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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. When I go to Holy Mass on Sunday, it does not matter if I use the front door or the side door of the Church, both have a panhandler who is asking for money before and after the Mass. At times, they stand on the steps of the Church, blocking your way when you are leaving the Church. They keep coming back because some members of the Church keep on giving them money.

When the police was asked to intervene and to tell them to move on, the police indicated that you must telephone their office everytime the panhandlers are present. That solution is only good for those who own a cell phone and who are not doing anything about it.

My question is, "Do Catholics have a Christian obligation to support panhandlers?"

A. 1. Catholics have no obligation whatsoever to support panhandlers in the form of giving them money when they stay at the doors of the Church. Your Christian obligation is first to support the Church and secondly to give to reputable charities if your financial situation permit you to do so.

Most panhandlers ask for money in order to support their addiction(s). By supporting panhandlers, you are participating in their sin(s) that have an impact on the local Church, the community, their families (shame), and the individual themselves who no longer have any self-respect.

Another example of participating in someone's sin is when you donate to a charity that supports abortion or terrorists. You have an obligation to stop supporting panhandlers, especially when there are community resources available to help these individuals.

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