Should the church sell gold to fund education for the poor?

Our Facebook friends had their say
Should the Catholic Church be selling its gold in order to help to pay for the education of some of its poorest followers?
We recently posted a story from the Irish Times onto our social media sites in which a priest from Limerick had urged the church to do just that.
Fr Tony O’Riordan’s parish is in one of the poorest parts of Limerick. The local school has recently lost funding for a teaching post, which will leave infant classes spilling over to 30+ small children per classroom.
Should the church sell its gold to pay for education for children in a poor parish?
Father O’Riordan called on Ireland’s churches to sell their unused gold in order to fund the teaching post.
The priest from Moyross parish had said that luxury goods should be sold to ‘help pay for an essential good’.
We asked our friends on Ireland Calling’s social media pages for their thoughts on Father O’Riordan’s idea.
It prompted an interesting debate with some people thinking it was the right thing for the church to do, while others thought it was the responsibility of the government.
Some good points were raised, here are what people said about both sides of the argument

In favour of selling the gold

Margaret Willison: Absolutely, they should be focusing on charity works not collecting idols to worship. Surely that’s what churches should be about, helping those in need.
Colette Martin Collopy Bell: Definitely, have you seen the Vatican’s repugnant wealth while countries starve?
Janet Cezeaux Busby: Absolutely. This priest’s heart is in the right place. If the church sold most all of their treasurers and helped the poor, there would be no more poor.
Maureen Dunning: Absolutely! This have always been an issue for me. Church is always asking us to give more and more and all I can see is the gold, and art and so on….
M Lenore Tomlinson: Absolutely. There is no place in a Christian life for the hoarding of wealth. Selling the gold to further education for children is a worthwhile investment.

Against selling the gold

Pamela A. McIlhargey: No….Especially if it’s been given as a gift to the Church. I’m sure there are better avenues to raise money than selling sacred items. Like Bingo or a Raffle. According to our local Diocese the Nun we had that Raffled off old donated church items like statues, alters, candle sticks and the like had no business selling it and then donating the money.
Amy Goff: NO!!!!!! Temporary help. Ever hear of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Once the treasures are gone they’re gone.
Rich Jones: No…the gold represents the sacredness of the Liturgy which is far more important than social issues.
Mike Sandy: Very interesting. An excellent question. Most answers above say yes. I’m not sure. I’ll bet if they sold it all, it wouldn’t even make a dent in the problem.
Brenda Ann Holmes Narvanen: That’s a tough call to make. Let each Priest be guided by the Spirit of The Lord.

Other comments

Patty Gillespie Walter: They should be giving it to all of the boys they molested. ..there are thousands in Ireland alone….not counting all the other Churches around the world including the USA.
Melanie Stephanopoulos Sheehan: FINALLY A LOGICAL PRIEST!!! AMEN FATHER
Steve McGovern: Why not? Rome is the wealthiest entity in the world! And all we hear is sacrifice! Physician, heal thyself!!
Bobby Young: If they don’t, it’s going to look like someone’s greedy isn’t it.well we will see and remember what they do is there business, not anyone else. That’s what the communist who have them do!
Jackie Haskins Smith: If the church offer free education to its parishioners, everyone would be winners.
Beth Murphy- Hegyi: Do you really need all that gold? Food and housing for the needy would be much more charitable.
Brian JC Kneeland: did Jesus need gold to celebrate the first Eucharist? I think not!
Audrey Adams: You cannot eat gold, and it cannot provide warmth and safety.
The question has certainly stirred up a lot of strong opinions. To join in the conversation click through to our Facebook page