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CHNetwork Community Question:
Catholic Converts Share Perspectives on Tithing

April 11, 2024 No Comments

With tax deadlines as part of everyone’s Spring routine, and reviews of our annual charitable contributions on the brain, we asked our members if the previous faith traditions and congregations they came from had specific teaching on tithing or financial obligations. Here is what a few of them shared:


“[For the Latter Day Saints,] it is a mandatory 10%. In fact, it’s so mandatory that it’s required to get into the highest heaven. You have to receive temple ordinances to get to the highest heaven, and you have to tithe 10% to get into the temple. So a 10% tithe is one of the major points on which your eternal destiny hinges. Also, we gave a “fast offering” every month that goes to the needs of those struggling in our congregation specifically. That is left to the discretion of the giver and is often based on how much money you save by fasting for two meals on the first Sunday of the month (an LDS tradition which is actually one of my favorites).” -A.C.


“When I was an Evangelical, we were taught to give ten percent. We had a lot of teaching about money. Occasionally we had some pretty guilt-inducing animated videos inflicted on us about tithing. A popular one was using the story of Cain and Abel as a lesson in tithing. Also it was said that unless you were a regular ‘ten-percenter,’ you would never be considered for the church eldership team. When I looked up Catholic teaching on giving, it made a lot more sense I’m glad to say!” -V.W.


“As a non-denominational Christian, tithing was 10% of our gross income. Giving is a representation and demonstration of your faith and following of Christ. And is one of the items of the checklist to become a member.” -T.K.


“My husband belonged to a church where the pastor mentioned tithes at every service. Scripture was read about giving and receiving 100 fold, and about God blessing those who tithed. Testimonies were given about how a raise was given at work or blessings were received due to being a faithful tither. It seemed like something from a prosperity-type gospel. Of the Catholic Churches I’ve attended, I’ve never heard tithing mentioned except once, and that was when there was the possibility of some of the smaller Churches being closed, including that particular church.” A.J.


So what about Catholics? Is there a set amount one must tithe in the Church?

It turns out that your obligation to give, according to the Catholic Church, doesn’t have a specific number or percentage attached to it. That may be in part because Catholicism has a wide socioeconomic range among Her membership, which includes people from both the wealthiest and poorest places on earth. But the Church DOES have something to say about the obligation to give, and it’s detailed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church starting around paragraph 2041. That information is included in what are called the Precepts of the Church—essentially the “bare minimum” obligations
for a Catholic. Giving is addressed in the fifth one:

  1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.
  2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
  3. You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
  4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church (primarily
    Ash Wednesday and Good Friday).
  5. You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

You’ll often hear Catholics refer to three ways to fulfill that 5th Precept: Time, Talent, and Treasure. What that means is that you can provide for the Church’s needs by giving time to help out in various efforts or works, talent in the sense that you bring your personal gifts and skills and offer them in some way for the building up of the Church, and treasure, meaning financial support in whatever way you discern God is asking of you.

“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.” -St. Gregory Nazianzen Share on X


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