Once again, the Pope is sounding more and more like a radical progressive socialist democrat and that the global economic system harms the people. One must wonder what he is thinking as he looks around at oppressive governments and their socialist systems – what dignity is to be found in those countries that accomplish little and serve few – mostly the wealthy oligarchs who purchase government officials and Church indulgences as a cost of doing business?
Money is at the root of all evil?
EXTRACT OF POPE'S HOMILY (Source: Vatican Radio)
Money sickens our minds, poisons our thoughts, even poisons our faith, leading us down the path of jealousy, quarrels, suspicion and conflict. It drives to idle words and pointless discussions. It also corrupts the mind of some people that see religion as a source of profit. 'I am Catholic, I go to Mass, everyone thinks well of me... But underneath I have my businesses. I worship money'. And here we have the word we usually find in newspapers: 'Men of corrupted minds'. Money corrupts us! There's no way out.”
“We can never serve God and money at the same time. It is not possible: either one or the other. This is not Communism. It is the true Gospel! They are the Lord's words. While money begins by offering a sense of well being. Then you feel important and vanity comes. We read in the Psalm. This vanity is useless, but still you think you are important. And after vanity comes pride. Those are the three steps: wealth, vanity and pride.”
“But, Father, I read the Ten Commandments and they say nothing about the evils of money. Against which Commandment do you sin when you do something for money? Against the first one! You worship a false idol. And this is the reason: because money becomes an idol and you worship it. And that's why Jesus tells us that you cannot serve money and the living God: either one or the other. The early Fathers of the Church, in the 3rd Century, around the year 200 or 300, put it in a very blunt way, calling money 'the dung of the devil'. An so it is. Because turns us into idolatrous, fills our thoughts with pride and leads us away from our faith.” <Source>
So how does the Pope reconcile the paradox of serving the poor while maintaining a wealthy Church?
The Pope, being a Jesuit, probably understands the paradox of his argument when it comes to the Church owning property, seeking tax exemptions, and running a corrupt financial institution that has been associated with money-laundering for dictators and organized crime. While there are poor parishes, they are not often helped by the wealthier ones beyond the allocation of Diocessean funding.
Vatican Bank In Trouble Again After Top Officials Step Down Amid Money Laundering Scandal
The Vatican has once again been rocked by scandal as Italian prosecutors press ahead with a money-laundering investigation of three of its top former officials that threatens the Holy See’s Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), or as it’s commonly known, the Vatican bank.
Following the arrest of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who was head of analytical accounting, for allegedly attempting to smuggle $26.5 million from Switzerland to Rome; Giovanni Maria Zito, a former agent who is now a Carabinieri police officer; and Giovanni Carenzio, a financial broker, in June, two more top Vatican officials have been accused, prompting their resignations.
The news comes at a bad time for Pope Francis as his plans to bring the bank into line with other European banks, even agreeing to forgo the Vatican’s infamous secrecy laws, look to have taken a hit.
This is not the first time the Vatican Bank has caused controversy in the financial sector.
From 1971 to 1989, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus was involved in the higher echelons of the Vatican Bank. He was allegedly involved with Mafia-linked Sicilian banker Michele Sindona and Italian banking executive Roberto Calvi, president of Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed with massive debts, including around $250 million to IOR, one of Banco’s main shareholders.
After a number of investigations by the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U.S. Justice Department, including his alleged involvement in the delivery of $14.5 million worth of counterfeit bonds to the Vatican in July 1971, Marcinkus was cleared of wrongdoing.
Calvi, on the other hand, was found dead, hanging from a rope under Blackfriars Bridge in London, victim of a faked suicide. <Source>
In Pope’s own words …
The story continues …
Pope attacks global economics for worshipping 'god of money'
CAGLIARI, Sardinia (Reuters) - Pope Francis made one of his strongest attacks on the global economic system on Sunday, saying it could no longer be based on a "god called money" and urged the unemployed to fight for work.
Francis, at the start of a day-long trip to the Sardinian capital, Cagliari, put aside his prepared text at a meeting with unemployed workers, including miners in hard hats who told him of their situation, and improvised for nearly 20 minutes.
"I find suffering here ... It weakens you and robs you of hope," he said. "Excuse me if I use strong words, but where there is no work there is no dignity."
The pope, who later celebrated Mass for some 300,000 people outside the city's cathedral, told them: "We don't want this globalised economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre (of an economic system) as God wants, not money." "The world has become an idolator of this god called money," he said.
The pope made clear that his assessment was not limited to the local situation.
"It is not a problem of Italy and Europe ... It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money," he said to the cheers of the crowd. While Francis's predecessor Benedict also called for changes to economic systems, he was more likely to use dense intellectual language.
Francis said globalization had brought with it a culture where the weakest in society suffered the most and often, those on the fringes "fall away", including the elderly, who he said were victims of a "hidden euthanasia" caused by neglect of those no longer considered productive.
"To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed. We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to his throwaway culture. We want a just system that helps everyone," he said. Source: Pope attacks global economics for worshipping 'god of money' | Reuters
Perhaps the Pope should attack the socialist-run economy or the socialist unions that periodically cripple Italy to extort more money from the taxpayers …
Strike Brings Italy To Standstill
ROME — Millions of workers staged a crippling general strike Wednesday amid growing apprehension that political instability and new trade union militancy could plunge Italy into its worst labor crisis in years. Most public services and road, air and urban transport came to a standstill in a protest against the vacillating coalition government`s 1988 budget proposals.
The unions are demanding a more equal distribution of the tax burden; greater efforts to reduce a 12 percent unemployment rate; and more active prosecution of tax evaders, who union bosses claim comprise 40 percent of Italy`s wage earners.
Wednesday`s general strike followed a spate of walkouts in recent weeks. They have hobbled air and train transport, mail delivery and garbage collection as workers decided to wage their own battles for higher wages and better working conditions, ignoring no-strike orders by the three main unions. Under the red flags of the Communist Party and autonomous militant movements, marching strikers Wednesday carried the same banners that brought havoc to the country before an economic boom five years ago reduced the protests.
In the first general strike since 1981, political commentators quickly pointed out that Italy`s three main trade unions not only were capitalizing on fears of an economic recession, but were trying to regain the leadership of a factionalized labor movement in which maverick unions were gaining the upper hand.
Union leader Franco Marini boasted on the eve of the national strike: ``We will show you that in Italy (worker) solidarity is alive and vital.``
Although Italians boast that they have the world`s most democratic system, the fatigue of 10 political parties with voices in Parliament has taken its toll. There have been 47 postwar governments-each lasting an average of eight months-and endless political squabbles whose main aim seems to be the advancement of party interests rather than the welfare of the nation. <Source>
Bottom line …
Continuing the Pope’s line of reasoning, perhaps we should consider that the Catholic Church should be stripped of its tax exemptions, perks, and privileges and use that money to enlarge the size and scope of government until the United States becomes one of those lesser socialist nations filled with political chaos and the struggling of people to find work where there is none.
It is one thing to speak about evil in the world and attempt to bring solace and comfort to those who are suffering. But, it is quite another to suggest that Capitalism, the greatest and most productive political system in the world, should be condemned for using money to measure success and to accomplish great things.
If the Pope wants to decry a corrupt political or socio-economic system, let him look inward. Considering the billions of dollars wasted on pedophilia and the substantial sums spent on legal wrangling to keep the leadership out of jail rather than helping the poor. While the Pope may live the lifestyle of the pious, it certainly does not extend to the Princes here in the United States. Mea Culpa.
And, if the Pope wants to consider something, perhaps he should consider that socialism and communism derive their power from managing scarcity and produce little that advances humanity. It is capitalism that drives humanity forward and provides people with the benefits of productivity.