
1 Corinthians 4:14-16
"I became your father in Christ Jesus ... be imitators of me."
1 Corinthians 7:7-8
Paul encourages Corinthians to stay celibate as he is.
See also:
1 Samuel 21:4-5, Isaiah 52:11, Malachi 1:10-11, Acts 14:22-23

Interested in what the very first Christians thought, taught, and died for?
Check out what they said on this topic.
Some verses used to support Priestly celibacy.
Jeremiah 16:1-4
Jeremiah told not to take a wife and have children.
Matthew 19:12
Jesus who was celibate and praises celibacy.
1 Corinthians 7:8
St. Paul was celibate.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
St. Paul recommends celibacy for full-time ministers.
Ephesians 5:21-33
Marriage is good: holy symbol of Christ and the Church.
1 Timothy 5:9-12
Pledge of celibacy taken by older widows.
2 Timothy 2:3-4
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits.
Some verses used against Priestly celibacy.
1 Timothy 3:2 — Bishop must be married once.

Those are not to be accepted who have married again after the death of their first wife lest this should prove an occasion for criticism. Celibacy as a law for the clergy was of later ecclesiastical institution, although as a counsel it was urged by St. Paul, himself.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 — The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times some will desert the faith and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from devils, seduced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are branded as though with a red hot iron: they forbid marriage and prohibit foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and who know the truth.

St. Paul objects to these prohibitions when they are the outcome of false principles which would regard marriage and certain foods as impure, but he has no objection to abstaining from marriage when properly understood and based on sound principles.

Mike

Gary replied:

Mike —

Thank you for your e-mail. I hope I'm not driving you crazy. As I said earlier, I do not wish any harm to come to the Catholic Church. I'm just curious.

  • Could I get a list of details of the wealth of the Catholic Church?
  • How much money is sitting in which accounts in the world, as well as the value of land and other assets?

Simply stating the information I sent you is anti-Catholic makes me suspicious and sounds like the Church has something to hide.

I do not accept the reasons you quoted for celibacy for priests — you are simply looking for excuses in the Bible to justify the decisions made by the Church. Whether you accept it or not, our sex drives are normal. I believe that denying this fact results in the sodomy of young boys.

  • Is it true that the Pope has diplomatic immunity as the head of state and cannot be sued for moving pedophile priests to different parishes and urging the churches not to report this behavior to the police?
  • Why is the Pope resigning so suddenly?

He obviously has had health problems for a long period of time.

  • How many lawsuits have been filed against the Church and the Pope?

With respect,

Gary Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Gary,

You won't drive me crazy if you are sincere in your questions.

You said:
Whether you accept it or not, our sex drives are normal. I believe that denying this fact results in the sodomy of young boys.

  • When did I say our sex drives were not normal?

If having our sex drive was not normal, there would be no priests in our Lord's Church today : )
Of course they are normal. We should all greatly thank and bless practicing Catholic families who bring forth large families for the Church! The celibate, male priesthood is a matter of calling and vocation, not of sex drive. This is why no man ever has a right to be a ministerial, sacramental priest.

He tests his calling at the seminary and the Church decides.

As to these questions highlighted below, I really don't know the answer, so I'll let my other colleagues comment on them and answer them if they wish.

 

You said:

  • Could I get a list of details of the wealth of the Catholic Church?
  • How much money is sitting in which accounts in the world, as well as the value of land and other assets?

Simply stating the information I sent you is anti-Catholic makes me suspicious and sounds like the Church has something to hide.

I do not accept the reasons you quoted for celibacy for priests — you are simply looking for excuses in the Bible to justify the decisions made by the Church. Whether you accept it or not, our sex drives are normal. I believe that denying this fact results in the sodomy of young boys.

  • Is it true that the Pope has diplomatic immunity as the head of state and cannot be sued for moving pedophile priests to different parishes and urging the churches not to report this behavior to the police?
  • Why is the Pope resigning so suddenly?

He's obviously had health problems for a long period of time.

  • How many lawsuits have been filed against the Church and the Pope?

 

You said:

  • Why is the Pope resigning so suddenly?

He obviously has had health problems for a long period of time.

My personal opinion, which is pure speculation is for two reasons:

  1. as you said, for health reasons. I've heard reports that his visual health is extremely bad and sight is going down, and
  2. Because he worked so closely with Blessed John Paul II in the last years of his earthly live and saw how his effectiveness had declined while being Pope.

    For that reason and because of the type of world we live in — one that is throwing away basic Catholic Christian values, — maybe he thought that what the Church needed is a healthy pope to reaction to anti-Catholic/anti-Christian behavior within, and outside, the Church.

If my colleagues think your questions merit a reply, you will hear from them.

I've done the best I can, though I am disappointed that you have appeared to have totally ignored what the Early Church Fathers have said on the issue of the celibate priesthood.

  • If you are willing to answer, who lead you to read Jack Chick cartoons?

Mike

Paul replied:

Dear Gary,

You said:
I do not accept the reasons you quoted for celibacy for priests — you are simply looking for excuses in the Bible to justify the decisions made by the Church. Whether you accept it or not, our sex drives are normal. I believe that denying this fact results in the sodomy of young boys.

  • Why is there a need to accept or reject this Church discipline?
  • Doesn't any organization have a right to create laws that its members may, or may not, voluntarily choose to participate in?

If Christ conferred His authority unto Peter and the Apostles and their successors, it is their role to promulgate rules they believe are for the good of the Body. If people want to forgo children for a greater good they may enter the priesthood; but no one has to. People can bring Christ to the world in a variety of ways. Lastly, the Church believes that in the sacrament of Holy Orders a man is given the grace to channel his natural sexual energies into other areas relating to the good of Christ's spouse, the Church. It is not a denial of the sexual drive, or a repressing of it, but rather a re-channeling of it according to higher purpose — to procreate and nourish members of the kingdom of God. Celibacy does not create a sex scandal — just look at the overwhelming majority of nuns, priests, Buddhist monks, and other celibates through the centuries.

There are other factors in the person, disordered and pathological, that lead to this, which are unrelated to celibacy and the sacrament of Orders.

Paul

Richard replied:

Hi, Mike —

Jimmy Akin from Catholic Answers exposes some of Jack Chick's frauds here:

Mr. Paul has his opinion about celibacy, and it's a common opinion. Sadly, sexual abuse appears to be about as common among non-Catholic clergy as among Catholics, so blaming the problem on celibacy isn't a convincing explanation:

Scandal creates contempt for Catholic clergy

The diplomatic immunity of the Pope is about criminal prosecutions, not lawsuits. The Holy See has responded to lawsuits in America numerous times. For example, in this Wisconsin case:

U.S. sex-abuse lawsuit against Vatican withdrawn

As far as I know, we have no information on Church property. It's a complex subject, since there are many Catholic institutions holding property: parishes, schools, dioceses, religious orders, shrines, foundations, etc. Some of it can be known because real estate transactions are a matter of public knowledge; also, some non-profit organizations file annual tax forms with the IRS and report their income and assets, and those are also a matter of public record.

The website guidestar.org has those forms.

— RC

Eric replied:

Gary —

It's worth emphasizing that Catholic Church finances are not centrally run.

Each diocese is financially independent of another and of (the pope and Rome). Donations given to the local parish do not feed into the pope's coffers; he is funded by the diocese of Rome and a special collection known as Peter's Pence. Because there is no central control, it's very difficult to precisely tally up all the assets.

Eric

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