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Published on July 7th, 2013 | by Bernard Toutounji

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How Wealthy is the Catholic Church?

Vatican-WealthWith the new Pope naming himself after arguably the most renowned beggar who ever lived – Francis of Assisi – some commentators are hoping that the Catholic Church will at last divest itself of the wealth it has been clinging to for thousands of years and begin to preach the authentic Gospel of Christ. These calls though are reminiscent of the Apostle Judas who protested at Mary Magdalene’s use of costly ointment on the feet of Jesus’ which was followed by the Gospel writers’ astute comment, “he did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief”. How many of those who criticise the Church for her alleged wealth are concerned about the poor rather than simply desiring to bring down the influence of Christianity in society? It is not wealth in and of itself that is evil but an inordinate attachment to it. None the less the Church does and should have a preferential option for the poor and Pope Francis has rightly expressed his desire for a Church that is poor and for the poor. So just how wealthy is the Catholic Church?

When people think of the supposed wealth of the Church they most likely picture the grandeur of St Peter’s Basilica and the works of art within the walls of the Vatican. It is wise to recall though that the Church does not consider itself the owners of these items but rather the custodians of them for all humanity. For if the Catholic Church had not safeguarded the great treasures of culture for two thousand years through war and through peace, who do we suppose was going to do it? Something else worth remembering is that many of the pieces that are today regarded as great works of art were originally created as works of devotion, and the only reason they have existed long enough to be considered so valuable, is again because the Catholic Church has watched over them with solicitude across the centuries.

The Vatican has for some years publically released its annual budget, although as a sovereign nation it is under no requirement to do so. The Vatican runs with an annual operating budget of around $300 million but keep in mind that the Vatican employs close to 3000 people and supports 1000 retirees. With that same money it keeps St Peter’s Basilica and the key Churches of Rome in operation, it maintains the Vatican museums and provides important missionary services such as the Vatican radio and newspaper. This budget does not include the monies that are sent in from the lay faithful around the world to support the charitable works of the Pope known as ‘Peter’s Pence’. Totaling around $70 million each year, Peter’s Pence is used to support ecclesial communities most often in mission countries who have no one else to turn too. The Vatican Bank, or more properly, the Institute for the Works of Religion, controls a much larger amount of money estimated to be around $6 billion, however most of it is not the money of the Vatican but religious orders, dioceses and Catholic organisations which use the money for their particular work of ministry and charity.

The specific ‘wealth’ of the Vatican does not cover the many dioceses in individual nations which essentially manage their own expenditure. As an example, it has been estimated by The Economist that the Catholic Church in the USA spends collectively in excess of $170 billion each year but this is not on caviar and fine wine. The money goes to fund healthcare, universities, schools, parishes, charities and the payroll of the one million people who work for the Church and make it all happen (this includes the tens of thousands of priests and religious who give their lives for Christ and the service of the Church and must be thus housed and provided for).

Those who think the Catholic Church has a lot of money are correct but those who think the Church holds onto money for the sake of it are incorrect. The Catholic Church is not a ‘fly by night’ organisation that is flippant about money. Working to bring the message of Jesus Christ to every generation and to serve the needs of humanity requires funds, and as the single most charitable private organisation on the planet the Catholic Church uses its money as a wise steward should.

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About the Author

Bernard Toutounji is an Australian Catholic writer and speaker. He writes a fortnightly column called Foolish Wisdom (http://www.foolishwisdom.com) which takes a contemporary issue within news, culture or faith and examines it through the lens of reason and Judeo-Christian principles. One of Bernard’s favourite quotes comes from Edith Stein who said "All those who seek truth seek God whether this is clear to them or not". Bernard’s passion is leading people to discover this truth for themselves.



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  • Phil Dzialo

    The Catholic Church, Bernard, is quite wealthy. I do not dispute your figures but they relate to the Vatican City State which is. exactly 109 acres. There are untold billions there in hidden art treasures and gold which could certainly be liquidated to feed the starving. The RCC is the largest property owner in the world. The Vatican IOR is perhaps the most corrupt financial institution in the world known for laundering money and the clergy under prosecution. No transparency at all here.

    In the US, there are 195 dioceses which are each a “corporation sole” and the finances there are not transparent.

    The financial woes of the RCC are primarily attributable to the clergy sex scandal which you neglected to mention. From 1950 to 2007 the RCC paid out $2-3 billion (depending on the source) in settlements for clergy abuse in the US…when you will add in Australia, Ireland, Germany, etc. we could see figures nearer to $10 billion. From 2004 -2011, eight RCC dioceses declared bankruptcy owingto sex abuse issues. All in all, the RCC could have fed and clothed billions of people and instead paid the money for sins of priests. Not a poor church at all.

    • Deb Daily

      “he did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief”. –

      The abused are people too, they deserve special care for their recovery! We live in a world of thieves and pervs. To put all the burden on the RCC as the culprit is naïve at best. In addition, most of those funds that settled these cases were from insurance. The diocese gives their reports every week/year to the parish.

      Imagine how much it will cost if we were to sue all the institutions of the world that are far more extensive and abusive than the RCC? We could feed all seven billion and the next three generations. Right? No doubt you will be up front and center sacking the Vatican of all its beautiful art. Did we miss the point that the RCC is already the largest philanthropist in world?

      No, the only way to clean things up would be for all the charities and organizations to manage their own funds locally and shut down the Vatican Bank for good. That is the only thing lacking transparency, no doubt, in a world of central banking cabals. The RCC would be free of their chains.

      • glen gurnari

        Lady you don’t understand the most heinous crime of this man made organization because of their falsehood and doctrine of demons ie purgatory,the selling of indulgences,idolatry=..worship of mary, bowing down to statues the abomination of the catholic mass all contradict the teachings of Christ and they will be accountable to Almighty God for all the souls of their followers that will be in Hell

      • Deb Daily

        Read the Church Fathers and get back to me. Everything you speak of is a false narrative created for the ignorant to believe. St Justin the Martyr (150 AD) would be an excellent start for your blasphemous remarks against the Holy Eucharist.

      • glen gurnari

        You are not a Christian I am not interested in the lies of men or their traditions your beliefs are based on the im reqaginations of men such as this Justin the martyr his words are meaningless The only Words to obey are the Ones Christ spoke and the ones That the Holy spirit spoke through the apostles The Bible is clear Colossians2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive (as you are) through hollow and deceptive philosophy,which depends on human tradition(Justin the martyr) and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ Do you understand?The mass is a bloodless sacrifice is it not? Hebrews9: 22In fact the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins this ceremony is in vain it does absoulutely nothing Hebrews9:so Christ was sacrificed ONCE to take away the sins of many people To present this Holy act and to say it is done to appease Gods anger is an abomination Christ sacrifice was fully accepted from the father.. Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them,he was taken up to heaven and he sat at the right hand of God do you get that? God and King taking his rightful place on his throne and does not move for anyone to say that the literal body and blood is in a piece of bread..you should be ashamed of yourself Jn 19:30 When he had received the drink JESUS SAID it is finished DO YOU UNDERSTAND the WORDS of the eternal GOD because your soul depends on it!!!

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        glen gurnari Deb Daily • 19 hours ago

        You are not a Christian

        Catholics are the original Christians. You are only a Christian if you have been baptized in accordance with the intention of the Catholic Church.

        I am not interested in the lies of men or their traditions your beliefs are based on the im reqaginations of men such as this Justin the martyr his words are meaningless

        His words are based upon the Word of God, which you can’t understand. Scripture explains the reason for that situation.

        1 Corinthians 2:14

        But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

        The only Words to obey are the Ones Christ spoke and the ones That the Holy spirit spoke through the apostles

        And the Bible tells us to obey our priests:

        Hebrews 13:17King James Version (KJV)

        17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

        The Bible is clear Colossians2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive (as you are) through hollow and deceptive philosophy,which depends on human tradition(Justin the martyr) and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ Do you understand?

        Yes. But it is you who doesn’t. There are human traditions, such as the ones you follow. And there are Sacred Traditions, which we follow. One of those is the Tradition of Magisterium. That is the Tradition wherein Jesus commanded the Church to Teach what He commanded. Therefore, when men of the Catholic Church teach us the Word of God, it is as though God were beseeching us through them. And when the Catholic Church pours out the grace of the Holy Spirit upon men in the Sacraments, it is as though Christ were praying for you:

        2 Corinthians 5:20King James Version (KJV)

        20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

        So, you see, it is you who does not understand the Word of God. Or if you claim to understand, then it is you who disobeys the Word of God.

        The mass is a bloodless sacrifice is it not?

        Nope. The proper word is “unbloody”. It is called “unbloody” because the Eucharistic Cup is the Blood of Jesus Christ in the appearance of wine.

        1 Corinthians 11:25

        After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

        Hebrews9: 22In fact the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins this ceremony is in vain it does absoulutely nothing

        Actually, it is the only way in which you can be saved. If you reject the Sacrifice of the Mass, there is no other sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins:

        Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

        The assembling of ourselves is a reference to the Christian Mass. If you willfully refuse to participate in the sacrifice of the Mass, there is no more sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins.

        Hebrews9:so Christ was sacrificed ONCE to take away the sins of many people To present this Holy act and to say it is done to appease Gods anger is an abomination Christ sacrifice was fully accepted from the father..

        Certainly. But YOU have not accepted it. Your problem is that you don’t know Scripture. Therefore, you don’t realize that Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb. In order to receive the grace of His sacrifice, you must offer it to the Father. The Father will accept it, if you offer it. But since you refuse to offer it, you remain an enemy of God’s.

        1 Corinthians 5:7

        Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

        Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them,he was taken up to heaven and he sat at the right hand of God do you get that? God and King taking his rightful place on his throne and does not move for anyone to say that the literal body and blood is in a piece of bread..you should be ashamed of yourself

        That’s peculiar. So, you think that the God of this universe must be in one place at a time. Then you don’t believe that God is omnipresent? Sounds as though your god is not the True God. Because for us, all things are possible with God. We believe He can be where ever He wants to be whenever He wants.

        Jn 19:30 When he had received the drink JESUS SAID it is finished DO YOU UNDERSTAND the WORDS of the eternal GOD because your soul depends on it!!!

        His part is finished. It is your turn to accept His sacrifice. Your soul depends on it.

        Let me explain something to you. Jesus said:

        Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

        29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

        Did you get that? Anyone who blasphemes the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven.

        Now, let’s go to Heb 10:25-31

        Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

        First, St. Paul admonishes us not to miss the Assembly. The Christian Assembly is the Mass.

        26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

        If we miss the Assembly intentionally, we commit sin which can’t be forgiven, because it is the only sacrifice that remains.

        27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

        And, those who miss the Assembly can be sure to be punished by God, because they have become His adversaries.

        28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

        In Moses’ time, the people gathered on the Sabbath to hear him explain the Law. And those who refused were stoned to death.

        29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

        Then, St. Paul asks an interesting question. He says, “how much more severe do you think the punishment should be for those who walk all over Christ and reject His Blood?”

        Huh? But he was simply talking about missing the Assembly, wasn’t he? Yeah, an Assembly which offers the Body and Blood of Christ as a perpetual sacrifice for the sins of mankind. If the Eucharist is not the Body and Blood of Christ, why is it such a serious sin to miss the Mass?

        Oh, but did you notice the last words of verse 29?

        …hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

        Does that mean that intentionally missing the Mass is a sin against the Holy Spirit? And what did Christ say would be the forgiveness for such a sin?

        Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

        29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

        Let’s get back to Heb 10:

        30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

        31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

        Therefore, Glen, you need to heed the warning. Your soul depends on it.

      • glen gurnari

        PLEASE STOP twisting the scriptures to justifies your false doctrines 1 is this passage in Your catholic catechism for adults p 52 if you lie to me this conversation is over Can you learn to save your soul just by reading the Bible No Does it say that?

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        glen gurnari De Maria • 9 hours ago

        PLEASE STOP twisting the scriptures to justifies your false doctrines

        If our doctrines were false, you would be able to prove it from Scripture. But you can’t. Therefore, my proof of Catholic Doctrine from Scripture, stands.

        1 is this passage in Your catholic catechism for adults p 52

        I use the online Catechism, St. Charles Borromeo version. Google it and get back to me.

        if you lie to me this conversation is over

        What conversation? A conversation is a two way dialogue. What you have been doing is more aptly described as “diatribe.” And what I have been doing is proving your errors from Scripture.

        Can you learn to save your soul just by reading the Bible No Does it say that?

        No, that’s why I’m explaining the Bible to you. That’s why I’m showing you Catholic Doctrine in the Bible. That’s why I’m showing you that the Bible says that your disdain for the Mass will cost you your soul. That’s why I’m showing that you that the Bible says that your blasphemous attitude towards the Eucharist makes you God’s enemy.

      • Deb Daily

        The Bible was written by the Church, for the Church and is about the Church. His Holy Apostles made certain of that, you like many others left Him at John 6:66, remember? Such an appropriate number for a hypocrite wouldn’t you have to agree?

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        glen gurnari Deb Daily • 3 days ago

        Lady you don’t understand the most heinous crime of this man made organization

        This organization was established by Jesus Christ.

        Matthew 16:18King James Version (KJV)

        18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

        because of their falsehood and doctrine of demons

        The Catholic Church teaches the Sacred Traditions which Jesus Christ commanded her to teach to the whole world.

        Matthew 28:20King James Version (KJV)

        20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

        ie purgatory,

        Purgatory is taught in Scripture:

        Revelation 2:10

        Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

        the selling of indulgences,

        Jesus Christ taught the Doctrine of Indulgences when He said:

        Matthew 6:20

        But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

        idolatry=..worship of mary,

        We don’t worship Mary. We simply recognize that she is the mother of Jesus Christ and thus, the Mother of God, which is again, taught in Scripture.

        Luke 1:43

        And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

        bowing down to statues

        Scripture forbids the worship of statues. But not the bowing down to statues which depict Heavenly Beings:

        Exodus 25:18

        And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.

        the abomination of the catholic mass

        Actually, if you call the Catholic Mass an abomination, then you have made yourself the enemy of God as is clearly taught in Scripture:

        Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

        30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

        31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

        Do you recognize the description of the Eucharist which is given to the People of God in the Mass. Notice what God does to those who insult the Eucharist.

        all contradict the teachings of Christ

        On the contrary, all the Teachings of the Catholic Church were commanded by Christ.

        and they will be accountable to Almighty God for all the souls of their followers that will be in Hell

        As I have shown you. It is those who blaspheme the Eucharist which the Word of God says have become God’s enemies.

      • glen gurnari

        You are deceived and seriously disturbed you have been taught by the catholic church and its man made doctrine as far as the most insidious of your falsehood the treasures God is speaking about is about our obedience and fruit (preaching the gospel His Holy words not the teachings of the catholic church where by no one gets saved)those are the treasures to him And he says you shall know them by their fruits and yours is rotten How Dare you put a price on the salvation of a soul when it was purchased by the Blood of Jesus you are demented.

      • glen gurnari

        I don’t want any further communication with someone as vile as you

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        God bless you, Glen. Do yourself a favor and read the Scriptures in light of the Sacred Traditions of Jesus Christ. These Traditions are only passed down in the Catholic Church.

      • glen gurnari

        OK first let me say that insulting you is not something a Christian should do I apologize because im attacking you personally You have been taught the traditions of men what I will do and I realize that it calls for patience because these things you have learned have evolved for 17 centuries and have deceived billions of souls the only course to take is to produce what your faith believes and compare it with Holy scripture

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        glen gurnari De Maria • 9 hours ago

        OK first let me say that insulting you is not something a Christian should do I apologize because im attacking you personally You have been taught the traditions of men

        On the contrary, Glen, I am showing you, from the Bible, that YOU have learned traditions of men.

        what I will do and I realize that it calls for patience because these things you have learned have evolved for 17 centuries and have deceived billions of souls the only course to take is to produce what your faith believes and compare it with Holy scripture

        Awesome! Here’s the thing. I will also compare what your faith believes and compare it to Scripture. Let’s start with this idea that everything must be taught in Scripture. Where does the Bible say that? That idea is called, Sola Scriptura. Where does the Bible teach Sola Scriptura?

        Now, the Doctrine of the Catholic Church which opposes Sola Scriptura is called “Magisterium”. Magisterium means that the Church is the Teacher of the Word of God:

        Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)

        19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

        20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

        Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)

        19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

        20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

        Can you produce any Scripture which says, “Sola Scriptura” or “the Bible alone”?

      • glen gurnari

        No you are not you are twisting the scriptures and here is your first lie you said what the catechism for adults P52 Can you learn to save your soul by reading the bible and YOU agreed Here is The Truth 2 Tim 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures,which are able to make you wise unto salvation faith in Christ Jesus…That alone proves that you and your church are liars NO Where is there mentioned that salvation is through any church but only by the blood of Jesus I told you when I caught you I a lie the conversation is over don’t reply back I know Gods truth and it has set me free I am saved by the Finished work of Jesus but your false religion based on mans traditions has added pagan rituals to keep naïve souls in bondage to your church Your second lie the roman emporer Constantine started your evil organization in 330 ad.now I have men I know that are in prison that need to be ministered to I don’t want to throw my pearls before swine

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        glen gurnari De Maria • 2 hours ago

        No you are not you are twisting the scriptures and here is your first lie you said what the catechism for adults P52

        I don’t know what you’re talking about. I told you to go to the online Catechism.

        Can you learn to save your soul by reading the bible and YOU agreed

        Yep. The Catholic Church wrote the New Testament and put the entire Bible together.

        Here is The Truth 2 Tim 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures,which are able to make you wise unto salvation faith in Christ Jesus…

        You left out a great deal, didn’t you?

        2 Timothy 3:14-17King James Version (KJV)

        14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

        15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

        16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

        17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

        Notice how St. Timothy didn’t learn from the bible alone. But from those “whom thou hast learned them”. And what has he learned from them? The holy Scriptures. Why are they important? Keep reading. Because they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” In other words, they are a good teaching aid for the teacher who seeks to correct and instruct the faithful.

        That alone proves that you and your church are liars

        It only proves that you don’t understand the Scripture.

        NO Where is there mentioned that salvation is through any church but only by the blood of Jesus I told you when I caught you I a lie the conversation is over don’t reply back I know Gods truth and it has set me free I am saved by the Finished work of Jesus but your false religion based on mans traditions has added pagan rituals to keep naïve souls in bondage to your church Your second lie the roman emporer Constantine started your evil organization in 330 ad.now I have men I know that are in prison that need to be ministered to I don’t want to throw my pearls before swine

        Unfortunately, you are lying to yourself. Anyone who rejects the Church, rejects Christ.

        Luke 10:16

        He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

        Anyone you rejects the Eucharist, blasphemes the Holy Spirit of God:

        Hebrews 10:25-31King James Version (KJV)

        25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

        26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

        27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

        28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

        29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

        30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

        31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

      • glen gurnari

        Yes it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God and you and your idolatrous organization started by an evil pagan emporer the very people who had a hand in condemning MY LORD but your not In fear because you havnent got a clue who The Almighty is…who teach that a sinful reprobate has the power to bring down the omnipotent all powerful God and reduce him to a wafer you have not idea what it in store for you your doctrines are from the pit of hell and you are being used by the enemy but you cant see that because to know that you would have to have the Spirit of God…Catholics are not born again Christians Jesus SAID YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN…..Like I said DO NOT DARKEN MY Email again can you at least understand that?

      • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

        glen gurnari De Maria • a minute ago

        Yes it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God and you and your idolatrous organization started by an evil pagan emporer the very people who had a hand in condemning MY LORD but your not In fear because you havnent got a clue who The Almighty is…

        Its you who deny the Eucharist. It is you who blaspheme the Blood of the Covenant which Jesus Christ shed to save you.

        who teach that a sinful reprobate has the power to bring down the omnipotent all powerful God and reduce him to a wafer you have not idea what it in store for you your doctrines are from the pit of hell

        And you deny that God works through His Church:

        2 Corinthians 5:20King James Version (KJV)

        20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

        and you are being used by the enemy but you cant see that because to know that you would have to have the Spirit of God…

        But it is you who can’t understand the Word of God and are teaching a false gospel:

        Galatians 1:8King James Version (KJV)

        8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

        Clearly, this is because you are natural and not regenerated in the Spirit of God:

        1 Corinthians 2:14

        But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

        Catholics are not born again Christians Jesus SAID YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN…..

        Do you even know what that means? Protestants, like yourself, believe you are snow covered dung heaps. You don’t believe in regeneration. Whereas, the Catholic Church teaches that we are made new creatures when God washes in His grace in the Holy Sacraments.

        Like I said DO NOT DARKEN MY Email again can you at least understand that?

        I reserve the right to respond to all your anti-Catholic comments. If you don’t want me to respond to your diatribes, don’t post them.

        See ya’

    • HappySheep

      It is a great tragedy that the money we have paid out for these scandals has
      diminished the good work that the Church does. But if these are honest and
      legitimate claims the Church must pay her debts. The goal of the church is not
      earthly wealth although a certain amount is needed to exist and function. If you
      add up the real estate and contents of all the churches, hospitals, schools,
      universities, and religious service organizations it would add up to a lot of “wealth”
      as there are over a billion Catholics in the world and we have been around for 2000
      years. This is working wealth not gold buried in vaults.

      Jesus will stick with us for better or worse and will bring his Church through all of
      this despite ourselves.

    • adn8

      fed and clothed billions?! What idiocy. First the Vatican does not have control over the diocesan budgets. So you’re really dealing with their annual budget, which is something like half the budget of the Smithsonian, and much of which is related to Vatican city and the museums and artwork. So yes, you could sell off the art, but then the world would be deprived of it (probably) and you’d also lose the revenue stream associated with it.

      Second, if you sell of the art for a few billion, you’re going to feed and clothe “billions” for a number of hours. Then you’re done. Great job, nitwit! You turned the world’s art patrimony into a summer palace for George Soros of the Koch brothers and you’ve solved the world’s poverty problem for all of fifteen minutes!–after which it returned again exactly as it had been the day before.

      • Phil Dzialo

        Calling people (me) a nitwit is rather unkind and lacks charilty. You can disagree without calling names….adn8 or who eber you really are?

      • adn8

        You’re leveling charges related to the mismanagement and misappropriation of, in your estimation, “untold billions” and you’re going to cry about being called a nitwit? (I know, it IS a pretty brutal term!)

        Phil, here’s the deal: I troll the trolls. Sorry you got caught up in it, but think before you make outlandish claims that impugn other individuals or organizations.

      • MM

        “Adn8” you were making sense but you lost me when you started throwing out the name calling. If your argument is sound you don’t need to use an ad hominem. Not cool.

      • Darran McDonnell

        It would be an ad hominem if he evaded the argument and instead attacked the person to insinuate that the argument is untrustworthy. You know, a little bit like what you guys did here.

        That’s not to say it may have been mildly inpolite, or perhaps a little too sensitive on the recieving end, maybe.

    • Ron Van Wegen

      “The Vatican IOR is perhaps the most corrupt financial institution in the world…”
      Oh, give me a break!

      • glen gurnari

        That’s exactly what its and has always been a financial institution not the Church of Jesus Christ even non Christians can see what is in plain sight

    • Tony R

      the RCC could have fed and clothed billions of people and instead paid the money for sins of priests. Not a poor church at all.

      Matthew 26: For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
      you sound like Judas…
      Arch-Bishop Sheen. Judas knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

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  • JuanOskar JayMaynes

    I think it’s a good article Mr.Toutounji has written and I will use it when defending the Church against anti-Catholic forces. But Catholic to Catholic, I don’t think our Church leaders are spending wisely. In Europe 5% of Catholics still go to Mass, in the U.S. it’s less than 20% and 51%+ of Catholics in the U.S. vote for pro-abortion politicians. I give weekly to my local parish but I’ve structured it to stay only in the parish. Most diocese are like the government. When they get a little extra money they want to build things and hire more experts. It’s time to practice a little more austerity.

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  • Rick Connor

    Because of a treaty with the nation of Italy the Catholic Church cannot sell off the Vatican treasures. Those treasures are considered the patrimony of Italy. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-cannot-exchange-vatican-treasure-for-food

  • MM

    Thanks for this helpful article!

  • Daenerys

    I applaud Bernard Toutounji’s marvelous article attempting to correct many a person’s mistaken idea of the Vatican’s supposed superlative wealth that is must be hording for itself.

    There have been some revealing and insightful comments here, such as Rick Conner’s clarifying that the Treasure’s of the Vatican cannot be sold due to a treaty with Italy that holds them as the patrimony of Italy.

    How sad it is that some people would want to see world treasure’s lost while how many want to give up their game console’s, trips to Starbuck’s, extra cars, large homes, extra clothes or other taken for granted extras in life that they could in turn send this extra money to the poor? Maybe all countries should then sell the treasures of their museums and national landmarks for the same cause? What about big corporations and companies, such as some of the tech giants who, instead of feeding their employees free meals, not to mention what happens with the waste, they could send the money to feed the poor?

    The primary mission of the Church is not one of charity though it is most charitable organization in the world, because that is part of it’s living out its message to the world.

    May everyone be blessed.

    • Paxton Reis

      “How sad it is that some people would want to see world treasure’s lost while how many want to give up their game console’s, trips to Starbuck’s, extra cars, large homes, extra clothes or other taken for granted extras in life that they could in turn send this extra money to the poor?”

      And we can place this in context of the billions and billions spent on armaments each year globally; the $150B or more worth of food Americans toss in the trash each year…or the tens of billions they spend on soda and candy; tens of billions more they spend on movies, video games, lottery tickets, etc.

      Yes, yes indeed, the finances of the Church are way the poor of the world suffer.

  • JimmyChonga

    I HATE it when I HAVE to pay taxes in order to keep from being thrown into jail or have my property confiscated; only to support an agenda that is so clearly ANTI-life and ANTI-Catholic I feel like I’m throwing the full weight of my support behind the “enemy”. I miss a tax rate which would credit my charitable giving; and a president that highly regards life as a properly oriented human being should.

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  • Maria

    Thank you for this article. Does anyone happen to know whether Catholic organisations like CRS are supported by the Institute for the Works of Religion?
    I hope NOT!

  • Far East

    Thank you Bernard Toutounji for this article! An educated, insightful one such as this beats all those crazy conspiracy theories and systematic debunking of the Catholic Church’s financial resources exercised by some media.

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  • Angel Lawin

    The truth is, the Church and the religions are the ones who plundered humanity: http://www.thename.ph/thename/revelations/plunder-en.html

    • Manuel

      Great article Angel and this is why so many are lost today. They follow the corrupt Vatican and NOT the word of God. The Vatican claims to be above the word of God and this is how they deceive millions. Who has actually studied the historical facts of the Catholic church and how many they killed? Who knows how many banks they now control? An investigation by BRW magazine in 2006 put the Catholic Church’s revenue in Australia for the previous year near $16.2 billion, all tax-exempt. It is Australia’s biggest private property owner and non-government employer, with more than 150,000 people on its payroll. True Christians please ask yourselves…Would Jesus conduct himself in this manner? I don’t hate any person, but the Vatican and Popes have always been associated with evil deeds since they formed in 325AD. They are a pagan corporation and this is clearly evident with the huge Egyptian obelisk in St Peter’s Square and every other statue, sun dial etc. all throughout their churches. The Obelisk represents the pagan god Baal and the male penis. They are NOT Christian at all. This being said…there are many sincere people in the RCC who should read their Bibles and see what the word of God says, not what man and a corrupt corporation says. Peace to all. Follow truth and the Bible, not your feelings or your sinful heart. Not my words, but God’s. Amen.

      • Azlan

        Those words are not from God the creator but a god with a little g, Manuel my brother in Christ I hope you find peace and call up on the Holy Spirit of truth. Thanks for the article.

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  • David

    The catholic church is worth trillions..so you are wrong..it does hold on to wealth..the exact opposite of Jesus’ message.

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  • glen gurnari

    The Message of Christ? The Lord said my kingdom is not of this world this so called church has been about money and power from its inception started by the roman emporer constintine in 330 ad It is the Babylon the great the Mother of all prostitutes because it has been unfaithful to her husband Jesus Christ by following the false doctrines of men and not the Words of Almighty God from His holy book The BIble

    • http://washedsanctifiedandjustified.blogspot.com De Maria

      Nope, the Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ. Read Matt 16:18-19. Jesus established the Catholic Church with those words and promised it would never fail. The Catholic Church is the only organization that has ever lasted 2000 years. That is God’s doing. Man can’t make any organization last that long. The US is the second longest lasting organization at 230 years.

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