- What does the Church teach about tithing, or do you know where
in the Catechism, it speaks about tithing?
- Are we supposed to
give 10% to the Church, or 10% to God?
- I mean can we give:
- 5% to the Church
- 3% to a Catholic charity, and
- 2% to EWTN?
does this work?
Your Catholic protégé in Kentucky
does the Church teach about tithing? }
To my surprise the word tithing is not in the Catechism or at least
I didn't find it in a web search
I did on the Catechism. I'm going
to give you my answer and let my colleagues and priest-friends pitch
their two cents in as well.
Tithing (10%) is a good thing to do, if you can do it. See Malachi 3:8-15.
St. Paul says we are free from the law, and should, if possible, give generously,
even out of our need.
Nevertheless, there is no teaching or Church law that pertains
to tithing. You should do the best you can to support your
parish and the Church in time, treasure and talents. If you read
Paul's writings in 2 Corinthians, Chapters 8 and 9 you will get his
view when he addressed the Catholic Church in Corinth.
We have a primary responsibility to support the
local Catholic community to which the Lord has
called us, so a good percentage of that 10 percent
minimum should be given to the local Church community
to support the priests, Catholic education, CCD,
other ministry activities, and especially outreach to other non-Catholic
Still, EWTN and Catholic Charities are excellent
places to send the remaining donations, because
neither dissent from the teachings of the Church
and both are loyal to the Magisterium. I believe
Catholic Charities has the lowest percentage of
administrative overhead compared to other charities, just 2%!
If one is unsure about whether one should give
to a Catholic organization or not, [he/she] should
check and investigate the organization first.
Sadly to say, there are some organizations at
the academic level that claim to be Catholic,
but scandalize the Faithful by what they allow.
Giving to any other non-Catholic group is fine
as well, if it is to support ministries, like
Soup Kitchens, and not doctrinal ministries within
another religion, like the Salvation Army, which
is a religion . . . founded by William Booth
If you are unsure, check them out first!
Hope this helps,
Happy Easter to you and the Terry Family,
I think the sum total of what the Church teaches about
this is in Canon Law:
§1. The Christian faithful are obliged to assist
with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what
is necessary for divine worship, for apostolic works
and works of charity and for the decent sustenance of
§2. They are also obliged to promote
social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord,
to assist the poor from their own resources.
I agree with the 10% minimum philosophy. My own policy
is to give 5% to my parish and 5% to other charities
of my choosing. One time, I tried matching luxury purchases
with a donation above and beyond my tithe to the poor,
i.e., if I spent $100 on some luxury item, give $100
to the poor. Then things got a bit tight, so I dropped
that, but I plan to go back to it.
A lot of people get hung up over the tithe, and argue
it's a part of the Old Testament law and doesn't have to be followed.
Fine — don't consider it a law, consider it a rule of
thumb. Others get fixated on how it should be a minimum,
not a maximum. Fine, but you can't give 100% — how much
do you give? This is when I came up with the luxury
match policy. I'm willing to call it a minimum, but I'm
not willing to lay a guilt trip on people if they use
10% as a goal. Frankly, so few people give so much money
to the Lord that it seems obscene to chastise people
for not giving more than 10%.
Also, I give 10% of gross as defined by the IRS. In
other words, you can exclude your 401(k) contributions
(this gives you something to contribute when you are
retired), but don't exclude taxes. God gets the first
fruits, not what's left over.
And never forget, God loves a cheerful giver. If you're
giving out of compulsion or giving is generating resentment,
maybe it's time to regroup and try to adjust your attitude.
The citation of Canon Law expresses the Church's teaching, which
is that we are to support the Church (local and world, including
missionary work) and help the poor (Church and other charities, and
personal charity, including that which is non-deductible — like family
aid), and be generous.
Applying this teaching in the old days, when most parents sent their
children to a Catholic school (which also supported the religious
who taught there), the Church said that school tuition would be considered
part of your charity. The Church, from New Testament times, never put down a
percentage, but always left things to a person's conscience, inspiration,
prudence, and generosity. The Church itself should learn to trust
Providence, and not engage in so much pledging and percentage gauging.
The best parish I ever attended was one in which the priests hardly
ever asked for money, but gave everything essential away, asking
only for whatever offering you could afford. They gave Bibles to
the whole parish, Lourdes water, donuts and coffee....The people
were happy to give over and above, and knew they weren't judged by
their donation or non-donation.
Now, there is no trust in God or in people. Everything is budgeted,
and kids are even charged for CCD (which I think is against Canon
Law). You even get overtly charged for Baptism and Matrimony. The amount
is up to you, but strongly suggested. Very sad. To fight the CEO mentality,
we give cash. Of course, everywhere I look, only the wealthy are
friends of the clergy now.