In their own defense, the Catholic Church does have many charitable outreaches. Often staffed by unpaid or under-paid clergy of the Church with the exception of trained medical staff and contracted lab services, etc.
But does that justify a ‘need’ for such luxuries that would make even Donald Trump blush? Here in the Philippines, every day I see hundreds of good, faithful Catholics who don’t benefit at all from either a highly perked administration at the Vatican or any of it’s treasuries. Same when I would visit to Mexico.
If middle-class individuals can give a little, shouldn’t a $1.21 billion entity built on the donations FROM the poor.. an entity built upon the teachings of charity.. be able to liquidate some of it’s gold chairs and jewelry to give it’s own elderly and disabled believers some food and daily medical care? I’m not being anti-Catholic.. I’m just looking at the facts as they are and asking the obvious question few people ask.
I’m equally sickened by the so-called ‘christian‘ televangelists of the past and refuse to keep up on the latest ones. Guys like Fred Price, Jimmy Swaggart, that Crysal Cathedral guy (which went bankrupt but not before he moved money to relatives and friends), Jim and Tammy Faye.. they disgust me.. the whole lot of them.
But I do find it hard to believe that the Vatican has NO system in place to convene and allot money from the treasury. Selling the historical artwork (much of it acquired during the Holocaust, btw) can be impossible to liquidate. But anytime someone needs a salary or funds for a project I’m sure there is a method of convening and making a budget.. they couldn’t exist without that.
And apart from the money, how much bureaucry is needed to sell a golden chair? Shouldn’t the life of humility and sacrifice be exemplified by the Pope himself? Should not “the first be last” as he lives on the same salary and same living conditions as those who have devoted their lives as priests and nuns? Most honest Pastors live on a modest stipend from their church.. not in lavish luxury. If they did, their parish would not stand for it. But with the Pope (and Arch-Bishops, Cardinals, etc.).. there is a disconnect between what the poor give and what the Pope decides is a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle.
As a whole, I just cannot fathom Jesus showing up and saying, “Finally! This is what I was talking about.. big, golden filled buildings with lots of highly perked administration. Good job.” Nope.. just can’t even faintly imagine Him saying that.
At some point the question has to be asked;
“What IS the objective of the Vatican as an institution? To exercise charity?.. or show that it is no different from the ‘World’.. succumbing to the same greed that socialism and capitalism has long been practicing.”
Author: Henry Velez
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.