Spanish Priests Asked to Tithe

Bishops Call Gesture Act of Solidarity

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MADRID, Spain, APRIL 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The priests of Spain are being asked to give up a little something extra this Holy Week: 10% of their salary.



Bishop Ángel Rubio Castro of Segovia made the request Monday to some 120 priests of his diocese, suggesting they donate a part of their May salary to the local Caritas chapter. He said the gesture would be "a mark of charity which the Lord demands of us in the celebration of the Eucharist."

The bishop also explained that the global economic downturn has left many unemployed, and needing assistance. It is predicted that the number of unemployed in Spain will reach 4 million by the end of 2009.

The newspaper El Adelantado de Segovia reported the suggestion has been received positively by the diocesan priests.

Diocesan priests in Spain receive between €600 ($789) to €800 ($1,052) a month, while bishops receive around €900 ($1,184).

Archbishop Francisco Pérez González of Pamplona and Tudela, and Bishop Francisco Cerro Chaves of Coria-Caceres, made similar suggestions to the priests in their dioceses.