Jennifer Rubin, a pro-Romney conservative blogger at the Washington Post, knocks Rick Santorum for giving too little to charity -- less than 3 percent, despite his high six-figure salary.
Rubin writes: "He apparently believes in church doctrine about contraception but not about tithing."
But to my knowledge, there is no Catholic "doctrine" about tithing. Look in the catechism. Look in code of canon law. You won't see tithing, or 10 percent show up. Should Santorum have given more to charity? Maybe -- I mean, he's running for office for Pete's sake.
Rubin compares Santorum's giving percentage to that of her prefered candidate, multimillionaire Mitt Romney whose children are all out of the home. Santorum, of course, has more children, younger children, sicker children, and he pays more in taxes on his marginal dollar than Romney does, so maybe a direct comparison isn't fair.
But here's the main point, before you other bloggers start running with this: The Catholic Church teaches us to take care of the poor, imprisoned, and sick, largely by giving to the Church so that it can minister to the needy, but it doesn't prescribe a percentage. The amount is up to Rick Santorum's conscience.
ADDENDA: Jeff Hammond's comment below makes it clear to me that my "for Pete's sake" joke could easily be read as an implication that Romney's charitable giving is politically motivated. I don't think this at all. I think Romney is a generous man who believes in an obligation to charity. His level of giving is admirable.