Withholding Tithes from the Church is Heretical

Loye

In America, we are conditioned to vote with our dollars. The classical economic concept of Adam Smith‘s “invisible hand” is deeply engrained in American society, with the concomitant “consumer sovereignty” mentality. However, redirecting our tithes and offerings away from the local parish or diocese is theft, and even heretical, according to Catholic doctrine.

Michael Voris has recently called for traditional Catholics to stop giving to Catholic parishes and dioceses that no longer adhere to the Catholic faith. Shane Schaetzel calls the effort “The Great Catholic Boycott.”

I have great respect for Mr. Voris and his ChurchMilitant.tv work. Mr. Voris is a tireless, uncompromising advocate for the fullness of the Catholic faith and is an enemy of modernism and heresy. Although his tone and language are often harsh and strident, and he is occasionally wrong, he has been, to use Pope Francis’ words, “shaking things up” for a long time, and in a much-needed way.

However, Mr. Voris’ call to withhold tithes is gravely erroneous. A boycott of Catholic parishes and dioceses evinces confusion about the purposes of giving and Catholic doctrine surrounding the tithes and first fruit offerings. As I have said before, “The primary purpose of giving is to save the giver’s soul.” Further, tithing is based on the Catholic doctrine of first fruits sacrifices as a part of worship. Seen in their proper light, the canonical oblications of the faithful to support the clergy and assist the poor are incidental to God’s call to conversion and command to worship.

Heretics and schisimatics have from time to time withheld tithes and offerings in protest against the Church. As an early example, the 13th century Albigensians taught that the tithe (giving 10% of income to the Church) was not necessary, and that first fruits and oblations could be given outside the Church. For those Albigensians returning to the Catholic Church, Pope Innocent III required a “Profession of Faith” that, among other things, affirmed that the tithe must be paid to the clergy. See [Pope Innocent III, Letter entitled Fitts exempio, to Archbishop of Terraco, dated Dec. 18, 1208, at 427]. (“We believe that tithes and first fruits and oblations should be paid to the clergy according to the Lord’s command.”) The Albigensian view was condemned at the Third Lateran Council in 1179. [Blunt, John Henry, Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical Parties, and Schools of Religious Thought at 16 (1874)]. (The relevant portion of the Council dealing with the Albigenses/Cathars has been lost to antiquity. See [Third Lateran Council – 1179 A.D., Introduction].

The Council of Constance infallibly repudiated tithe and offering boycotts, even when the boycott is well-intentioned. In response to John Wycliffe, the Council specifically forbade “each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach, or hold . . . [that] people may withhold tithes, offerings and other private alms from unworthy disciples of Christ.” [Council of Constance, Session 15 (July 6, 1415), error 41]. See also, [Ibid., Session 8 (May 4, 1415), error 18] (condemning that “tithes are purely alms, and parishioners can withhold them at will on account of their prelates’ sins.”) Further, the Council condemned redirecting the tithe away from the secular clergy towards other ministries. [Ibid, error 38]. The Council’s decisions were affirmed and promlugated in Martin V’s bull Inter cunctas on February 22, 1418.

The Council of Trent was more blunt:

Those are not to be borne who, by various artifices, endeavour to withhold the tithes accruing to the churches ; nor those who rashly take possession of, and apply to their own use, the tithes which have to be paid by others; whereas the payment of tithes is due to God; and they who refuse to pay them, or hinder those who give them, usurp the property of another. Wherefore, the holy Synod enjoins on all, of whatsoever rank and condition they be, to whom it belongs to pay tithes, that they henceforth pay in full the tithes, to which they are bound in law, to the cathedral church, or to whatsoever other churches, or persons, they are lawfully due. And they who either withhold them, or hinder them (from being paid), shall be excommunicated; nor be absolved from this crime, until after full restitution has been made. It further exhorts all and each, that, of their Christian charity, and the duty which they owe to their own pastors, they grudge not, out of the good things that are given them by God, to assist bountifully those bishops and parish priests who preside over the poorer churches; to the praise of God, and to maintain the dignity of their own pastors who watch for them. [Council of Trent, Session XXV, Decree on Reformation, Chapter XII (Dec. 4, 1613)]

Were American bishops and priests doing a better job of teaching about stewardship in the first place, I suspect the “Great Catholic Boycott” would get much less traction. On the other hand, the effect of the boycott will be blunted, simply because Catholics are stingy givers in the first place. [See, e.g., Resources for American Christianity, Church Giving Tied To Gratitude And A Sense Of Mission (2009); Julia Duin, Giving in Different Denominations (2001); Generous Giving, Giving among Church Denominations (1993).]

Mr. Voris’ call to withhold giving to dioceses and parishes with errant bishops and priests, while understandable, should not be followed by Catholic faithful. However, his unceasing and tireless fraternal correction of errant prelates and preaching of the truth of the Catholic faith should be encouraged.

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58 thoughts on “Withholding Tithes from the Church is Heretical”

  1. My only reply to this is that we cannot support schismatics, heretics and apostates — supporting the Church is obviously an obligation — but we are also commanded to — let our alms sweat in our palms — (Didache 1:5-1:6) & (Matt 6:1-4) in other words, to withhold alms until we can give with authentic Prudence and Charity. We can tithe, give alms, etc to MANY — as an alternate to FOOLISH, irresponsible and reprehensible support to known diocesan frauds or conduits to abortion, contraception, sodomy, imposed death, and other condemned providers of these occult practices, procedures and agendas. For example: you can give to a particular Religious Order, Monastery, St Peter’s Pence — i.e., directly to the Holy See, and you can support DIRECTLY those Apostolates that are actually working for the Church — both Lay and Religious. No one is required to give their “alms”, “tithes” or “donations” to Lay or Religious individuals, persons, parishes, entities, corporations, etc either within or connected with a diocesan bureaucracy who redistribute funds to ANTI-CHURCH, ANTI-NATURE, ANTI-GOD, ANTI-CHRIST agendas and organizations.

  2. the whole economy of salvation revolves around the gift of free will. Our contributions are a free will offering. Our money or treasure is ours until we freely give it over to the church. So if evil is being done in the church we have the obligations to stand up against evil. Financial discipline is about the only effective tool the laity has to correct inappropriate activities in the institutional church.

  3. I understand that the Code of Canon Law does not oblige Catholics to give to their parish. It obliges us to support the Church. Slight difference, but with much meaning.

  4. I’m going to add more, but in the end, I’m just a long winded version of Mr. Albert. I hope that my lack of brevity leads the author to consider walking along my path before slamming the door. I wrote below, but this post has troubled me for days. Troubled me, and by that I mean “troubled” the way Ignatius’ spiritual exercises mean it.
    It could be I’m troubled because this post has awakened in me real awareness of a terrible sin I was previously unaware of. To be excommunicated! To be so out of line with Church teaching to risk permanently being cut off from God. There is nothing worse. Is it merely my sin gnawing at me, struggling to keep in line, or is my troubledness something else?
    Consider that I have prayed on this matter for a few months. In the last 4 months, I have gone to my parish council, my parish’s trustee, and my parish priest. I have brought my concerns to them, not angrily, but in a spirit of hoping to understand the decisions being made .I have talked to other faithful Catholics, received both spiritual and practical financial advice from them, including even calling the archdioeces CFO to understand what mess my parish is in. I have done all of this, and with each attempt, have prayed that I was open to the Holy Spirit, open to changing my mind.
    I have been met with arguments, derision, and silence by those who should be able to tell me where their money is spent, and how it will be better in the future.
    If I exercised the financial judgment my parish does, I’d be needing to bring that sin to the confessional every week. They claim ” a parish isn’t a business”, but my family needs to balance its budget, or at least, plan for its loans–not growing its debt every month, every year. I cannot get anyone to admit there is a problem beyond “if we had more money, …”
    And so, in light of all of that, I went to my confessor, and asked what I owed Christ–was my obedience to a profligate parish? Was it to Truth? What Truth does my parish see? How should I use God’s money wisely?
    And yet, you declare I should be excommunicated. Does your post seem to reflect the depth of concern, or conscience examining, of effort to understand, and to learn the Truth that people like me have exerted?
    Yes, I could be lying, to you and to myself. I hope I am not delusional. I hope I am not exaggerating for effect. Were you? Do you really believe I should turn over $10,000 to a gambling addict? What if my parish is precisely that?
    I hope you will search your heart to understand why you chose to argue so voceriferously against those of us working so hard to make a proper, Truthful, God-Fearing decision. You may be right, and I may be wrong, but I hope you will look at your own reasons.

    1. ” Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep, it starts when you always afraid,
      you step out of line, men come and take you away ..” lyrics from ” For what it’s worth” by Buffalo Springfield.

  5. First of all, tithing is not a matter of Catholic doctrine, even quoting Trent doesn’t make it so. I notice that there was no quote from a CANON, meaning an infallible definition on the subject. Also, to argue that we are somehow OBLIGATED to support those who are trying to destroy the Church is beyond stupid. It’s right down there with diabolical. No law can EVER legitimately command us to do such a thing, and those who say otherwise are knowingly cooperating in the sins of others, in other words, it is to openly favor the enemies of the Church, which is to declare yourself to be an enemy of the Church. Period.
    As others here have stated, there are many Catholic entities that will put money to far better uses than your parish and the Bishops will.

  6. I think no Pope in the modern day will use the word TITHE in your life times at all. It was a judicial law of the Old Covenant as Aquinas notes but so likewise was executing adulteresses and adulterers by stoning which Pope Sixtus V did by the way about 300 years after Aquinas. In short that time in history was open to bringing back any of the old judicial laws which included executions for sodomites, abusers of parents, false prophets, incestuous etc. Abraham did not give one tenth of his first fruits to Melchizedec but only a one time tenth of the spoils of war.

    What does not get mentioned even by Aquinas is that God promised the obedient in Leviticus 26 abundance of food and health and safety from their enemies. That’s not promised to Christians who are warned by Christ that there will be “earthquakes and famines” and that they will be killed by their enemies for His sake….and Paul tells you he has a sickness…a thorn in his flesh. The New Covenant Christian soldier may get killed in Afghanistan whereas the obedient Jew was promised that he would rout multiple enemy soldiers. Christ promised us a cross….the Jews were promised health, abundance and victory IF THEY OBEYED….the opposite if they didn’t…but they had the control through their own behaviour. Job was an exception and thus his friends can’t believe he is innocent.
    Job prefigures Christ and us in that with Christ and after, the innocent may very well suffer.

    To take tithing out of the old system without mentioning the control old Jews had over abundance versus its opposite in their behaviour…is not real thinking whether by Council prudential decisions or by tithing devotees. Many Christians hopefully not a great percent in the US will probably finish their lives in a senior home for which their home will be taken in payment after which medicaid and medicare ( the tax payers) will pay $60 K a year which the Christians didn’t save. I know of a Manhattan bank manager who is now in that situation and she was never sick prior to 90.

  7. Personally, I agree that we are required to give our ‘Tithe’ to the church, whether that ‘Tithe’ is 10% or as the old woman Jesus mentioned who gave out her need. But as others have mentioned, we must give to the Church in a way that will actually help promote Jesus Christ and his Church, not those who would destroy it from the inside.

    For example, lets say a priest asked you to help in repairing the local Church. He explained the end goal was to stop the collapse of the Church due to a buckling wall. You were assigned to deliver bricks to the masons. You saw one mason throwing bricks through the beautiful stain glass windows of the Church and another working hard to repair the Church. Would you give the bricks to the mason repairing the Church or one who is closer to you but through the bricks through the windows and in the end actually causing more harm to the Church. Of course you would give the bricks to the mason repairing the Church.

    Likewise, I will give my donations to those parts of the Church that are like the fruitful fig tree Jesus said would be blessed rather than the fig tree that was to be cut down because it was unfruitful. Personally I believe this would include organizations like the FSSP, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Benedictines of Clear Creek, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, etc. At least these I know are growing fast, spreading true Catholic teaching, helping millions of Catholics draw closer to God and become more stable in the faith, and obviously bringing much joy to God and the communion of Saints. I also give donations to truly faithful local Novus Ordo Mass parishes with holy priests like the one I served Mass at this morning.

  8. Unlike you, I am not a big fan of Michael Voris, but I think you are too hard on him here. One of the six Precepts of the Church is “To contribute to the support of the Church.” The precept does not direct us to contribute to any particular part of the Church. If your pastor and your bishop really did reject the Catholic faith, you could give money elsewhere. I believe this is a rare situation. Michael Voris probably believes it’s more common than I do. But if you really think the pastor primarily wastes money I do not think you have to give it to him, even though you do have to contribute to the support of the Church. I don’t think you have to give the pastor money to wreckovate the church you grew up in. I think the Church councils are talking about certain offices and institutions that legally had a duty to tithe. Even though the German bishops probably waste money I think the councils’ teaching is that a German Catholic can’t avoid the church tax. I don’t think it means that individual Catholics have to give voluntarily certain amounts to certain Church institutions.

  9. The Little Sisters of the Poor, Aid to the Church on Need, FSSP, Opus Dei, etc.etc. these are organizations that are part of the Church, too.

    Are you suggesting I cannot give my tithe to them rather than the archdiocesan appeal? Really?

    My confessor told me it was no sin to prudentially choose where to give my money if the parish was not prudent with it–no liturgical abuses and heresies, just idiotic mismanagement leading to closure or bankruptcy. Are you claiming he is wrong?

  10. One has an obligation to support “The Church.” But the definition of “Church” is NOT delimited to mean only one’s parish, diocese or national conference of bishops. If anyone is looking for alternate ways to continue to financially support “the Church,” I’d be glad to offer the names of some worthy recipients.

    1. I agree. I’m much happier to support organizations like Aid to the Church in Need or individual religious orders who do such important work while staying faithful to the Faith, rather than hold my nose while putting money in the collection basket, with my conscience nagging at me that I’m putting my money towards evil masquerading as things like a “Campaign for Human Development”

  11. Any OP that takes seriously the concept of both heresy and schism gets my vote. Nothing like it to step on the toes of us sleepy pew dwellers.

    1. Does the catechism get your vote in its avoidance of tithing language:

      ccc #2043: The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.

  12. Too many of our Senior Clerics are pompous beyond measure. They are not bothering to listen to their people. They are afraid to stand up for Catholic Doctrine because it is not politically correct. Cardinal Doan of New York, as an example, should have come out publicly and said, “Sorry, I will not be participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.” But he did not lead by example.

    I am with Michael Voris on this one. If the Church Leaders won’t listen, strip them of the money. Believe me, their collection plates are less full today than they were 20 years ago and, if they don’t start, carrying out their roles as they should and provide leadership then, as far as I am concerned, they can do without.

  13. Several commentators to my article have argued that the tithe is not binding because neither the Catechism nor the Code of Canon Law require the tithe. Others have argued that my use of the word “heresy” is either wrong or too strong.

    The Scope of the Catechism and the Code

    From the outset, neither the Catechism nor the Code of Canon Law attempt to state every Catholic doctrine or opposing heresy. Although both by nature are very comprehensive treatments for their respective purposes, neither lists every infallible pronouncement of the popes or the ecumenical councils.

    The Catechism is a tool to explain the Catholic faith in one volume and has great usefulness as an official and well-vetted summary of the teaching of the Magisterium. However, the Catechism does not itself establish or overrule any Catholic doctrine. It does not (and cannot) overrule an infallible statement of a pope or an ecumenical council.

    No infallible statement of a pope or ecumenical council can be abrogated by omission from a canon law, because such is the nature of infallibility. Certain laws were abrogated by the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law: the 1917 law which it replaced, directly contrary universal or particular laws, penal laws of the Apostolic See, and disciplinary laws the Code completely reordered. Canon 6, §1. When the laws are not abrogated, they should be read in accord with canonical tradition. Canon 6, §2. Custom is the best interpreter of laws (Canon 27), but no custom which is contrary to divine law can obtain the force of law (Canon 24 §1).

    Infallibility

    The Catechism repeats Vatican II’s statement of Magisterial infallibly: “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine for belief as being divinely revealed, and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.” ¶ 891 (Quoting Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) 25)

    The Code of Canon Law defines infallibility in canonical form:

    Canon. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.

    §2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.

    Canon 749

    The Council of Constance declarations condeming the withholding of the tithe meet the definition of infallibility because they specify, on behalf of Jesus Christ, errors that shall not be held. In the later councils before Vatican II, the penalties of anathema or excommunication were often used formulatically in connection with dogmatic statements. Although the penal law of anathema has been removed from canon law and the penal law of excommunication has undergone extensive procedural reform, the doctrines declared are still in full force.

    “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith.” Canon 751. In short, the obstinate rejection of infallible truth is heresy. Conversely, the obstinate holding to an infallibly condemned teaching is heresy.

    Neither the Catechism nor the Code Teach Against the Tithe.

    The Catechism affirms the obligation to give for the support of the Church in accord with ability (¶ 2043, citing Canon 222) and for the relief of the poor (¶¶ 2443-2449) but is silent respecting the tithe (except for a passing reference to the Old Testament tithe in ¶2449). Of course, the tithe is proportionate and has the salutatory effect of being affordable by virtually everyone. (Do you know anyone making 10% less than you do? Do they survive? What would you do if you got a 10% reduction in pay?)

    The Code of Canon Law requires the faithful to give for the support of the Church and for relief of the poor. See Canon 222. The Code is silent about the tithe but did not abrogate the tithe.

    Why Doesn’t the Code of Canon Law Talk about the Tithe

    If the Code of Canon Law speaks of giving to the Church and the poor, one reasonably might ask why doesn’t it talk about something as big at the doctrine of tithing?

    First, the code leaves some moral teachings to exhortations instead of strict canon law, so that the faithful may grow in holiness and charity. “Hence unduly rigid norms are to be set aside and rather recourse is to be taken to exhortations and persuasions where there is no need of a strict observance of the law on account of the public good and general ecclesiastical discipline.” Code of Canon Law, Preface to the Latin Edition, 3.

    Second, the code recognizes that different parts of the world have different circumstances and leave administration to the local bishop, on the principle of subsidiary. “On the basis of the same principle [subsidiary], the new Code entrusts either to particular laws or to executive power whatever is not necessary for the unity of the discipline of the universal Church so that appropriate provision is made for a healthy decentralization while avoiding the danger of division into or the establishment of national churches.” Code of Canon Law, Preface to the Latin Edition, 5.

    Third, local involvement of civil governments in the administration of the tithe sometimes muddies the waters. For instance, civil governments in Catholic countries have sometimes taken on the administration of the tithe. Under German tax law, a tax is collected by the government and given to the Church from those declaring to be Catholic, so the German national conference of bishops treats the church tax as satisfying the obligation to tithe. Until 1836, the United Kingdom collected a tithe from its citizens and paid it to the Anglican church, which caused much anger, especially in Catholic Ireland.

    God Does Not Demand the Impossible

    One will note that the definition of heresy is the “obstinate denial . . . of some truth.” Although it is heresy to hold or believe that withholding the tithe is licit, failure to pay the tithe may or may not be sinful, depending on the circumstances.

    Throughout all of Catholic moral theology is the principle that God does not demand the impossible. The Church recognizes that there may be individual cases where giving 10% may not be immediately possible, especially where one has not previously been in the habit of tithing. The situation is analogous to the convert who has always worked on Sundays and is currently unable to attend weekly Mass. It may not be immediately possible to simply walk away from the convert’s duties, but in the vast majority of cases, it is possible over time to bring one’s life into conformance with the Catholic way of life. Similarly, someone who has never tithed in the past may be unable immediately to begin tithing and may require a period of adjusting his or her finances. Thus, Canon Law provides: “the Christian faithful, both as individuals and gathered together in associations, must take into account the common good of the Church, the rights of others, and their own duties toward others.” Canon 223 §1

    The Tithe is a Separate Obligation

    Fundamentally, however, the obligation to tithe is for worship and not for the purposes of funding the Church or relieving the poor. Funding the Church and relief for the poor are separate obligations, though those obligations are often met by tithing. In some dioceses, the local bishop has specifically called for dividing the tithe between the parish and other giving. See, e.g., The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

    The doctrine concerning the tithe is centered on the divine duty to worship and the call to repentance. The basic theology can be summarized as God’s ownership, our stewardship, and final accountability. All of our money belongs to God, so we merely give to him a portion of what is his anyway. The proportion specified by scripture and by tradition has always been 10%, though the Church has the juridical power to specify a different amount. See Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 86 (Oblations and first-fruits) and Question 87 (Tithes)

    I have written extensively about the theology of giving and relationship between the tithe and worship. See The Theology of Giving, Stop Begging for Money and Teach Stewardship, and First Fruits, Sacrifice, and Covenant. As I have said over and over again, the primary purpose of giving is to save the giver’s soul.

    1. You are calling long past prudential decisions on tithing…”doctrine”. They are not. They are prudential decisions. Ccc# 2043 therefore can overrule past prudential decisions of Ecumenical Councils. It says for Catholics to give what they can afford. You are trying to overturn that. Some parishes do overturn it also if they are even aware of ccc 2043 which they may not be. Germany’s state tithing preceded the catechism so Germans are stuck and are leaving the Church in droves by the way.
      One Ecumenical Council in the Middle Ages gave perpetual slavery over pirates as a reward to those who captured them. Your logic says therefore slavery is infallbly OK. Now ” Splendor of the Truth” by John Paul II section 80 forbids slavery.
      That means that John Paul II in doctrine overturned a past prudential decision of an Ecumenical Council by writing doctrine.
      Your heavy reading is not going to make up for the fact that you have no Catholic Dogmatic Theology Degree but are analyzing as though you do.
      CATHOLICS…READ THE BELOW CATECHISM ARTICLE….and don’t let his do it yourself theology overturn it:

      ccc #2043: The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.

      There are Catholics with severe autism therapy bills uncovered by insurance and they will owe therapists til death. ccc 2043 is partly thinking of the thousands of like situations when it avoided tithing language. Tithing as Aquinas noted ( even though he accepted it under obedience ) was rooted in eleven tribes supporting one priestly tribe …therefore each had to give an eleventh but one tenth was chosen to make up for the indigent and the stingy. Ergo it’s reasoning was rational if priests were 8.5% of the people of God which is in no way close to the micro percent that priests now constitute of the total Catholic population. The German case has resulted in hyper affluent clergy and the loss of thousands of Catholics each year who are sick of the affluence as was Pope Francis of the one German Bishop whose lodgings were palatial….for historic building reasons partly.

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  15. Fr Steven Hartley

    Steven Hartley
    I would like to respond to mr loye young’s article concerning withholding tithes from parishes as being heretical. I would like to say that saving our soul and perceiving ourselves from heresy are one of the important tasks that we have to do as Catholics.

    One of the more concerning aspects to mr youngs article is that he quotes from the third Lateran council and the council of Trent. Now both of these councils were formed to save Catholics from heresy by reaffirming the catholic fath and practice. There would be no way that pope innocent iii and the council fathers would advocate Catholics attending an heretical catholic priests mass let alone contributing to it. These council like council of Trent was there to combat heresy not to put the salvation of catholic souls in jeopardy.

    In nearly every parish that I have attended or worked in has had some level of serious heresy that these council would have condemned and excommunicated the parish and the archbishop for allowing the heresy to continue.

    When I was in the seminary the dean of formation sat in the congregation and said the prays from the pews and consecrated the bread and wine (hopefully) from a table to emphasise the priesthood of the laity and that he was a lay person who happened to be a priest.

    The first parish I was in the parish decided that he would have Sunday communion services. So he attended weekday services to advocate the important role of communion services in the parish. Not only did he attended but he received communion from a lay women who conducted the service.

    Another parish I worked in the parish priest from the pulpit stated that Jesus did not multiply the loaves and fishes that was added in later but the miracle was people’s generosity.

    Now these examples are but a few of the heretical views that are around in our local parishes and I’m sure that we can find maybe another hundred or so examples. These are serious issues of faith and practice. They undermine the catholic priesthood and the divinity of Christ.

    Many modern conservative Catholics have simply lost sight of what the catholic church and teachings really are. And have become modernists by association with the modernists beliefs and practices.

    Mr young quotes from true catholic councils to advocate Catholics putting there salvation in danger by attending modern heretical parishes. Pope innocent iii and pope st pius v would have condemned these parishes as heretical not to attend and definitely not to contribute.

    Fr Steven Hartley
    St Benedict’s chapel
    Meadowbrook qld
    Australia
    Like · More · 6 minutes ago

    1. Father Steven,

      I have seen similar heresy, bordering on apostasy, myself. It is indeed shameful and a terrible disgrace to our beloved faith.

      However, our money does not belong to us, and we are obligated to give the tithe as a first fruit offering to God, because it is His. In addition, we give the tithe as a part of our sacramental gift of our lives at the altar, and that has nothing to do with what the priest or bishop is doing. We must give because the Lord commands, not because the priest or bishop are worthy.

      The Council of Constance specifically condemned withholding the tithe on account of the merits of the clergy. We must continue to give to the Church, and holding otherwise is in fact heresy.

      We must continue to invoke the patron of the Church, St. Joseph, in our prayers, asking him to intercede on behalf of the Church, the Body of Christ, which he is called to protect. We must rise up and fearlessly proclaim the Catholic faith. We must be willing to be martyrs for the faith, some of us as living martyrs and some as bloody martyrs.

      We are not Protestants, however. We cannot simply boycott the faith. We do not get to choose our bishop or our priests. Instead, we pray for their souls and for their ministries, and we fraternally correct them, loudly and publicly in some cases.

    2. But we can attend different parishes if able so if there is not another parish close by why can’t we choose to send our money to another parish or ministry we know upholds the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church? Also by not giving money maybe it will prompt the priest to ask why and give an opportunity to correct him.

    3. I thought the responsibility of the faithful is to work to build up their own community where they can have the most personal impact. If the majority of the people run off because they recognize the heresy and do nothing to build up the ailing parish, those who need guidance and strength to fight it are left behind with less abilities to make the difference. When everyone starts shifting parishes due to preferences of priests, or preference of architecture, or preference of mass times, or whatever, it creates divided communities. People flock to be with their personal preference of demographic, and there becomes less interaction among different classes, education levels, etc. How much have these people that go running off to other parishes have tried fraternal correction with the priest or bishop? Have they led bible studies in the parish to build up the faithful in the parish to strengthen them and teach the error of their ways? Remember, people can lead bible studies from home, even if not promoted by the priest.

  16. W W J D

    JESUS, I’M COMING TO SEE YOU !
    “IMPOSSIBLE CHILD, I’M BUSY
    I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO
    AND YOU ARE FAR TOO TIZZY”

    Lord that doesn’t sound like you !
    “Of course not, child, I’m imitating
    the behavior of members of my crew
    it bothers Me it’s very irritating”

    Lord it’s urgent I’m in dire strait !
    “and I am in a meeting, child”
    the only thing for you is “to wait”
    Just “keep on trying” He then smiled

    “BTW you didn’t give Church tithing
    my representatives are really upset”
    Why ? oh Lord I’m barely surviving
    my job is gone, I’m in a lot of debt

    Your pastors, Lord, nowadays
    are consumed by worldly matters
    they put the needy in the sick bays
    far away avoiding nasty scatters

    “I know all to well what’s going on
    the day is close in justice I will come
    then they’ll long for times foregone
    Wanting it or not, they will succumb”

    Jesus You never needed a steeple
    Your word is not bound to a temple
    You preached in front of the people
    You’ve always been a living example

    “My child, just come to Me day or night
    I love you, I’m always there for you
    your future kiddy will be ever so bright
    pray for My pastors, only a few do”

    “I will never forsake you, My loved devotee
    I see everything, I know everything
    remember “nothing is impossible” for Me
    I give you my Royal Heavenly Blessing”

    Jesus, I offer you my pains and mishaps for the Church
    Rita Biesemans, September 18 2014

    1. Have you actually read his words or are you just reading opinions on the internet? He is calling for Christians to be stewards of God’s creation. There is no politics in what he is saying. I am so tired of people twisting his words and making comments about him that border on slanderous. Shame on you. God Himself told Adam to care for His creation.

    2. maudieNmandeville

      You must believe in global warming. It has nothing to do with being ‘stewards of God’s creation’. It’s about redistribution; something the pope is also in favor of.

  17. beware of over zealous

    Be careful of over zealous converts citing ancient texts.
    The catechism supercedes all ancient texts and says give what is according to your abilities; canon law also leaves it open.  

    ccc #2043: The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.

         Can. 222 §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 the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.

    1. beware of over zealous

      In fact…not citing ccc #2043 after you know it might be mini heretical. Now you know it Mr. Young.

  18. In an OP like this I would expect two things right off the bat: (1) an authoritative definition of what the word “tithe” means according to the magisterium; and (2) the same in regard to a Catholic’s obligation to pay it. What does the Code of Canon Law say and what about the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

    1. beware of over zealous

      See me above….the early Church collected money for inter alia orphans and widows to whom we now donate through our taxes. ccc 2043 says give what you can…not tithes. There are always tithe zealots on the Catholic web who never cite ccc 2043.

  19. I think you might be falling victim to a shifting use of the word “tithe;” the Catholic Encyclopedia at Catholic.com seems to indicate that it refers to a government enforced tax, not a general description of the offering plate’s contents.

    It even specifically says that, in English speaking countries, there is generally no tithe.
    http://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/tithes (way down at the bottom)

    It seems that at one point local churches would give away the right to collect from those in their area, and things got ugly, and so the Third Laterian Council had to step in.
    http://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/lay-tithes

    We are obligated to support the Church and her ministers:
    http://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/Church-Maintenance

    but if a specific sub-group isn’t doing its job, then:
    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/is-it-ok-to-refuse-to-tithe-if-my-pastor-wont-discuss-contraception-in-rcia

    There’s a lot of examination of conscience involved, I’d wager. Himself isn’t likely to be very understanding of “Well, the Church has too many humans in it, so it wasn’t perfect, so I spent my money having parties instead” type logic.

    1. Side note: those places that do have a tithe are specifically mentioned to not have the option of pulling an “I gave at the office” and so not make any offerings just because there’s a tithe.

    2. I think the author of this article is doing a disservice. It’s good when he writes to give motivations for tithing. But to openly declare that this or that form of Tithe (or the withholding of this or that Tithe) is Heretical is Not for him to decide.
      But as a traditional Catholic, I think the legality or illegality of Tithes (& pronouncements regarding Tithe/Heresy) should be left to CANON LAWYERS & BISHOPS ALONE, not a lay Internet blogger. With all due respect, either leave it to competent people (Canon lawyers & bishops) or consult with them before posting this article.

    3. I think you’re being far too harsh. It’s a perfectly understandable mistake for an English speaker to make, and if not for the semantic shift the case would be as open-and-shut as he says.

      Are you really saying that you think lay people should not read the councils just because they occasionally make mistakes?

    4. Under Canon Law, all the faithful are obligated to proscribe erroneous opinions. “All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops puts forth.” Canon 754.

    5. I think we’re permitted to observe the world around us, think about what we see, and tell others the truth about what we think. In 1520 a Catholic didn’t have to wait around for a bishop to tell him to reject Martin Luther’s teaching. He had authority to do it on his own, and to tell others why he did it.

    6. Have you heeded the Scriptural method for fraternal correction? That would certainly build up the Church more than sniping at heresies from behind a Stand

      And I hardly think Michael Voris can be compared to Martin Luther

    7. Are you saying if I disagree with Michael Voris I have to keep my disagreement secret? To the extent Michael Voris is doing something valuable he is exposing Modernism in the Church. Should he stop doing that because of your “no criticism allowed” approach? If you criticize me for criticising Michael Voris are you violating your “no criticism allowed” approach?

    8. Ha! Don’t put quotes around that.

      You don’t have to keep your disagreement secret, but I don’t think calling someone a heretic is just polite debate. Have you bothered to talk to him? To try to get in touch with him, to see if he can defend his alleged Albigensian viewpoint from a Catholic standpoint?

    9. 1. I don’t think he’s interested in what I think and I don’t think I could get through to him. 2. I didn’t call him an Albigensian nor did I call him a heretic of any kind. I merely said we can talk about our observations of the world around us, about what people say and whether we think they’re correct. 3. You never answer any of my questions, tell us how to distinguish between Martin Luther and people with smaller errors who must not be criticized, nor do you defend your no-criticism-allowed approach.

    10. I’m taking my leave of this comment thread. It isn’t that I’m giving up or anything, I just think 1) it has gotten far from the point of my original comment
      2) Only so much can be said in an Internet comment thread
      3) Once we get to numbered lists of discussion topics, it just gets a little ridiculous

    11. Too bad you cannot go back in time and correct the Doctors of the Church, eg Thomas Aquinas, for each time they publicly, and often vehemently, called someone a heretic. And check out the language Athanasius used for Arians. It was not “polite”. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    12. In 1520 a priest didn’t have to wait around for the Holy See to realize
      that selling indulgences called for a break with Rome.

    13. The contrast I was making is that a priest is under the authority of the Pope while bishops are merely guides to their flock.

    14. The Catholic Encyclopedia, of course, is not authoritative.

      The tithe (10% of income) has been a part of our faith since Abraham. Yes, in some locales in some parts of history, the tithe was collected by the civil government, but the tithe has always been a universal precept that antedates and survives civil government involvement. See, e.g., Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 86 (Oblations and first-fruits) and Question 87 (Tithes).

      I have written extensively about the tithe and its meaning and theology, so I would direct your attention to those articles. See The Theology of Giving, Stop Begging for Money and Teach Stewardship, and First Fruits, Sacrifice, and Covenant.

      I expect to write more about the topic, by the grace of God.

    15. The Catholic Encyclopedia is not a binding authority, but it does point out the very specific meaning of the word “tithe” in this situation, as well as the situation that the council was responding to; your response supports the Catholic Answers links I included, but not your own conclusion.

      Do you have an authoritative source supporting your definition of ‘tithe’ at the time of your sources?

    16. I agree. The Catholic Encyclopedia is not authoritative, but it was written by very smart faithful Catholics. Words can have technical meanings, while still retaining their normal meanings. I think the councils are using thithe in this technical sense. The Catholic Encyclopedia is not authoritative, but it’s a rare article that doesn’t rely on authoritative sources. You can have a moral obligation because of the circumstances in your life, and in your particular parish, to give your pastor money. I do not believe you have a obligation under Church law to give your pastor a certain amount of money no matter what.

  20. You can give without paying money to support heresy and evil. 10% of what good folks gave to parishes went to dioceses where either the bishop himself was a pederast or pedophile or he was in cahoots with other prelates around the country in shuttling known pederasts or pedophiles from diocese to diocese to insulate them from the law. So far over $3 billions of this money, $3,000,000,000.00, much of it tithed, has been paid out to victims by bishops for what bishops and priests did. Couple this with the outright heresy preached in many parishes – Yes I have personally heard it in multiple parishes-and a good case can be made that it is a sin to tithe or to support this. Either give money directly to operations so that the diocese does not get its 10% to support heresy and evil OR give a parish something-eg a computer-10% of which cannot be sent to the diocese. Unfortunately in today’s USA church, in many places, money talks and baloney walks. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  21. Well, if you believe that people who withhold tithes from the RCC are HERETICS, your choice of words, then you should tell Catholics how to deal with heretics (people who practice a heresy):

    “CANON 3:

    ON CHURCH USE OF SECULAR AUTHORITIES TO DEAL WITH HERETICS

    We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy that raises against the holy, orthodox and Catholic faith which we have above explained; condemning all heretics under whatever names they may be known, for while they have different faces they are nevertheless bound to each other by their tails, since in all of them vanity is a common element. Those condemned, being handed over to the secular rulers of their bailiffs, let them be abandoned, to be punished with due justice, clerics being first degraded from their orders. As to the property of the condemned, if they are laymen, let it be confiscated; if clerics, let it be applied to the churches from which they received revenues. But those who are only suspected, due consideration being given to the nature of the suspicion and the character of the person, unless they prove their innocence by a proper defense, let them be anathematized and avoided by all until they have made suitable satisfaction; but if they have been under excommunication for one year, then let them be condemned as heretics.”
    http://biblelight.net/heretics.htm on Lateran IV

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