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The spiritual object includes whatever is conducive to the eternal welfare of the soul, i.e.all supernatural things: sanctifying grace, the sacraments, sacramentals, etc.The amount of the stipend, varying for different times and countries, is usually fixed by ecclesiastical authority (SEE STIPEND).It is allowed to accept it even should the priest be otherwise well-to-do; for he has a right to live from the altar and should avoid becoming obnoxious to other members of the gy.
To the latter subdivision may be referred what has been aptly termed "confidential simony", in which an ecclesiastical benefice is procured for a certain person with the understanding that later he will either resign in favour of the one through whom he obtained the position or divide with him the revenues.
Any transgression of the law of God in this matter is, objectively considered, grievous in every instance ( mortalis ex toto genere suo ).
For this kind of simony places on a par things supernatural and things natural, things eternal and things temporal, and constitutes a sacrilegious depreciation of Divine treasures.
The presumption is that the church authority, which, in this connection, sometimes prohibits actions in themselves indifferent, did not intend the law to be grievously binding in minor details.
As he who preaches the gospel "should live by the gospel " ( 1 Corinthians ) but should also avoid even the appearance of receiving temporal payment for spiritual services, difficulties may arise concerning the propriety or sinfulness of remuneration in certain circumstances.
The Decree "Ut Debita" (11 May, 1904) condemned the arrangements according to which the guardians of shrines sometimes devoted the offerings originally intended for Masses partly to other pious purposes.