Text of California Bishop Promoting Tithing

This is the summary of the ecumenical council speech (Nov. 9) of Bishop Floyd L. Begin of Oakland, Calif., as released by the council press office bulletin.

For the solution of the problem of poverty in the world we have within our reach an economic system which is really of divine institution. Tithing was established by God Himself in the Old Testament and from this obligation none was excepted. Even the poor were under obligation to provide the first fruits of their fields and of their flocks. We have the poor with us always, not because means of livelihood are wanting, but because they are not properly distributed.

Tithing was approved by Our Lord although He condemned the injustice of the system as practiced by the Pharisees. The practice was very much in vogue in the Church for centuries. Even now the ritual for the consecration of a church contains an eloquent exhortation addressed by the consecrating pontiff to the surrounding faithful urging them to give tithes and other offerings.

The practice of tithing will increase the spirit of penance and the abnegation of the material, develop a host of Christian virtues and teach a right appreciation of material things. It also leads to a new insight into spiritual values.

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