Demanding tithe during COVID-19 “unthinkable” – Cardinal Turkson 

It is unacceptable for churches to squeeze money from members in COVID-19 times, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson has said.

He holds the view that the church should be supporting members at a time people are experiencing the adverse effect of the pandemic and not vice-versa.

The pandemic has resulted in thousands of job losses with many businesses shutting completely or downsizing.

This was worse during the imposition of a lockdown and restriction on public gathering including suspension of church meetings.

As services moved online, many churches devised online means of tithing and offertory collection.

But Cardinal Turkson holds the view that church leaders should desist from asking members to squeeze water out of stone.

“I heard that there were some pastors who were inviting members to send their tithe by post or something. This for me is unthinkable,” he said in an interview on Asaase FM’s Sunday Night.

He said God’s work is “is not a money-extortion business” and church leaders should cease excessive financial demands.

He was of the view that people go to church to worship and seek God and not to be tithed. He is open to support pastors and churches by Christians but should voluntarily.

Cardinal Turkson is one of 219 cardinals across the globe and a small elite from Africa serving at the Vatican, a small independent city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy.

One of the big sources of revenue for the church over 1.2billion-membership Catholic Church is the tourist attraction at the small headquarters.

But the church had to adjust as they also took a hit due to the COVID-19 which gripped Italy, which became the epicentre of the infection in Europe at one time.

No Cardinal at the Vatican died of the pathogen but 12 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among residents and employees at the Holy See.

COVID-19 not a plague from God

With the infection claiming over one million lives globally, some critics have wondered whether it was not a plague from God.

The Bible chronicles several instances of God’s judgement on different people via pestilence.

But Cardinal Turkson insists that the COVID-19 pandemic “is not a castigation or plague from God”.

Cardinal Turkson is overseeing a mandate which will confront the challenges the world is facing in battling the coronavirus pandemic and what it will inevitably face in its aftermath.


  1. Vincent Setsoafia says

    Cardinal Turkson is wrong. I do not expect Pastors to demand members to fulfill financial obligations at all costs. But paying of tithes is not conditional. Once you earn, you must give God, His 10%. Period. Where is your faith? God would not change his spiritual principle. Then we should as well stop missions work because there is COVID-19. Cardinal Turkson should get serious. Apostle Paul says we should give offerings according to proposition we have and not what we do not have.
    Let’s read the Bible well, and encourage faith in our congregants. Heb 11: 1; 6.
    Rev. Prof. Lt Col. Vincent Setsoafia.

  2. Anonymous says

    Well said. My exact thoughts.

  3. Anonymous says

    I think you did not get the thought clear. He did say people are not expected pay thites. And of course thites contribution form part christian offering. But we practice spirituality with common sense. Blind faith will lead you astray. During the pandemic, many people were stuck home and their source of income were no more. They were managing with the little they had to keep their family. Should they spend the little on them with thite and suffer hunger and thirst, while the pastors enjoy with such thites during the pandemic? If the church is not there, will the thite be paid? And I think thite is not compulsory. If it is compulsory then many pastors and members will be deprived of heaven. Because both the pastor and other members are all members of the church.

  4. Anonymous says

    Cardinal, please payment of tithes and offerings are voluntary. Church workers were paid during the lockdown. Payment on line is the new normal. If you don’t believe in tithes please tell us. People who earn income even during wartime should pay tithes. We demand more explanation from you Sir

  5. Anonymous says

    Cardinal, please payment of tithes and offerings are voluntary. People who earn income even during wartime should pay tithes. We demand more explanation from you Sir

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