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.