Pope Francis in his homily today proclaimed,”That those who sought to pray at the Temple were scandalized by the corruption of the merchants.”
“When those who are in the Temple – be they priests, lay people, secretaries, […] become businessmen, the people are scandalized. Laity, have a role to play in informing their parish priest of things that would cause scandal to others. Speaking on the scandal of ‘doing business’. How often when we enter a church do we see – even today – do we see a price list hanging there ‘for baptism, blessings, Mass intentions.’And people are scandalized.” I remember one priest giving this advice, “Don’t charge them for funerals, but soak them for wedding.” Pope Francis said recently that annulments ought to be free.
Question of the day: Do you think it is a scandal for the Church to charge for the sacraments? Or is the phrase suggested donation simply a nice way to say this is how much it costs?
One of the reasons that we have seen a down turn in wedding is that to get married in a Church can cost lots of money. When you add up the 1000 dollars for the use of the Church building, 250 for the organist, 250 for the cantor, 200 dollars for the person helping make sure the marriage goes smoothly. 20 dollars for the 2 altar servers. And you tell the couple there is a suggested donation for the priest. It can all add up.
It is true that organists, cantors and the like have to make a living. Pope Francis is challenging the Church to find ways where we invite people to the sacraments without giving the appearance that we are charging for the sacraments. New solutions must be found.