In no way is it my intention to ridicule or intentionally offend anyone with religious beliefs. I would, however, very much like to pose a particular
question which I feel will open a proverbial and interesting can of worms...
For a brief moment in time, let us imagine that you awake one morning to discover that, for reasons unknown (and hypothetically of course), you have
been chosen as the new Pope for the Catholic Church. You now have complete control over all affairs of the church stretching across the globe. Quite a
lot of power don't you think?
Now, let us suppose that on your first afternoon attending to your role, you access the church financial records and to your amazement find that the
Catholic Church has more than thirty (30) BILLION dollars spread across a handful of sheltered accounts.
All things considered, there's no real surprise - after all most people understand the Catholic Church to be quite wealthy and of course the money has
to be kept somewhere.
Okay, here's where the fun begins
As part of your new position, you decide to embark on a whirlwind tour of third world countries, seeing first hand the problems that so many people
are facing. The problems of starvation, of disease, lacking education, physical abuse and negligent governments. It saddens you deeply, but you
understand you are but one person and can hardly wave a magic wand to change the world.
You return to your desk, flick on the computer, and take a look at the church accounts once again. Then you explore the vast real estate that is owned
across the world. With a heavy heart, you find yourself faced with a decision to make.
For your brief appointment as the Pope of the Catholic Church, do you decide to release the 30+ BILLION dollars and instigate as much change as
humanly possible? For example, flooding poor countries with food and agriculture tools, medical facilities to tend to the sick, education to build
upon the changes and shelter for the millions that are without homes. Or, after much pondering, do you decide that the financial stability of the
church is more important in the long run, so that the message of God can continue to reach across the globe?
The reason I find this scenario/question so interesting, is that if a person decides to spend all of the money and to sell of the real estate so that
the poor can begin to build a new future, then that person is in fact operating from a higher moral platform than the actual pope is right now. In
effect, by choosing to spend the money regardless of the effect upon the church, the person would (I believe) be doing the right thing, the GOOD
thing. Now, if a person unknown would make such a decision if suddenly given the power, what does this tell us of the current Pope and leaders of the
Catholic Church? To put it another way, if Jesus or someone of equal historical character were to sit with you while you make your decision, which one
do you think he would be happier to see? What would you do?
Personally, I don't believe in religion but am not arrogant enough to say I know for sure what happens after we die. I do know, however, that if I
were to wake up tomorrow to find out I was the Pope for a day, the money would be gone in a flash. I couldn't even begin to list all of the magical
things that could be done with the money. And if there's anybody out there that would do the same then I believe it says a whole damn lot about
whoever is in charge of the church right now.
So I guess it's something to ponder, that a humble average citizen might have a stronger moral compass than the Pope. After all, if the money is
there, and it is, how could you sleep at night knowing that children and fathers and mothers are dying for reasons that can be stopped?
It strikes me as mortifying that millions of people across the world follow and worship the Pope, and yet so many of them would do so much more if
given the chance. That fact alone tells us that there is no divinity in the man at the head of the church. He is just a man, not specially chosen in
any way, absent of religious wonder or power, whose relationship with God is not strong enough to warrant the use of billions of dollars to spread
water across the deserts. A silly man in a hat to be sure, and a very rich man to boot. One of Gods chosen? I doubt it.
If you or I would do such wonderful things with the money, then we have a greater understanding of life than the leader of the biggest church in the
What would you do?
p.s. As I stated earlier, I'm not religious in any way shape or form. Personally speaking I detest the church and most of what it stands for. I would
hate, however, for this thread to lead to a simple display of church bashing. As fun as that might be (!!!) I find it far more interesting to hear the
views of fellow ATS members, and so I look forward to your replies.
edit on 27-4-2012 by Cyberdaz because: Added some spacing for