From a reader…
I read an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about how the Peter’s Pence collection largely funds the Vatican deficit. I am a stickler for finance and am forced to run a very lean household (single income in a high cost of living area) and expect that charitable groups and the Church should do the same. Is it acceptable to tithe to other religious orders or charities in place of the Church?
Yes. Contribution to Peter’s Pence is entirely voluntary. You can contribute to the good of the Church in other ways.
I will mention that, in justice, it is important to support the church where you receive services. That’s only fair.
As far as other entities are concerned, you can choose as you please. I hope it pleases you to choose also the TMSM. I also like Military Chaplains. I wouldn’t mind something thrown in my direction, either!
As far as Peter’s Pence is concerned, this gives us a chance to bone up on what it is.
The Supreme Pontiff can use the money that comes from the faithful for whatever reasons he desires. I believe that it has mostly been used by Popes for poverty or disaster stricken groups or evangelization. I supposed that the details are usually dealt with by the Papal Almoner and by the IOR (“Vatican bank”).
The Vatican’s description is HERE.
Here is an interesting drop down menu.
Interesting. None of those are investments in movies about infamous homosexual Elton John. Nor are they about investment in real estate in Chelsea, London. I guess they lost money on that. I have to ask: How to you lose money on real estate in London?
Some people are noticing this Peter’s Pence thing. Note below.
The Wikipedia article says:
In 1871, Pope Pius IX formalized the practice of lay members of Church and “other persons of good will” – providing financial support directly to the Roman See. In general, contributions go to the local parish or diocese, who then provide contributions to support higher level offices. Collections for Peter’s Pence go directly to Rome. Pius IX approved this practice in the encyclical Saepe venerabilis, issued on 5 August 1871. The money collected is today used by the pope for philanthropic purposes.
At present, this collection is taken each year on the Sunday closest to 29 June, the Solemnity of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in the liturgical calendar. As of 2012, the United States has donated the largest amounts, giving some 28% of the total, followed by Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Brazil and South Korea. US donations totaled $75.8 million in 2008, $82,529,417 in 2009, $67,704,416.41 in 2010 and $69,711,722.76 in 2011.
I understand that Peter’s Pence is way down now. The Wall Street Journal says: “The assets of Peter’s Pence now total about €600 million, down from about €700 million early in the current pontificate, largely on account of unsuccessful investments, said the people familiar with the funds’ use.” And, …
“But for at least the past five years, only about 10% of the money collected—more than €50 million was raised in 2018—has gone to the sort of charitable causes featured in advertising for the collection, according to people familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, about two-thirds of the money has been used to help cover the budget deficit at the Holy See, these people said. The Holy See consists of the central administration of the Catholic Church and the papal diplomatic network around the world. In 2018, the budget deficit reached roughly €70 million on total spending of about €300 million, reflecting chronic inefficiencies, rising wage costs and hits to investment income.
Donations to Peter’s Pence have dropped notably in recent years, to over €50 million in 2018 from over €60 million in 2017, these people said.“
This is a rather grim situation.
We are obliged to support the Church and her work with material means. However, contributions to Peter’s Pence are always voluntary.