Not to belabor connections with the CMAA’s forum, I did find this thread on which I’m in total agreement, sympathy, etc. with the viewpoints expressed there. Regarding the need to support a young family, this comment:
Usually priests have no clue about this.
To which this reply came in:
I am not sure they have no clue. Rather, they prefer think they are more the beggar than anyone else.
True, I’d say.
Virtually all of my colleagues have been single persons, vowed religious, married persons with a spouse being the primary breadwinner. And this has mostly been in the “enlightened” Midwest.
One priest with whom I worked once complained that I was the highest-paid staff person. At the moment, I couldn’t think of a response. Later, it occurred to me that I had served in ministry longer than anyone on staff, including him–it was his own bishop’s standards that were applied. I could also have said it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to be paid more than anyone else. I could have recommended he give everybody else raises to top my salary. It’s probably just as well I didn’t think of any of those options at the moment. Continuing employment is usually a better commodity than humor, let alone sarcasm.
For any “more-the-beggar” clergy reading out there, read this: your most generous parishioners are your employees. We contribute more than most anyone short of millionaire donors. And rarely do we give you the kind of stick that your 1% will about how big the print on their names on the donor plaque must be, and so on. That CMAA organist who earns one-third AGO scale? Stick that 67% tithe and see if the upper crust can match it. I dare you.