Catholics, Tithing & Cable

In a most recent discussion I had with a priest friend of mine the topic of tithing came up.  A common enough practice in the Evangelical world and Jewish, tithing is the donation of 10% of one’s household income to support of the Church.

As Catholics, we have no set rule or precept – as far as I know – for the support of the Catholic Church, our parishes or our charities at least as far as a preset and determined amount of income as a standard.  That being said, one of the precept ofs the Church is to “provide for the needs of the Church.” (See CCC 2041-2043).

That being said, it occurs to me… Well if one’s household cable budget exceeds one’s offerings to the work of Christ in His Church (and frankly, to look for a study that examines this would likely be too depressing) it might be time to reconsider one’s household expenses.

Just a thought.


4 Responses to Catholics, Tithing & Cable

  1. The Catholic Church did not attempt to teach tikthing until the 6th century and it did not become mandatory until 777.

    Then it stopped teaching tithing which is good. It is a false doctrine.

  2. Robert says:

    Russell Earl Kelly PHD,

    Thank you for your comments. I think you’ll be happy to know that “tithing” in the old Testament sense is most definitely not a Catholic doctrine. There is no set amount which any person must give of their wealth.

    Rather, as our precept commands, we must “provide for the needs of the Church.” This is a normative commandment which obviously is not binding on those who are not able to provide for the Church’s need. As your website very aptly notes, it’s our duty to provide for the poor, not vice versa!

    We all have a duty on the order of love/charity to provide for the needs of God and brother, but there is no specific amount which the universal Church enjoins on her members, and what a person should or ought to give is certainly context specific.


  3. Doc Kelly,

    To be clear, I was not advocating an Evangelical style “strict 10% of the gross” mentality… The point of what I wrote was to consider how generous or NOT generous we as Catholics have become.

    The “THINGS”™ we “need” in life seem that only complicate it – gadgets, toys, doo-dads, knick-knacks, gizmos and widgets… Where are they getting us?

    Are we as Catholics willing to support the Church Jesus Himself – Our Savior – founded at least as much as we do the local cable company?

    Amazing to me is how much more generous our forebearers – who were considerably less wealthy – were. If one ever has a chance to visit the rural hills of Pennsylvania and see some of the churches built there… By folks in the coal mines and steel mills, some of whom clocked out after a day in the mine to actually help build the church for a few hours….

    Why has relative wealthy made us so much less generous?

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