St. Francis De Sales offered a 4,000 crown pension to Theodore Beza; cf. this question.

Jules Michelet, Priests, Women and Families p. 6:

This man, of so sweet a temper, did not always confine his exertions to words of peace and persuasion. His zeal for converting led him to make use of less honorable means, such as interest, money, place, authority, fear; he made the Duke of Savoy go from village to village and expel the remaining few who refused to abjure their faith.* Money, all-powerful in this poor country, seemed to him so irresistible as an argument, that he went to Geneva to try and buy over old Theodore Beza, by offering him a pension of four thousand crowns from the Pope.

Can financial incentives be used to make converts?

  • 2
    Remember that the answer to that question clarified that this was a much more nuanced case than simply paying someone to enter the Catholic Church. There was suspicion that the Protestant Church had a hold on Beza because it paid his salary, and that this might give him pause for entering the Catholic Church he might otherwise not have had.
    – jaredad7
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


What St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in Summa Theologica II-II q. 189 a. 9 co. regarding inducing others into the religious life can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to making converts:

[To] persuade another simoniacally to enter religion, by giving him presents […] is forbidden […]. But this does not apply to the case where one provides a poor person with necessaries by educating him in the world for the religious life; or when without any compact one gives a person little presents for the sake of good fellowship.

Thus, if the financial incentives have no contracts attached to them, they are not simony but free gifts.

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