San Diego parishioners: “no Catholicism equals no cash”

Group protesting Bishop McElroy is encouraging deposit of "Athanasian Currency" in collection baskets on April 30

Athanasian currency. From “The 53 in the bill shown above represents the 53 Hail Marys in the Rosary I will pray in the novena I have started for [McElroy’s] intentions. The 9 represents the number of days of my novena to St. Athanasius on [McElroy’s] behalf. The 3 represents the Holy Trinity, whom I am calling upon to guide [McElroy] in the name of the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. Amen.”

The following is from the text of an email sent to CalCatholic on April 5, 2017:

Dear Fellow Catholics,

Do you get frustrated and feel somewhat powerless when your Bishop says or does something contrary to Church doctrine?

A group of my Catholic friends and I decided it is time to send a message in a way that will bring a stop to this silliness, at least in the Diocese of San Diego. Our Bishop McElroy has decided it is more important for him to encourage political disruption (in support of Obamacare, which enforces anti-Catholic provisions) than it is to support Catholic theology in the public square.

Bishop McElroy certainly needs our prayers. But prayer without action is not enough. We need to hold him accountable for his actions. We can do this through the collection box. We have created Athanasian Currency to send a strong message that we won’t support the bishop when he strays from Catholic doctrine.  The message is… “No Doctrine equals No Dollars.” Together we will send a powerful message.

Too often, Catholics get frustrated because they withhold their donations without the necessary message, so their protest ends up not meaning much. Or they send a letter to the bishop that is ignored and lacks clout.

This initiative— launched in the Spirit of St. Athanasius—– will send a proper message to the bishop that he can’t ignore.

Please visit the website for a full explanation of the Athanasian initiative. Then join us in sending a very powerful message to Bishop McElroy on April 30, 2017, which is the Sunday prior to the May 2nd feast day of St. Athanasius. From the website, print your own Athanasian Currency to place in the collection box on April 30th instead of your usual donation.

Athanasian currency contains a brief letter to the Bishop explaining how you are going to support Bishop McElroy through prayer rather than cash. In other words, you’re respectfully saying, “No Catholicism equals No Cash.” You can sign the letter if you choose or place it in the collection box unsigned. Either way, think of the potential impact your action will have!

Here is the link:

Please visit the web site and download your currency to place in the collection box on April 30th.


  1. Former Altar Boy says:

    Excellent idea. Support parishes that actually teach the True Faith in its entirety.

  2. Joel Fago says:

    Pray AND Protest!!

  3. Genius! Athanasian currency should be found in almost every collection basket throughout North America.

  4. Disgusted with California Bishops says:

    McElroy touts a fake magisterium. He’s a real bishop, alright, but his magisterium is fake.

  5. This a great idea. I hope it spreads accross the country in Dioceses where
    Catholicism is not observed.

  6. As a journalist I have had occasion to deal with the USCCB over a period of time. My feeling is that the American Catholic Church will never be dissuaded from acting in a way that is contrary to orthodoxy, hence this protest, though of great symbolic power, will probably be ineffective in changing Bishop McElroy’s mind.

  7. A very Catholic idea!

    As Faithful Catholics, we are obligated to refuse complicity with errant teaching by any priest, any bishop.

    Most of our bishop/shepherds have such bent croziers that they can not snag any sheep.

  8. You may be showing the Bishop that there arn’t as many “Traditional” Catholics in the Diocese as previously thought. Keep in mind that although the Diocese takes a hunk of the first collection , the majority of it goes to your Parish to keep the lights on, pay father’s salary etc. Unless you don’t like your parish, you’re sort of shooiong yourself in the foot.

    • I disagree. The purpose of this protest is to get the good Bishop’s attention. If there are only two or three of these documents in the collection baskets, then yes chances are the priest will toss them. But if there are dozens and dozens of these documents in the collection basket to where they impinge on the cash flow of the parish, AND this is repeated in parish after parish in the diocese, the local priests will complain to the bishop how his actions are hurting them. At some point, the bishop will need to react. Coupled with the Rosaries and novenas and other prayers being offered for the good bishop, the Holy Spirit is bound to touch his heart.

      • Oceangal says:

        I so agree with your analogy..Jesus himself turned the tables in disgust in the temple to make a point, to bring the focus back to God. Perhaps and most likely, Jesus is inspiring those to do some table turning!!
        Jesus also stated “Render to God what is God’s and to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s.”
        Bishop McElroy was out of line as a Catholic Bishop, and he most assuredly should be called on that.

  9. Idaho Pete says:

    I totally agree with this action because it is long, long, overdue that we, the laity, start holding the bishops accountable for what they do or do not do. Today it seems that in order to be a Catholic we must accept the bishops doing scandals or doing nothing or taking charge to correct, while Church scandal after scandal is never addressed by them. A lot of people will disagree but I would put a bug to the local press of this action as this would have the bishops really trembling.

    • Anonymous says:

      The bishops are not accountable to the laity. The bishops aren’t going to tremble. Though it should concern the bishops that people know the Catholic Faith so poorly and have such lack of Catholic virtues that they would support something like this.

  10. FrMichael says:

    Must be a blue moon tonight, because I agree with C&H. In every California diocese the parish gets to keep the large majority of the first collection. If you want to cripple your parish, do as is suggested. A more appropriate use of this Athanasian currency should be the annual diocesan assessment campaigns we all do.

    • One of the things I do is not give to the first collection but at the end of each quarter send in a check marked “special donation” So far it’s not been counted as income for our assessment.

    • Yes, a Blue Moon with green cheese, and I couldn’t agree more, Fr M, on the nose/face spite.

      That said, are you at liberty to say how one can channel alms to avoid the diocesan vig? I have in mind the building fund, flower offering, the school, maybe a picnic, or the doughnut mess. But if those cups runneth over (and one can only eat so many Eclairs), flowing to the general coffers, are they then susceptible to the juice?

      PS: I delight in snubbing CCHD, the Annual Appeal, Catholic Charities, IRS, etc. (Oops, did I say that last one out loud? Again?)

  11. Idaho Pete says:

    Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops and religious. It is to you, the people (Laity), you have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Bishop Fulton Sheen

  12. This is such a wonderful idea. Prayer coupled with action – just as St. Athanasius would do. God’s blessings on this endeavor.

  13. I have been praying for Bishop McElroy for a long time. He use to be my Pastor here on the San Francisco peninsula. He has a great heart (really, I’ve experienced it first hand) and a great mind. We just need to pray that he will get back on the right road….KEEP PRAYING!!!

  14. Bob One says:

    I don’t know if this new currency will work, but it is creative, targeted and can communicate well the thoughts of many people in the Diocese. To make sure it is effective, it will need a good PR campaign in every parish, news articles and releases, etc. If there isn’t a very large number of contributions of this new currency, the chancery will see it as the actions of only a few people.

    • I agree with Bob One, it needs to be more “organized” to have a real impact. The concept is great, but these faithful folks need our help to make it work, to broadcast it not just in San Diego, but make the scandal known all over California. Make it a movement to wake up all bishops that we laity are not blind, we will not accept errant teaching and false prophets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bob One, maybe you were being sarcastic. Apparently what this protest is about is Obamacare. I am no fan of it myself, but it really isn’t appropriate to offer God fake money that represents insolence. I am sure you know that Holy Scripture says that God will put an end to the pride of the insolent.
      Before your offering goes to the diocese (I agree with the comment that says it will never get there) or your parish,it goes to the Holy Altar of God where Our Lord offers Himself to the Father. You should not sully his sacrifice with an offering of your sinfulness. Your offering should be represent your self-immolation, not your arrogance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    to Thomas Edward Miles on Facebook: Cardinal Burke would never approve of this.
    Fr Michael and C$H: You are correct, but you also should understand the spiritual danger of this and the blasphemy of associating a Saint’s name with it.

  16. Excellent idea. bishop McElroy will only understand the drop in dollars. Give your Church contributions to to those that promote Faithful Catholic practices until the bishop understands.

    • Anonymous says:

      When someone tries to manipulate or punish my pastor by threatening to stop contributing to the collection, he tells them “Keep your money. We don’t want it.”

  17. Great idea! I am going to use it at my parish at which our parish priest told us Catholics must vote for Trump or risk the stain of a mortal sin! This is definitely not in line with the teachings of the Church. Bishop McElroy is on the right track and if I lived in San Diego, he would have my full support.

    • A sin not to vote for a serial philanderer and adulterer, an adherent to the Playboy philosophy and a man who bears false witness against those weaker than him? A sin to not vote for a man who is the antisis of a Christian gentlemen? A sin not to vote for a man who opposes the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church? A sin not to vote for a man just because he says the magic words “I’m against abortion too” when you truly believe he doesn’t mean it? Really!

      • CarlsbadCatholic says:

        To C&H …We must remember that those who God chose to do his work throughout the bible.. did not start out as Saints, ie. Peter, Paul, Mary Magdelene, Moses, St. Francis of Assisi.. just to name a few..but changed the world and our lives for the better, and thus became Saints. It is ignorant to know who God will and does choose to do his work. So far, Trump has turned the tables as Jesus did, especially on the side of recognizing God and His Church.
        This again is about the inherent misguidings and words of Bishop McAllroy leading the sheep against the moral teachings of the Catholic Faith.

  18. Pope Francis is not sending US the best Bishops.

    • FrMichael says:

      And the powers-that-be that create the ternas that provide the Congregation of Bishops the candidates that become bishops have their own lavender-tinged reasons for not putting the best candidates forward.

  19. Catholics should only donate in a parish where the finances are open to the public. That way we know exactly where our money is going.

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