Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 29, 1956

"Priest Needed"

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

Any number of times, we have been told by Roman Catholic friends, how their "Father" the priest of their particular 'parish,' devotes his time and his very existence, to the service of his calling . . . . and that he receives practically nothing in monetary pay . . . . at least a very small stipend, compared to the Mon-Catholic clergy.'

In the past, I have been prone to accept this explanation, and therefore have looked upon the Catholic priest as one who, though grossly in error, was at least one who had the courage of his convictions to actually 'sacrifice' his own material welfare in behalf of his flock. Now, however, an 'ad' that has recently appeared in two large Roman Catholic publications, has enlightened me as to the type of 'sacrifice' that appears to be common among the Catholic priesthood.

The following, was placed in the April 13, 1956, issue of the St. Louis Register, and also in the April 22, 1956, edition of Our Sunday Visitor. Both of these publications accurately reflect the Roman Catholic position on the issue they deal with. We copy the 'ad' in full, as follows:

"Priest Needed"

"Because of inability to find replacement here to give assistants a well deserved vacation, pastor in Southern part of Louisiana (not far from New Orleans) is looking for a priest in good standing who can say Mass daily, help hear Confessions and take care of two Masses on Sundays. Compensation will amount to travel expenses back and forth, plus room, board, laundry expenses and $250.00 a month including Mass stipends. Duration at least two months — either May and June, or June and July, or a combination thereof. If applicant can stay 3 months or longer, so much the better. Write the Pastor of Sacred Heart Church, P. O. Box 632, Morgan City, Louisiana."

Really, fellows, this looks like a pretty good thing ... room, board, laundry and travel PLUS two-hundred and fifty in cash per month. This scribe knows quite a number of gospel preachers who receive LESS than the above... yet, they don't extol the virtues of their self-sacrifice, at least the ones I know about, do not.

Did you notice the reference to Mass stipends in the 'ad' Well, here's what the 'Mass stipend' really is. You'll find it listed under the heading "Sale of Masses" in the Catholic Dictionary, by Attwater, page 446:

"SALE OF MASSES. To buy or sell or otherwise traffic in the celebration of Mass is a sin of simony. Nevertheless, an offering of money or goods may be made to and accepted by a priest who undertakes to offer the Sacrifice for a specific intention. Such stipends take the place of the offerings of bread, wine, candles, etc., made in primitive times by the congregation at every Mass for use at the altar and what remained over for the priest. But it must be clearly understood that this is not meant to be, nor in fact is regarded as, the price of a Mass, but as a contribution for the priest's support or an alms."

Now, please notice the extremely fine line that has been drawn.... the faithful Catholic cannot BUY a Mass from the priest, nor can the priest SELL a Mass, but it's just dandy if you want to 'contribute' something, so the priest can 'accept' it! Of course, we wouldn't have thought about charging or accusing the priests of engaging in the buying and selling of Masses. However, it is interesting that the 'Pastor' of the little Louisiana parish saw fit to INCLUDE the MASS STIPENDS in the $250 per month. It must amount to considerable traffic, financial traffic, that is, for it to be made a specific item in the remuneration of a priest.


Actually, all this foolishness, would be avoided if the Roman Church would use the New Testament as a pattern to follow in taking the gospel of Christ to the world. You can't find the expression 'Mass' in the New Testament... anymore than the Catholic Church is mentioned therein.

The Apostle Peter wrote that the Lord's divine power "has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . . ." (2 Peter 11:3.) Obviously since Christ had nothing to say or teach concerning anything that even faintly resembles the Roman Church, it cannot pertain to eternal life or godliness.