Slovak Parish Priest Salaries 100 years ago
- There was state support in older days. My grandfather (a Lutheran minister
in Ratzersdorf, today Raca), received in the 1920s-30s the Congrua in
addition to the salary collected by the local parish.
Here is from the New Advent Encyclopedia of 1911
"In 1909, after long negotiations, the question of the equalization of
clerical salaries was finally settled (Art. XIII of 1909). The principal
provisions of this law fix the salary of pastors of recognized religions at
1600 Kronen ($320) with a minimum of 800 Kronen ($160); that of curates and
assistant pastors at 1000 Kronen ($200), with a minimum of 800 Kronen
($160); the value of I board and lodging is included in the salary of a
curate or assistant, and this is reckoned at 500 Kronen ($100). In order to
meet the expenses of the equalization, the higher ecclesiastics of the
Catholic Church are annually taxed to the amount of 700,000 Kronen
($140,000), and the Hungarian fund for religion to the amount of 1,200,000
Kronen ($240,000). Ecclesiastical affairs are under the control of the
Hungarian Ministry of Education and Public Worship, in which a separate
department, having one of the higher church dignitaries at its head, has
been formed. The appointment of bishops, canons, abbots, etc. belongs to the
king and follows upon the presentation of the names, with ministerial
approval, by the minister of education and public worship. The bishops enter
upon their office, take their seats in the House of Magnates, and receive
their revenues without awaiting the papal confirmation. A royal edict of
1870 revived the old royal jus placeti and ordained that only after
receiving royal approval could decisions, constitutions, and decrees of
councils and popes be promulgated in Hungary. It should also be mentioned
that the Bull "Ne Temere", recently issued by the Holy See in regard to
mixed marriages, was not enforced in Hungary, owing to the representations
of the Hungarian episcopate, but the provisions of the Constitution
"Provida", issued for Germany in the same matter, 18 January, 1906, were
also extended to Hungary."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Mojher" <mgmojher@...>
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 5:37 PM
Subject: [S-R] Slovak Parish Priest:Questions Answered
> A little while back there was a discussion about parish priests in
Slovakia. Most of the discussion was wondering how it was in the past.
> I wrote my cousin, Father Jozef Dronzek, who is the Dekan of the
Trebisov Cathedral some questions. I asked if he knew how it would have been
100 years ago.
> Here are the questions and his answers.
> In the villages are the expenses of the parish paid for by the
parishioners? Does the Dioceses contribute? Answer: "There is no support
from (the) Archbishop. Villagers pay everything themselves. As I know and
remember it was always so."
> What of the priest's salary, who pays it? Answer: "Priest gets
money from (the) State. It is approximately 8,000 Sk (a month). Which means
$230. Salary of (the) priest doesn't depend on (the) number of parish
members. Ideal is (the priest) having three villages."
> Does the priest charge for services and get to keep the money? Answer:
"Services are not paid. It is a gift according to individual. Mostly nobody
pays. And if, its not enough."
> Who decides if a priest goes to or leaves a parish? Answer: "Only
(the) Archbishop decides where and when the priest is leaving or moving."
> How long does a priest get assigned to a parish? Answer: "Parish
priest stays in parish 10 years."
> I would say the only thing that has changed from a hundred years ago
is the priest's salary being paid by the government. From the Office of
Statistics the average monthly salary in Slovakia is 16,816 Sk / $560. A
priest makes just over 40% of that. From what Jozef said about "Mostly
nobody pays" for services, I can see why parish priests, like most of their
parishioners, must be self-sufficient as possible. As I saw on my last trip
parish priests tend gardens and raise animals for themselves.
> From my discussions with Jozef the biggest expense each month is
gasoline. If the ideal is for a priest to have three villages a car is a
necessity. Gasoline costs about $4.00 a gallon in Slovakia, or about $40 a
fill-up. It wouldn't be unreasonable to have one-third of a priest's salary
going towards gasoline a month. Which leaves them with about $150 a month to
live on or 27% of the average salary. So it appears Slovak priests live a
vow of poverty whether they want to or not.
> Michael Mojher
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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