By Mike James

Dear Friends,

Last week Friday Pope Francis preached a challenging homily at Santa Martae  on the Gospel reading  on the Cleansing of the Temple “Idolatry of Money in the Church” and the abuse of payments for the administration of sacraments and I based by my article in this week’s Catholic Standard used as an editorial on the homily.

I make the following comment in the article

As far as I am aware, no bishop or priest in the AEC region of the Caribbean requires payment for baptisms, marriages or funerals or for celebrating Masses for the intentions of any person. All offerings are strictly voluntary.”

But I report in contrast 

Sadly however, simony is  still practised by some priests who refuse to “book” a Mass if the full stipend is not offered. At one large, well-supported  church in Latin America current printed and public requirements for a Baptism stipulate that“ in order to confirm a baptismal booking the payment of 50% of the contribution is required, and the full payment  should be made 15 days before the celebration of the sacrament. YOU ARE REMINDED THAT ADVANCES ARE NOT REFUNDABLE”

Francis concludes his homily

the core of corruption is precisely an idolatry, of having sold one’s soul to the god of money, to the god of power”

Attached is a copy of the Catholic Standard Editorial

See also Vatican News summary of the Homily

In the Joy of the Gospel



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