Are we obligated to tithe today?

Q. The word “tithe” literally means “ten percent.” When the Scripture says we must give back to God a tithe of our income, is that just an Old Testament commandment no longer binding upon Christians?

A. The Church holds as one of her precepts (commandments): “You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.” According to the Catechism, this means that “the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability” (CCC 2043). In addition, the Church has always insisted that almsgiving (giving to those in need) is a fundamental Christian responsibility.

Beyond this general obligation, the Church as a whole formally offers no detailed rules. The Archdiocese of Atlanta suggests that 5% go to the local parish, 1% to the archdiocese, and 4% to charitable causes, for a total 10% of our income given to God as a tithe.