According to some Catholic friends, a Catholic priest is not supposed to own any belongings and they're not supposed to get paid. They are to be "married to the church" in that sense.

Is there an official Catholic doctrine that states this or something like it?


1 Answer 1


Parish priests do not take a vow of poverty and thus may possess a bank account and have belongings. They also receive a stipend from the parishes they work in. I do not know how much the average stipend is, but I do not think that it is very much. They also receive a Mass stipend for offering the Mass for a particular intention.

Religious priest from a particular Religious Order do make vows of Poverty and may not possess any belongings. They simply have the use of various things, like a car.

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    "They also receive a Mass stipend for offering the Mass for a particular intention." By the diocese? I thought parishioners just donated to have a Mass offered for a particular intentions, not that they have to.
    – Geremia
    Feb 15, 2016 at 17:07
  • @Geremia The “stipend” here refers to the monetary offering given by one of the faithful that accompanies a request for Mass to be celebrated for an intention. Canon Law lays down strict rules, so that priests do not accumulate donations inappropriately. Feb 15, 2016 at 20:28
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    @KenGraham You might also mention that priests who work in a parish, as a chaplain, as a professor, as a curial official, or in some other similar capacity all receive a salary. The difference is that diocesan priests may keep the salary (after paying taxes, of course), whereas religious priests typically donate the salary directly to their religious community. Feb 15, 2016 at 20:30

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