Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where in the Bible does it say to look after the poor? Well, apart from there. And there. Oh, and there - An Onymous Lefty

There was an online posting about the Catholic Church and how it told a priest he was practicing financial mismanagement. I posted my response after several people made statements accusing the church of being hypocritical to tell the priest what it did. I will post my response, and I encourage others to respond to my response. The complete article is linked on the bottom.

First, here is my response:

This whole issue is about financial mismanagement, and sometimes that is an issue, wouldn't you say? If a priest was being irresponsible with finances, then it ought to be addressed. Ultimately, it may be good to help the poor even more.

The amazing thing is that the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. They help more people than anyone else. Half of all AIDS and HIV patients in Africa receive direct care from the Catholic Church. Also, even though only 2% of India is Catholic, 22% of health care is provided by the Church.

The Churches and Cathedrals are there for the benefit of the people. They are often the pride of the city and are for the benefit of all people. Often, they were built with money contributed by the people directly for that specific cause. People, including myself, love cathedrals and amazing churches, and they are culturally priceless.

If you believe the Church is being bad by not selling all the cathedrals (places of worship) and giving the money to the poor, then you should also be mad at art galleries. Look at the priceless works of art. Perhaps they should sell the Mona Lisa, or the Last Supper. If museums sold all the priceless works of art, they could raise so much money. But the premise is the same. These are not for one person's personal use. They are for humanity, for society.

There are beautiful Catholic structures all around the world, and people want and love them. They are holy places that have been built for worship. The fact is, even if they were sold, the money would eventually disappear. The money that is given for charity comes from sustainable sources. Catholics believe the most amazing thing on Earth happens at their beloved churches. It is where they can truly be with God.

As a final note, I would like to point out that many priests and bishops take a vow of poverty. The late Pope John Paul II did not care for wealth. When he died, all his worldly possessions could fit in a shoe box. It's been said he could not remember a meal he ate because he was more concerned with the people he was speaking to. He lived a very simple life, like all the priests and bishops I've ever met.

The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ. They are helping the poor and suffering more than anyone else. I, like many on this article, am typing this from the comfort of my home. I am not working with lepers in India, like Mother Teresa did. I'm not risking my life in Columbia like many priests and bishops do every day. Before you criticize the Catholic Church for not doing enough, ask what you have done. Perhaps you have done much, but I would suspect if you gave everything you could and were living lives of poverty, you would not find the time to criticize the Church so much.

That was my input to the article. Some people responded, and I will use this blog to offer my rebuttal. My rebuttal will be in the next posting.

Here is the full article:

Where in the Bible does it say to look after the poor? Well, apart from there. And there. Oh, and there - An Onymous Lefty

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