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Old 09-15-2011, 08:27 AM   #1
Arkitech
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Default What do you think the net worth of the Catholic church might be?

This was inspired by a piece on the The History Channel. Basically the show was about the dark ages, tracing the fall of Rome into later centuries. Remarkably the one constant through the centuries was the presence of the church, they were *incredibly* wealthy back then, even by today's standards. So I would imagine by now the TRC is probably worth trillions and trillions if not more.

There is no company, organization or group that has been around as long as the TRC. They likely have billions of assets in just items considered relics. Paintings, statues, valuable books and documents, historical texts, ancient currency (gold, silver) precious gems (diamonds, rubies, etc.). Then there's the real estate holdings, ancient buildings on likely every continent of the planet. Acres and acres of fertile, producing land.

I found this little article from google

THE VATICAN BILLIONS by Avro Manhattan.

This information was published 10 years ago, and the figures are probably even more startling today.

"The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.

"In a statement published in connection with a bond prospectus, the Boston archdiocese listed its assets at Six Hundred and Thirty-five Million ($635,891,004), which is 9.9 times its liabilities. This leaves a net worth of Five Hundred and Seventy-one million dollars ($571,704,953). It is not difficult to discover the truly astonishing wealth of the church, once we add the riches of the twenty-eight archdioceses and 122 dioceses of the U.S.A., some of which are even wealthier than that of Boston.




Not sure why I never considered this before that History Channel special. That is major wealth.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:36 AM   #2
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The Catholic Church is the most successful pyramid scheme in the history of the world.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:40 AM   #3
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They are wealthy, particularly in urban land holdings, but...

The corporate holdings listed above are likely to be found in the employee pension funds for school teachers, hospital workers, etc. not a big slush fund.

During the reformation a good deal of the medieval wealth of the Church was confiscated in the affected countries. Subsequent revolutions in France and eastern Europe also confiscated wealth.

The art and building holdings are both wealth and a liability. There is no fee to view the Vatican or most cathedrals yet the upkeep costs on these buildings is astronomical. So yes there is great wealth there but not easily converted to cash.

Side note: The surest way to set eyes a rolling and bring out the skeptics is to mention Rothschilds. It sends the "conspiracy nut" flag up the pole.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:43 AM   #4
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The Catholic Church is the most successful pyramid scheme in the history of the world.

It's not really a pyramid scheme. It's just a bunch of fools voluntarily giving up huge chunks of money. Think about it... if you are catholic you are pretty much required to tithe (give 10% of your income). You figure they get this from not just millions of people in the US, but millions of people all over the world.

I wouldn't be surprised if they bring in more money from tithing than most countries do from taxes.

At least with other more local churches, your donations are directly benefiting the community and not being shipped off to the vatican to pay for lawsuits and extravogant buildings.

edit: A quick google search shows 1.2 billion people in the world are catholics. That's 1 in 5 people. If 1 in 5 people in the entire world are giving 10% of their income to the vatican, that means theoretically the vatican controls 2% of the entire wealth on the planet, which I would imagine is a crazy amount of money.

Last edited by bignateyk; 09-15-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:49 AM   #5
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At least with other more local churches, your donations are directly benefiting the community and not being shipped off to the vatican to pay for lawsuits and extravogant buildings.
Actually tithing is not required but of course encouraged. Unlike say the Mormons where you tithe or you're out. Donations for the Vatican/Pope are a separate annual collection (called Peter's Pence IIRC) from the regular collections for the local dioceses which are the weekly pass the plate.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:54 AM   #6
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Actually tithing is not required but of course encouraged. Unlike say the Mormons where you tithe or you're out. Donations for the Vatican/Pope are a separate annual collection (called Peter's Pence IIRC) from the regular collections for the local dioceses which are the weekly pass the plate.
I dunno.. they might make it seem "optional", but I don't think it's as optional as it might seem. A lot of my relatives are catholic, and one of them tried to get married within the catholic church one time and they pretty much wouldn't let him because he hadn't been a perfect "tither".
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:56 AM   #7
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As someone who actually goes to a catholic church, I'd say the amount the average person gives is closer to 1%, not 10%. Even 1% is a stretch. Sure, some give 10%, but most give 0% to the church.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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As someone who actually goes to a catholic church, I'd say the amount the average person gives is closer to 1%, not 10%. Even 1% is a stretch. Sure, some give 10%, but most give 0% to the church.

Interesting. Most of the catholics I know are pretty religious about tithing. Not to mention the crazy expensive catholic schools they send their kids to.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bignateyk View Post
It's not really a pyramid scheme. It's just a bunch of fools voluntarily giving up huge chunks of money. Think about it... if you are catholic you are pretty much required to tithe (give 10% of your income). You figure they get this from not just millions of people in the US, but millions of people all over the world.

I wouldn't be surprised if they bring in more money from tithing than most countries do from taxes.

At least with other more local churches, your donations are directly benefiting the community and not being shipped off to the vatican to pay for lawsuits and extravogant buildings.

edit: A quick google search shows 1.2 billion people in the world are catholics. That's 1 in 5 people. If 1 in 5 people in the entire world are giving 10% of their income to the vatican, that means theoretically the vatican controls 2% of the entire wealth on the planet, which I would imagine is a crazy amount of money.

I'd be willing to be that only about 10% actually tithe.

But yes, the RCC has a lot of money and spend it on stupid shit. "You know what would help us worship better? Solid gold pews!"
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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i read once that it is listed as having more money then many countries. teh amount of wealth it has was staggering.

but most of that was in land ownership.

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I'd be willing to be that only about 10% actually tithe.

But yes, the RCC has a lot of money and spend it on stupid shit. "You know what would help us worship better? Solid gold pews!"
i love going to look at old church's. BUT some of the shit they have built is amazing. not in how nice it looks or design. but in teh amount of money spent on shit that has no real thought behind it.

one thing i have noticed. small church's are run down and in need of repair. they reley on donations and charity to keep going. When you get in higher ranking churches the amount of money blown on something like the pews could fund a church in the country.

Last edited by waggy; 09-15-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:01 AM   #11
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about tree fiddy
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #12
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Interesting. Most of the catholics I know are pretty religious about tithing. Not to mention the crazy expensive catholic schools they send their kids to.
I think this is more of a regional thing. The Bible Belt might have a higher % of people who tithe at all than someone in say San Francisco.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:04 AM   #13
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I dunno.. they might make it seem "optional", but I don't think it's as optional as it might seem. A lot of my relatives are catholic, and one of them tried to get married within the catholic church one time and they pretty much wouldn't let him because he hadn't been a perfect "tither".
Bunch of crap. I hate when people post junk about other religions they have zero knowledge on. We give because we want to give, you can not give as well. I like community, i enjoy the people who go to church and i enjoy helping children learn more about the faith.

Cry me a river and scream about how much we are killing the world because we're the nutjobs
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:04 AM   #14
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Some figures: In Germany federal states do the collecting for some major registered Churches. Roman Catholic church receives about 4 Billion EUR (4*10^9) a year, from about 25 Million members. Not counting donations.

5-15% of expenses are charitable, the bulk is personnel costs.

If income equals interest rate (for the sake of a rough estimate), net worth is very roughly the size of 100 Billion € (ExxonMobil 350 G$).

Last edited by know of fence; 09-15-2011 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:12 AM   #15
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It's easily the richest organization in the world, and the pope is the most influential person in the world.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:26 AM   #16
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The catholic church holds many of the worlds greastest artwork from many of the worlds greatest artist. They have thousands of painting and sculptures who on the open market would sell for atleast a million dollar each. What is funny is they claim the value of all of this at 1 Euro Cent. When is reality the value of the collection is in the billions.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:29 AM   #17
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I dunno.. they might make it seem "optional", but I don't think it's as optional as it might seem. A lot of my relatives are catholic, and one of them tried to get married within the catholic church one time and they pretty much wouldn't let him because he hadn't been a perfect "tither".
i suspect he was using that as a excuse. tithing is something that is personal between you and god. not you and the church. I have never heard of ANY church refusing to do anything because of tithing.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:29 AM   #18
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It's easily the richest organization in the world, and the pope is the most influential person in the world.
Yet it can't stop me from using condoms and having premarital sex.

HUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUAH

Disclaimer: lapsed Catholic here
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #19
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if you are catholic you are pretty much required to tithe (give 10% of your income).
you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm a life long catholic, whole family is catholic, and there's no pressure to tithe 10% or anything. They just pass out the collection baskets and people put in what they are comfortable with.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:59 AM   #20
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you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm a life long catholic, whole family is catholic, and there's no pressure to tithe 10% or anything. They just pass out the collection baskets and people put in what they are comfortable with.
this.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:20 AM   #21
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But the bible says to give 10%. Are you not following the words of the bible?
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #22
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It does own a couple large buildings and old paintings.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:35 PM   #23
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If I tried to convince you that if you give me land, precious metals/jewels/art, money and that the more you give the greater your chance of getting to a fairytale afterlife you'd tell me I'm nuts and that I'm a swindler. Yet, that is exactly what the catholic church tells people.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:38 PM   #24
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Cry me a river and scream about how much we are killing the world because we're the nutjobs
We would but this isn't P&N.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:09 PM   #25
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you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm a life long catholic, whole family is catholic, and there's no pressure to tithe 10% or anything. They just pass out the collection baskets and people put in what they are comfortable with.
Why would he do that when facts will nullify his complaints?

You must be new to ATOT, using facts isn't necessary. You merely need a couple of other blithering idiots to agree and you are gtg.

The anti-religious section of ATOT is worse than the biggest bible thumper I've ever encountered. They are just as disinterested in having their beliefs questioned and will just make up things to support their arguments.
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