Had they devoted the same number of years to the study of law or medicine they would be immeasurably better off, have more time to themselves, and would not have had to renounce wife, home, and children, and much else that men so love. Christ promised that if they labored for the spiritual well-being of souls, giving their very lives to the work, the faithful would give a portion of their earnings towards their support. Lk. X., 7. I. Cor. IX., 13. St. Jerome wrote in the 4th century, “Priests have a right to be supported and there will always be those ready to support them, not as beggars, but as those more worthy than themselves, whom it is their honor and glory to support.” The Priest keeps himself in a state in keeping with his position according to the general standard of living prevailing in the society around him. And if you despise him for that, there are hundreds who would despise him were he shabby and unkempt. This too would be the shame of Catholics, and no Priest has the right to cast a reflection upon the generosity of parishioners. Whatever is over from necessary expenses, the Priest usually devotes to the good of the Church or the relieving of the poor. And the poor know that the Priest is the most ready of all men to give to them. In any case the fat income and luxury are as a rule mere chimeras. The vast majority of Priests are saintly men, as poor and detached in spirit as many who have entered Religious Orders, actually taking the vow of poverty. I am not a secular Priest trying to justify myself. I am a member of a Religious Order who would like to be as holy as many a secular Priest I know.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty
The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections
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