Do not confuse the Catholic Church with the corrupt hierarchy. These are two totally different things.
The Catholic Church has been infiltrated by corrupt clergy in the past. And each time, these corrupt clergy were defeated not by schism, (the Protestant solution), nor by miracles, (the unlikely solution), but rather by faithful Catholic clergy and laymen, working together to stand for reverence, orthodoxy and purity in the face of ridicule and persecution from the corrupt hierarchy. In the end, they always triumphed over this corruption. THIS is the real Catholic Church. Those faithful Catholics, who stand up to the corrupt hierarchy, with reverence, orthodoxy and purity, are the real and true Catholic Church, that keeps shining forth, over and over again, in age after age, following one corruption crisis after another.
When you’re looking for the Catholic Church, STOP looking at the corrupt pope and corrupt bishops who kiss up to him. Instead, START looking at the faithful priests, standing at the altars and doing their jobs! And START looking at the faithful laypeople, who are praying in the pews. THERE is the Catholic Church. THAT is where you will find it.
So you say you’re disgusted with the corruption in the Catholic Church. Congratulations! So am I. So you say you can no longer support a Church that tolerates this level of corruption. Congratulations! Neither can I. So You say you will withhold your tithes and donations from the Church until you see change. Woah! Slow down there Tex. You’ve got a few things to consider first.
First and foremost, did you know that Catholic teaching requires you to financially support the Church? Yes, it’s true. If you don’t financially support the Church, in some way, you’re a bad Catholic. You’re not following the teachings of the Church. You’re committing sin, and two wrongs don’t make a right.
The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.Catechism of the Catholic Church 2043
The teaching of the Church is very clear on this. If you can give, you must give, and it must be to a Catholic church or jurisdiction that is in full communion with Rome. A church can be a community, mission, monastery or parish. A jurisdiction can be a diocese, eparchy, ordinariate, religious order, prelature, institute or fraternity. The bottom line is this. You’ve got to give. You don’t have a choice. Failure to do so makes you a bad Catholic, and there is no way around it.
I say this as a third-party here. I don’t ask for donations, nor do I benefit from them. If you want to support me, buy my books. It’s not a donation or charity. You get something back for your money with me. No! I’m not telling you to give your money to me. I don’t have a stake in this. I’m telling you to give your money to somebody else. You’ve got to give it to the Catholic Church, in some way, or else when it comes to Church corruption, you’re not part of the solution. You’re part of the problem.
Fortunately for us, while the Catholic Church specifically tells us we must give, it doesn’t specifically say how to give, or who to give to. We are required to give to a church, or jurisdiction, in full communion with Rome, but that could be any church or jurisdiction. This means there are a whole lot of options to choose from.
Let’s say, for example, that you live in a large metropolitan archdiocese. And let’s say that archdiocese happens to have a corrupt archbishop at the helm. Let’s say he’s surrounded himself with corrupt priests, and gullible laypeople who are willing to defend him. Let’s say that all attempts to get him to reform have failed, and he seems to be dead-set on maintaining his corrupt racketeering in the diocese. What do you do? You obviously don’t want to support this corrupt bishop. And you know whatever you give to a parish in the diocese, no less than 10% of that will go to the archbishop. What are your options?
Well, the Catechism doesn’t specifically say you have to give money to YOUR parish or bishop. It just says you must give to A parish or bishop. So now you have a lot to choose from. Here are some examples.
The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is a diocesan-like jurisdiction in the Catholic Church that covers both the United States and Canada. It specializes in starting missionary communities that focus on reverent liturgy (in English), according to Divine Worship (or English Patrimony) and orthodox teaching. Because their customs come from traditional Anglicans who converted to the Catholic Church, their missionary focus is on converting non-Catholic Protestants to the Catholic Church. Any Catholic may become a member of an Ordinariate church (community, mission or parish). Any Catholic may join an Ordinariate church. Any Catholic may financially support an Ordinariate church, or the Ordinariate itself, whether said Catholic joins one of those churches or not. Parking one’s donations in the Ordinariate means supporting the Catholic Church (as the Catechism requires), but in a way that promotes reverent liturgy (in English), and orthodox teaching, while reaching out to convert Protestants to the Catholic Faith. As far as giving alternatives go, this is a pretty good choice for any Catholic. You can give to the Ordinariate itself, or you can pick an Ordinariate church to adopt and support.
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a fraternal order for priests, connected to a sodality of laypeople called the Confraternity of St. Peter, that focuses on reverent liturgy (in Latin) according to the Roman Missal of 1962, sometimes called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, or the Traditional Latin Mass. The primary purpose of these organizations is to preserve and propagate the older forms of Catholicism, predating the reforms of 1970, without denying the legitimacy of, or working against, the Second Vatican Council. Any Catholic may join the Confraternity. Any Catholic may financially support a Fraternity apostolate, or the Fraternity itself, whether said Catholic joins one of those apostolates or not. Parking one’s donations in the Fraternity means supporting the Catholic Church (as the Catechism requires), but in a way that promotes reverent liturgy and orthodox teaching, according to ancient Catholic customs. You can give to the Fraternity itself, or you can pick a Fraternity apostolate to adopt and support.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, connected to a society of laypeople called the Society of the Sacred Heart, that focuses on reverent liturgy (in Latin) according to the Roman Missal of 1962, sometimes called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, or the Traditional Latin Mass. The primary purpose of these organizations is to preserve and propagate the older forms of Catholicism, predating the reforms of 1970, without denying the legitimacy of, or working against, the Second Vatican Council. Any Catholic may join the Society. Any Catholic may financially support an Institute apostolate, or the Institute itself, whether said Catholic joins one of those apostolates or not. Parking one’s donations in the Institute means supporting the Catholic Church (as the Catechism requires), but in a way that promotes reverent liturgy and orthodox teaching, according to ancient Catholic customs. You can give to the Institute itself, or you can pick an Institute apostolate to adopt and support.
There are plenty of good parishes, abbeys and monasteries one may contribute to as well, and fulfill one’s religious obligation to support the Church. There are too many to list here, so I won’t for fear of leaving some out.
The organizations I listed here are mentioned because they are fairly large, and have a potential for significant growth. All of them, (the Ordinariate, Fraternity and Institute) are fully Catholic, and they have full, legal standing within the Church as well. There are no canonical impediments, and they are each fully recognized by Rome. So if you park your donations in any one of these three organizations, you are fulfilling your Catholic obligation to support the Church, as taught in the Catechism. None of these organizations I cited supports irreverent liturgy, liturgical innovations or unorthodox teachings. None of these organizations have had any significant issues with clerical sex-abuse and cover-up, nor have they had any significant issues with financial scandal. In other words, while nothing is ever 100%, your money is relatively safe in these three organizations. You can support one in particular, or all three of you’re able. You can rest assured your money will be used for a good Catholic cause.
We have now reached a point in today’s Church crisis that talk is cheap. We have to start putting our money where our mouth is, or we can forget about ever seeing renewal of the Church in our lifetime. This is it. It’s put up or shut up. It’s time to go to bat for the Church with our dollars. Now is the time we find out who is really about supporting renewal in the Church, and who is just hot air.