29 January 2012

Guess which graph I am most embarrassed by. . .

Hint:  it's not the one about Moe, Larry, and Curly or the one that looks like a doughnut.

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  1. The Catholic sample is probably not accurate. Plenty of people self-identify as Catholics, whereas the vast majority of those people do not practice the faith and/or do not attend Mass. I don't think most fallen away Protestants self-identify with any particular "flavor" of denomination.

  2. Scott W.11:31 PM

    The Catholic sample is probably not accurate. Plenty of people self-identify as Catholics, whereas the vast majority of those people do not practice the faith and/or do not attend Mass.

    Fair point. I know I always seeth when I hear the "98% of Catholic women contracept" stat tossed about. How about a little more context? How many of those women attend every Sunday Mass AND days of obligation? Go to confession regularly?, etc.

  3. You are both probably right, but it's still embarrassing.

  4. Anonymous5:28 AM

    For years, even without the benefit of the statistics this study provides, I have heard that our Catholic people rank very low in the "giving to their Church" category. I imagine this is basically false because no other religion/church on earth has the enormous breadth of charitable agencies that we do, and most contributions don't usually get recognized and counted as donations to the Church. For example, in my town we had a Catholic orphanage to which people were always generous; we had two Motherhouses of Sisters to whom people have always been very generous; we have (or had) very extensive service/education/ministry/care centers for each of several financially strapped ethnic communities within our city: African-Americans; Vietnamese refugees; Hispanics. We have a strong KofC, Daughters of Isabella, Vincent de Paul, Peter Claver groups, etc. You can fill in that I could go on and on... This, of course, is to say nothing about the tuition for Catholic school education that our families have sustained for over a century. Again, how many of our homes mail regular contributions to the Dominicans' St. Jude Shrine in Chicago, the Saint Anthony Guild of the Franciscans or occasional donatons to a monastery of cloistered nuns? Protestants and other non-Catholics haven't even a shadow of a portion of agencies to match these in number or degree of services provided to the needy. I believe that "giving to religious-based charities" is the middle name of our American Catholic people, but their giving is so varied that it cannot be recorded on any instrument designed to measure religious giving. I'm not arguing with anybody on post, I'm just sayin'...

  5. It's not accurate even for Muslims for the simple reason that it only includes taxable charities (if the best numbers are used...I haven't looked at what sources are used).

    As a result, the good Samaritan would show up with 0% donations since he spent all his money helping people directly.

    Any faith that teaches that one needs to reform ones heart through directly caring for people rather than throwing money at some anonymous organization will show up with bad numbers even if they give everything they have to the needy.

  6. Okay Father, can you clear something up here about tithing? I'd always heard it was based on the giving of 10% of the harvest at the end of the season or 10% of the flock at the time for selling them off. Since our "harvest or flock" is our pay, doesn't the "end of the season or sell off time" correspond to what might be left over after the ravenous wolves in the form of Federal & State withholdings have gone through the flock? Following that, shouldn't the 10% be based on our net?

  7. Don't Mormons have a requirement to give a certain percentage of their income? Is anybody knowledgeable on this point?

  8. Subvet, I want 10% off the gross!!!

    Seriously, not sure about the rules of tithing. If tithing means a tenth of "first fruits," then it would be 10% of gross. But I'm unclear on the Church's take on tithing: is it required, recommended, worthy? Not sure. I'll find out.

  9. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Do you not ever consult with other priests when you're not sure of what the Catholic take is on something?

    Catholics have generally understood their "tithe" to mean simply whatever portion of their income they decide to contribute. Many Protestants have retained the strict 10% interpretation that the etymology of the word tithe implies, but Catholics have not usually looked at it that way.

  10. This is certainly an eye-opener to me!!! Most people I know don't even fall in the category of median taxpayer and give at least ten percent to their parish as well as their time and talents. Stewardship is taken seriously here in the Wichita diocese.

    I would venture to guess that Obama's charities include Planned Parenthood.

  11. Anon., indeed I do consult other priests when I'm unsure of the Church's teaching on some issue. However, the team of priests I normally have sitting in my room waiting for me to ask them questions was out on a bathroom break, so I'll have to wait 'til they get back to ask. :-)

  12. A few observations:
    -My pastor always reminds us that tithing means we get to KEEP 90%!
    -A Diocese where we used to live recommended 5% to the parish, 3% to the Diocese and 2% to other charities.
    -Then, there's this: 'No wonder Catholics are so eager to embrace government mandated “charity?”'
    from http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/catholics-give-less-money-to-church-than-any-other-religion/