An Ultimate Question for Catholics and the Religious.

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posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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If the Church had a huge bankroll. I'm sure they aren't poor:

I would arrange for all debts to be paid.

I sell all the Vatican masterpieces and fund the heck out of heifer.org and make sure that Catholic Relief Services had all the funds they need for disaster relief and community support so the poor would be able to take care of themselves.

I'd let priest get married.

I'd turn the Vatican into a retirement home, shelter for the homeless and charity hospital.

I would insure that future assets/liabilities be a matter for public record.

I would draw the same salary as a priest and live in small, plain house.

I would pray more, travel less, answer all my emails. Basically, have a life-style where I would not draw attention to myself.

I'd get a dog.
edit on 4/28/2012 by sad_eyed_lady because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 06:17 PM
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$40 billion net worth for the Catholic Church is only $40 for each of the 1 billion Catholics. It's almost disgraceful that the Catholic Church has so little net worth really. It makes me wonder if they have undeclared assets somewhere.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 


It wasn't a question, it was a statement to your reply.
The first line anyway
edit on 28-4-2012 by proob4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by BayesLike
 

To be sure you've made some excellent points, and although I'm far from an expert on the financial standings of the Catholic Church, my instinct would be to assume that it must have a substantial wealth to be considered a nation of its own.

Also, just the briefest of searches turns up some interesting facts as relayed below:

"The Catholic church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The Vatican, independently of each successive pope, has been increasingly orientated towards the U.S. The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican's financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.

"The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.

"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

After reading this, I suspect that my 30 BILLION estimate might be a little low!



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 

It's not often I'm described as being cute, but I'll take it!

Some fair points made, however I would like to take a moment to defend my original post.

I'm not saying that the Catholic Church does nothing to help others. At no point did I infer such a thing. My point, however, is that there is no denying a vast amount of wealth is being kept whether it is in the form of art, gold, stocks, real estate or good old fashioned cash.

I agree that there would be some running costs involved in such a large company. However, the question is that if you or I woke up with the power of the Pope, would we maintain the holdings or release the funds to help others?

Again, if you choose to release the funds, I suspect then that you are operating on a higher moral level than the Pope himself, and thus the reason for the original post.

As for being a teenage styled argument, I would think that the idea of the Catholic Church only just having enough funds to get through each day is childish to say the least. With utmost respect to you, surely you don't believe that all of the wealth of the church is being used as it could be?

Thanks for your comments, and I hope to hear some more!



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by Cyberdaz
reply to post by BayesLike
 

To be sure you've made some excellent points, and although I'm far from an expert on the financial standings of the Catholic Church, my instinct would be to assume that it must have a substantial wealth to be considered a nation of its own.

Also, just the briefest of searches turns up some interesting facts as relayed below:

"The Catholic church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The Vatican, independently of each successive pope, has been increasingly orientated towards the U.S. The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican's financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.

"The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.

"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

After reading this, I suspect that my 30 BILLION estimate might be a little low!


Here is a link where I found the figure of $40 billion net worth (assets minus liabilities). They own lots of assets but they also owe lots of money. $40 per Catholic isn't much net worth.
Google Answers

So if I was Pope Augustus Maximus Cloudyday, I would immediately begin selling indulgences to raise money.
edit on 28-4-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by BayesLike
 

It seems that the actual wealth of the church is coming into question, and I have admitted previously it wasn't something I had looked into with detail. I just assumed they were wealthy.

Well, I've taken a bit of a look and found some interesting figures and facts. Below is another quote (the website I'll list at the bottom) which far exceeds my estimate. If even a small percentage of it is true, then the original question I believe now carries a whole lot more weight.

Please remember, the original question was supposed to be a simple as possible. Would you maintain the funds as you found them or release them to do as much as you can? Now for some quotes :

1. The single largest asset class owned by the Vatican is also the easiest to see, as it cannot be hidden.
2. The Vatican is the largest holder of land titles for any organisation or government in the world with visible title to around US $316 Billion of property (churches, schools, hospitals etc) and around US $2,623 Billion of investment property hidden in extremely complex networks of hundreds of thousands of trusts and front companies.
3. The current market property value of Vatican City, in the heart of Rome alone is worth between US $1 Billion and $3 Billion. This excludes the value of the priceless artworks and valuables stored within its walls.
4. The most valuable property holdings of the Catholic Church by nation is the United States with around $50 Billion in visible property holdings and around $507 Billion in hidden property holdings through a massively complex network of front companies and trusts.
5. The next most valuable property holdings are Germany (US $297 Billion of which only $29 Billion is visible property), France (US $282 Billion of which only $28 Billion is visible), Italy (US $230 Billion of which around $23 Billion is visible), Brazil (US $194 Billion of which around $26 Billion is visible) and Spain (US $158 Billion of which around $15 Billion is visible).
6. What are the major property portfolio holdings by key nations? How then did the Catholic Church accumulate such a historic and massive property portfolio? How is the Catholic Church still able to hide such massive property investments while still successfully claiming to be “poor”? How reliable are these numbers to the truth?
Major property holdings of the Catholic Church
7. The Major property holdings of the Catholic Church are listed in the following table. The property investments are divided into visible property holdings and hidden property holdings.
8. Nation Catholics Visible Hidden
(m) (US millions) (US millions)
United States 83.2 $ 50,179 $ 507,363
Germany 27.9 $ 29,783 $ 268,046
France 54.7 $ 28,245 $ 254,209
Italy 49.2 $ 23,096 $ 207,866
Brazil 150.3 $ 26,260 $ 168,260
Spain 37.1 $ 15,827 $ 142,440
Mexico 93.7 $ 21,147 $ 135,499
Belgium 7.8 $ 9,558 $ 96,643
Canada 12.8 $ 8,393 $ 84,864
Austria 6.0 $ 7,514 $ 75,979
Argentina 35.9 $ 9,550 $ 70,031
Poland 34.5 $ 8,906 $ 65,308
Colombia 38.9 $ 9,319 $ 59,710
Philippines 73.3 $ 8,999 $ 50,993
Ireland 3.5 $ 4,241 $ 42,879
Chile 14.8 $ 5,203 $ 38,153
Peru 25.4 $ 5,800 $ 32,866
Hungary 6.7 $ 4,033 $ 29,577
Netherlands 5.6 $ 3,343 $ 30,091
Portugal 9.9 $ 3,984 $ 29,220
Venezuela 24.6 $ 4,105 $ 23,263
Switzerland 3.4 $ 2,355 $ 23,808
United Kingdom 9.0 $ 2,395 $ 21,556
Australia 5.2 $ 1,871 $ 18,923

9. Visible property holdings are those property holdings clearly visible as being owned by the Catholic Church, while hidden property holdings represents between 85% and 90% of the total property holdings of the church.

(Source one-faith-of-god.org...)



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

$40 dollars per church member is an interesting concept but one I think is a little misguided. Remember that the church by its very nature has the legal ability to keep most financial documents away from public scrutiny. Not to mention that tax is avoided at all possible times.

As a non Catholic church member, I do have a question. Has the actual contents of the Vatican been made public at any time? If so, is there perhaps a source that I can visit? I would love to know what exactly is kept within the walls.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 

Thanks for the link - it had some interesting stuff. To be honest with you though I can't help but feel the figures are a little low. Am I to believe that the church is actually in active debt? I'll look into it a lot more shortly but I just can't come to the party...

Here is another quote that I believe has some kernels of truth to it. Again, is there a listing anywhere that details the actual contents of the Vatican? What about real estate ownerships?

25. The fact that western nations continue to absolve religious organisations, especially the Catholic Church from full and frank disclosure of all its assets, including the final owners of complex networks of trusts and front companies means the Vatican is still able to hide the majority of its wealth from its own faithful and the rest of the world.

All said and done though, we could probably spend the next ten years trying to unravel the true financial holdings of the church! My real concern is the concept that the Pope is somehow closer to God than others around him. If that is the case, his morality should have no equal on this planet. But the immunity from prosecution granted to the current pope with regards to child abuse charges alone means he's already slipped a few rungs in the ladder... and thus leads us back to the original question!



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by Cyberdaz
reply to post by cloudyday
 

Thanks for the link - it had some interesting stuff. To be honest with you though I can't help but feel the figures are a little low. Am I to believe that the church is actually in active debt? I'll look into it a lot more shortly but I just can't come to the party...

Here is another quote that I believe has some kernels of truth to it. Again, is there a listing anywhere that details the actual contents of the Vatican? What about real estate ownerships?

25. The fact that western nations continue to absolve religious organisations, especially the Catholic Church from full and frank disclosure of all its assets, including the final owners of complex networks of trusts and front companies means the Vatican is still able to hide the majority of its wealth from its own faithful and the rest of the world.

All said and done though, we could probably spend the next ten years trying to unravel the true financial holdings of the church! My real concern is the concept that the Pope is somehow closer to God than others around him. If that is the case, his morality should have no equal on this planet. But the immunity from prosecution granted to the current pope with regards to child abuse charges alone means he's already slipped a few rungs in the ladder... and thus leads us back to the original question!


I think this question could be generalized to all Christian denominations. A church is not that different from a business; it has employees, insurance, retirement plans, property, etc. On the other hand, churches must pretend to be "above" all those carnal financial things.

IMO, openness is the key like you say. All churches should be required to make their financial statements public or something.



posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 10:24 PM
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I'm just too sexy to be the pope. Sorry.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Cyberdaz


Please remember, the original question was supposed to be a simple as possible. Would you maintain the funds as you found them or release them to do as much as you can? Now for some quotes :


(Source one-faith-of-god.org...)


Unfortunately, that question can't be answered without answering the surrounding questions which you didn't ask.

On a side note, were you able to find where your source got their financial info? I checked and couldn't find their sourcing, but I did see that they are pretty nuts. You might want to take a look at their site and what they believe. The author asserts that his Irish family goes back 5000 years and is comprised of high priests and the mission statement for One Faith of God includes teraforming Mars as one of it's objectives.

Eric



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 



How much of the OP's proposed wealth is earmarked for debts of the Church, which would be immoral to give away?

They're not supposed to be borrowing money, nor lending it, nor hoarding it.
(per Jesus)



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I get what you are saying, but debts of the Church would also include things like pensions for employees, accounts receivable for hospital equipment, any promises made for upkeep of buildings (such as hospices, rectories, etc.), timed disbursements of money for medical research, etc.

Eric
edit on 29-4-2012 by EricD because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 



I get what you are saying, but debts of the Church would also include things like pensions for employees, accounts receivable for hospital equipment, any promises made for upkeep of buildings (such as hospices, rectories, etc.)

Okay, but...shouldn't the employees be doing those things as volunteers, without salaries, without expecting a pension?

That is the message I gather from the teachings of Christ.
No salary, no riches, no assurance of future material comforts.

But, thanks for your reply.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that they shouldn't be paid for their labor? Or that they shouldn't expect to be paid because their Christians?

As a side note, is your reference to not borrowing or lending from Luke 6:34-35 and Deuteronomy 23:19?

Thanks,

Eric



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 



Are you saying that they shouldn't be paid for their labor? Or that they shouldn't expect to be paid because their Christians?

Yes. That's what I'm saying. Both questions...yes. It should be done with no consideration of remuneration.....there is nowhere that Jesus said "ask for a salary and pension."

Caring for others doesn't cost....being kind doesn't cost.....
if the only reason they are "employees" is for an income, well, they're already not getting it right.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


That's interesting. Is that your feeling on the matter or is that backed up by scripture (or both!)?

Thanks,

Eric



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 


That's interesting. Is that your feeling on the matter or is that backed up by scripture (or both!)?

It is my feeling (life-long) but also based on my spiritual upbringing and scripture.

Jesus said that caring for the needy, and accepting all comers, was the most important thing.



posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by EricD
 


That's interesting. Is that your feeling on the matter or is that backed up by scripture (or both!)?

It is my feeling (life-long) but also based on my spiritual upbringing and scripture.

Jesus said that caring for the needy, and accepting all comers, was the most important thing.


I suppose monks and nuns live that way. Personally I think charities should hire full-time paid professionals who are skilled and motivated to do their job.

For example, does it make sense for a surgeon to ladle soup at Salvation Army? It might make the surgeon feel warm and fuzzy, but it's much more efficient to do surgery and donate money so that some jobless person can ladle the soup.

Of course the benefits to the volunteer are also important. The volunteer meets the needy face to face and probably feels more motivated to help them than a person who mails a check.

(I should probably include as a disclaimer that I don't volunteer and I rarely give money. So however somebody wants to help is laudable.)
edit on 29-4-2012 by cloudyday because: (no reason given)





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