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Here is a paradox for you: the Church, as organisation, is one of the richest poor organisations in the world. At least this is how I see it. Why? Well, it owns all of those properties, but it has to pay for their upkeep. All those basilicas, monasteries, houses – all that needs heating, painting, electricity, whatever. Nuns and priests need to eat and need to get some (uniform) clothes. But – and here is the first paradox – the Church cannot rent churches in order to make money. All it can really rent are some unused grounds for agriculture. But that does not pay much, at least not in relation to what Church needs. A proof of this can be seen in recent austerity measures in Vatican (see for example here and here). People (volunteers…) are asked to work there for free.

Church makes money from its faithful. Some countries (such as Austria) collect tax for your declared religion, but you can declare yourself an atheist and no tax will be collected – this happens more and more often, especially after stories of child abuse and because of the economic situation. The rest is made from mass collections and donations – in other words, the faith brings profit. The greater the faith, the more money is made. Another paradox… And it is faith which makes people work for free for the pope.

If church wants to stay afloat, it will need to better itself – the greatest paradox of all is that the devil of cash money will possibly make the church more saintly… Recently one of the bishops in Germany was “resigned” after his lavish spending on stuff Church should not really need (see here). A step (late) in the right direction, as I am sure it would bring more in the long run if the same money would be spent on really worthy cause.