Home Page › Forums › Whaddaya Say? › October 2020: Why doesn’t the Church sell their riches and feed the poor? › Reply To: October 2020: Why doesn’t the Church sell their riches and feed the poor?
Why doesn’t the Church sell their riches and feed the poor?
Best answers so far:
Actually the church does feed the poor through St. Vincent de Paul and other Catholic organizations. The Catholic Church has always been the most charitable organization in the world.
I am not sure if I agree with the premise of your question concerning the Catholic church’s riches. Many of our local churches struggle to keep financially afloat. We can’t say because the church owns the local property and buildings that they are rich. If you look at our world church and look at all the church properties, it may appear rich to you. It would be inappropriate to sell these properties because the people would have no houses of worship. Our local priests, bishops and the Pope have a meager salary that will not make any of them rich. They do not personally own any of the property.
Maybe you were thinking about some of the Protestant local churches that acquire great wealth which include a high pastor salary with expensive buildings and airplanes.
Jesus himself said in Matthew 26:11 “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” The first part of the verse is thought to be a reference to Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
The Catholic Church has always been among the first to respond to the corporal works of mercy, being “open handed” in founding food shelves, orphanages, and hospitals. The same is true today with organizations such Sharing and Caring Hands (based in Minneapolis), Missionaries of Charities and other religious orders, Knights of Columbus and other charitable organizations.
Selling off works of art and cathedrals would only feed the hungry for a short time and those priceless treasures would be gone forever. Beautiful churches and works of art are an opening to heaven to allow us to glimpse in a small way the beauty of heaven that awaits us and is, in some fashion, a way to keep Jesus with us because we can not begin to fathom His beauty, His love, and His mercy.
1. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world.
2. The Catholic Church doesn’t own its “riches”, they belong to us, all of us, the Church is merely a custodian so we can all enjoy it.
3. Most “riches” were bought by little people like us and given to the Church for the glory of God.
Which poor are not being helped? Do you see a need? Why not fill it? Maybe you’re seeing a blind spot God has brought to you to get handled. Rather than complaining about an organization that does large amounts of work to help the poor, maybe God is calling upon you and me to help them. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that we will be judged based on whether or not we helped the poor.
These works of art are beautiful and draw people to God so that they can be converted and have eternal life. If they were sold off and hidden away, less people would be drawn to God.