Catholic bishops and priests do not make a lot in terms of annual compensation in their respective roles. On the other hand, permanent housing, food, pension benefits and health care coverage ain't too bad a deal, all things considered. I know of one bishop who likes to boast to his priests that he takes "no salary" (which is both funny and delusional, given the large estate on which he lives, an entertainment budget, a car and driver and numerous benefits he receives).
In the Protestant world, there are some pastors whose total compensation would make even some on Wall Street blush. Over at Huffington Post is a story on pastor compensation.
Even before the recession, most spiritual leaders of small towns and big cities across the United States earned meager salaries, with annual pay for Catholic priests and imams ranging from $25,000 to $30,000 and the average Protestant pastor making $40,000 a year, according to a recent survey.
Yet, even in difficult times, some churches and pastors are soaring. While not a definitive guide, HuffPost Religion has compiled a slideshow of some of the best paid pastors in America. For several, their high income comes not only from employment as pastors, but also from TV appearances, book sales and charity management.