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Question 134

Let me ask you something, when the priest who is laden in gold asks us for money for a new roof whilst he drives off in a new Mercedes-Benz, ? Jesus wore rags and loved us all and the priest counts the cash!!!          

 

Answer to Question 134

 

A priest receives wages just like everyone else, if he earns enough and buys himself a new Mercedes benz that is his business, but if the church needs a new roof it doesn't mean that he has to pay for it out of his own pocket. The Church belongs to the people and everyone is obliged to contribute.

 

Same member

 

So the church is the richest business in the world perhaps they need to pay for the roof and Jesus did not take wages. Decent people don't take advantage it's the parasites who take advantage of decent people. You can love God and Jesus for FREE. All priests should lead by example 

 

Answer

 

You clearly have preconceived ideas that the Church is some wealthy organization. The Vatican is indeed very wealthy, and some Greek monasteries have valuable treasures, but these have nothing to do with Parish churches. Orthodox Churches are not run by some central government like the Vatican; each church is independent and has to find the money for its running and upkeep. 

The Church has many expenses, the priests wages, the chanters wages, the cleaning ladies wages, electricity, structural repairs, general wear and tear, new vestments, a great deal of charity work that you don’t know about because she doesn’t boast of the good works that she does and many many other hidden expenses. Where is the Church supposed to find the money for all these things? It is your duty as a Christian and a member of the church community to provide for the daily running of the church.  The Church does not belong to the priests, it is your church and you have a responsibility in its upkeep.

In the Old Testament we read that people had to donate 10% of their earning to the temple. This was continued in the times of the Apostles and was essential for the Church to carry out her philanthropic work. Today we don’t ask you for 10% of your earning although that would be absolutely fantastic. So if someone earns 20,000 they would have to give 2,000 to the Church.  But instead of demanding from you to donate 10% of your wages, she makes small charges for feasts, memorials, baptism, weddings and funerals. The fees are so minimal that no one should really begrudge giving. In Cyprus we charge 100 euros for a wedding and people complain, yet they spend 2 – 4 thousand on flowers that will wither and die in a few days. If someone genuinely can't afford to pay for something the church will gladly do it for free. 

You want to know what the church does with the money she doesn’t have? In Limassol the Church runs a few food kitchens. We have one in my parish of Apostolos Andreas in Mesa Geitonia. The food is prepared in the kitchens of the Metropolis church (Katholiki) and delivered to the parishes who participate in the effort of providing food to those in need.  When the crisis was at its height, the church also had food stores that provided not only food, but many items like washing up liquid and powder, shampoos, soap, nappies etc. The Local municipalities also had food stores, but I think the only ones that still exist are those that are run by the church.  At our food kitchen we provided for about 100 families. I think now the figures are much less and about 50 families still come daily.  The church also provides sandwiches and drinks for school children whose families can’t afford to give them money to buy something from the school canteen. 

The Church also gives out a small but weekly sum to hundreds of people who are truly in need. Of course this is not done arbitrarily, they are screened before they receive this help, because there are also many drug addicts who would take advantage of this help.  The church also gives yearly grants to university students whose families have economical difficulties.  Each parish also has a Woman’s Committee whose main concern is to raise money for charity works. Each year at Christmas and Easter, the money is divided to many families in need to help out with extra costs of the feasts.  Thus the church is very active in providing for the poor.

A lot of people think that the church just takes and takes without giving back, but that is because the church doesn’t advertize her good works. The church works in silence fulfilling what Christ said: “when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” (Matth. 6:3)

 

Same member

 

Clearly you have put some thought into to your answer.....my mother works for FREE in our local church and just like the priest I also work and get a monthly wage, if you expect people to contribute towards the running costs the surely the priest should be first as he does not pay rent or utility bills and from what I see he has food cooked and brought to him by lovely people.. ps the Greek church has plenty of wealth.

 

Answer

 

In Cyprus every priest receive a wage according to his education and years of service. In England the priest's wages are agreed upon by the church committee members. If they provide for him a rent free no bill accommodation, I'm sure that they have taken that into account as part of his wages.

 

Another member

 

The churches are making heaps if money, every neighborhood has a church, why so many, if someone wants to go to church he will go no matter how far it is, and they build them with so much luxury, they make money from weddings, christenings, funerals, mnimosina, and every day people who visit churches and put money for candles

 

Answer

 

Your missing out, you should have become a priest, our pockets are lined with gold, haha.

 

The church has a lot of property, but I can assure you that there is no cash. Like I said before the Church is not the Vatican and there is no central treasury. Some Churches do have cash as well like the Monastery of Kykkos, but that belongs to them and they have their own way of distributing to the poor. The metropolis of Limassol on the other hand has no money because of all the charity work that I mentioned above. Also you mentioned that the churches are built with luxury. Most things done in church are from gifts which people donate in memory of their loved ones. Things might look expensive, but there is no gold and expensive jewels. The gold is cheap gilding and the jewels just coloured stone.