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why does the catholic church have so much money?bank?stamps?army?art?

I believe the roman catholic church could wipe out world poverty in the blink of an eye?why don't they?no tax paid by them,expensive art,properties,free money?so why do they not do more to help the needy?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's a couple of points here to address.

    (1) Solving poverty has less to do with spending money than with altering systems. Read "End to Poverty" by J. Sachs.

    (2) The Vatican is not the only large organization to have its own bank. Wal-Mart does (although it is not a commercial bank), and in the German banking system most large corporations have their own bank of sorts to assist with transactions. There are tremendous flows of money through the Church that support both administration (priests need to eat, and bills need to be paid to ministers and for utilities, etc) and relief efforts (ever hear of Catholic Charities?). It makes far more sense to have a bank take care of it than priests who are more thelogian than financial specialists.

    (3) Stamps - the Vatican is its own, very tiny, nation, and as such has its own postal service. Perhaps it will go away when all 800 citizens get email.

    (4) Army? You mean the 100 men of the Swiss Guard who carry halbreds? Or the 130 police that comprise the Gendarmeria? Why should a nation not have its own security force? Not that it could do much - mostly protect the Pope and emissaries on trips.

    (5) Art - ah there's a complaint made by many. For 2,000 years the faithful have beautified their places of worship, not for their own needs but to glorify God. It may seem like a waste to some, but at the same time in a pre-industrial society when barter was more common than money, the tithe levied upon peasants and artisans could be better paid through working on building churches and decorating them.

    (6) Buildings - now how do you value a building? By how much someone is willing to pay for it! And how many uses are there for converted churches? Probably not many, if there's not a non-Catholic group looking for a house of worship. I suppose the Vatican could sell all of these, but these would not generate as much money as you suppose, because they aren't liquid assets.

    I used to work in credit analysis, my task to review the financial statements of companies to determine their net worth and how much we could get by liquidating their assets in the event of default. Buildings and art generally don't go for much because they require someone to buy it.

    You'd make a better case for the Vatican's being greedy if all that art and architecture were held in the form of T-Bills.

    Besides, if all the churches are sold, where are we Catholics to worship? That is, after all, a major point for the existance of the Church as an institution, is it not?

  • 5 years ago

    I'm a convert, although not a recent one. I was drawn to the Church by the beauty of the Mass, the sense of community, and most of all, by the Eucharist. I was originally a Methodist, but I never found the peace that comes with the Presence of Christ. All that changed when I joined the Church and received our Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist for the first time. I love being a part of a chain of believers that stretches all the way back to the days of Christ and His apostles. Mass is beautiful -- far more so than any other church that I've ever attended. But the Eucharist was and still is the center of my life as a Catholic Christian.

  • Deb
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Every Catholic church, (unlike many churches) is very involved in their community. They make a huge difference in the world and they contribute more than just to themselves. I am not saying that they couldn't do more...but let's face it. We could ALL be giving more. You and I and every person on this earth is responsible for the condition of the world and for our fellow man. It's easy to point the finger. Thanks for the thought provoking question.

  • Daver
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Have you given away all your expensive property for the purpose of alleviating hunger in the world? I don't think so.

    Perhaps if more people took it upon themselves to alleviate world hunger, as opposed to getting others to do it for them, there would indeed be a lot fewer starving people in the world.

    Lead by example and give away all your expensive luxurious acquisitions. When you're done, then you can go to the Church and charge it with doing the same.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oh - You ask something like why rich didn't like poor!

    See - Catholic (Vatican) MUST have this resources and vast amount of money, simply, how to stay in power for so long, even if there have many criminal (pastorals) act, and many "political" act worldwide!

    They use money to keep "lamb" together, to promote more patriotism in this type of religion, to be "world religious boss" and yes - sometime, money are used to finance some hospitals too.

    To our sorrow, most money go to overthrow some other countries political persons, sometimes to kill someone, and to "cover" sex slaves trading, sex offenders inside organization.

    In principle - they need money to keep existence alone by any means.

    But it is not something "strange" because all, absolutely all organization on this planet, have same system!

  • 1 decade ago

    The Catholic Church is one of the most active, charitable organizations on earth. She alone does more for the poor than most anyone else.

    I would add that instead of worrying about what the Church is doing for the poor, ask what you are doing for the poor (this is what Jesus will ask).

    Contact your local diocese. They have tons of volunteer work to keep you busy for a long time.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    over 1000 years ago the Roman Catholics would think of any way they could to obtain peoples money. They would sell indulgences, accept bribes from "Non-religious" wealthy men to be bishops and priest, special church taxes, and they would pursuade dieing widow women to give up their money and possessions to the church (and many did).

  • TG
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    They are too busy spending money to pay off the victims of the priests.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'd love to know their exact net worth. It must be staggering.

  • Sniper
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago


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