Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 9, 1956

Peter's Pence ... Unknown To The Apostle Peter

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri


The sketch accompanying this treatise was originally published in Harper's Weekly, May 29, 1875. At that time, Harper's Weekly was not in the least afraid of printing and publishing the truth about ANY organization or group whose interests were not in harmony with the interests of the United States of America. However, in this modern age, the secular publications are too sensitive to the fluctuation of the 'all-mighty dollar,' and therefore, generally, avoid publishing material, even though true, which would in any way diminish the flow of dollars into their coffers. Even so, it was only eighty years ago, in this nation, that nationally known and circulated secular magazines unhesitatingly published stories and sketches dealing with FACTS that TODAY would be completely ignored .... hushed-up!

Peter's Pence .... What Is It?

Just as some labor unions have 'war funds' . . . . financial resources set aside for the purpose of prosecuting membership campaigns among new industries, or to assist the membership while on strike . . . . similarly, it appears, that Peter's Pence serves a like purpose in the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly, anytime that 'Church funds' are invested in the financial securities of any given nation, that church cannot honestly lay claim to NOT being involved in POLITICAL matters.

PETER'S PENCE: "Voluntary contributions of any amount made by Catholics in all parts of the world towards the expenses of the Holy See. It is transmitted by the local bishops and is a considerable source of income, being administered by a special commission of cardinals. The name originated in the early middle ages for a tax of a penny on every household." (Page 381, A Catholic Dictionary, by Attwater.)

In the year 1534, the English Parliament abolished the practice of English citizens paying Peter's pence. However, it was again revived in the year 1849, during the exile of Pope Pius IX at Gaeta, and again after the seizure of the larger portion of the Papal States in 1860. The indignation of the Papal followers was such, that after the Pope was relieved of the income from the seized Papal States, they, resumed contributions in money towards the operating expenses of the 'Holy See.' In France it is called "denier de Saint Pierre," and in England "Peter pence," in imitation of the old tribute, and is still continued in many countries. (See A Catholic Dictionary, by Addis, Arnold and Scannell.)