Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Your
assumption that the ?collection plate is not enough? is, in many
cases, factually incorrect. In most cases, in American culture at
least, the salaries of clergy are indeed covered by the contributions
made by members of the church. Some of these are stipends and some are
actual full-time salaries, depending of course on how great the
weekly, monthly or annual contributions are.
In other cases larger churches sometimes take under their wing smaller
congregation and subsidize the salaries of their smaller associates?
clergy members. In other words, a small church may pay 75% of their
clergy members? salaries and the larger sponsor church provides the
remaining 25%. Still other churches that fall under the guidance and
direction of a larger organization my actually derive the salaries in
whole or in part from the parent organization.
As a rule, autonomous churches are almost entirely dependent upon
contributions form their own congregation, community or patrons in
order to meet their local financial requirements. This type of support
is dual in nature: on this level the community and the church support
one another in a complimentary relationship.
Other supplements to the financial needs of a church might also come
from frequent tithes, infrequent gifts, posthumous bequeaths, annual
fundraisers and returns on financial investments that can be used to
provide or supplement salaries for clergy members.
I hope you find that my research exceeds your expectations. If you
have any questions about my research please post a clarification
request prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating
and your final comments and I look forward to working with you again
in the near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher
Clarification of Answer by
01 Apr 2005 09:54 PST
You must remember that the Catholic Chhurch is hundreds and hundreds
of years old. There has been ample time to generate such extraordinary
wealth, especially from the 1.2 billion or so adherants it enjoys
today. It is also important to note that the Vatican (The Holy See) is
a COUNTRY - a nation within a nation. It is not a town or a landmark
located in Italy. It has it's own government and it's own budget.
So saying that the Vatican has a $300 million budget and suggesting
that the "Catholic Church" alone has somehow "made" this money is not
accurate. The contributions to the church do in fact generate vast
amounts of money, but there are also other industries mostley related
to real esatate, investments and tourism.
Here is the official description of the income sources for The Holy See:
"This unique, noncommercial economy is supported financially by an
annual contribution from Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the world,
as well as by special collections (known as Peter's Pence); the sale
of postage stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos; fees for
admission to museums; and the sale of publications. Investments and
real estate income also account for a sizable portion of revenue. The
incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of
counterparts who work in the city of Rome."
It may be hard to believe, but I hope this clears it up.