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Pope Francis calls for a church 'for the poor', a noble cause, but

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posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:36 PM
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There is no shortage of poor people on this planet and no shortage of people who have come forward to claim that they are for the poor and will do something about it. Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, are but a few such people that wished to help the poor.

In the bible when asked what he was going to do with the poor the metaphorical Jesus said, “The poor will always be with you.” Changing the status of the poor was not why Jesus came to earth and he made that clear to his followers, who didn’t particularly want to hear such talk from him.

Perhaps that is why the church teaches that poverty is godly and wealth sinful. But giving your money to the church or any religious institution is not sinful and certainly a godly gesture.


God, the creator of the universe and all the gold and wealth in it is certainly not a poor fellow. God must be one heck of a rich person and lives in constant splendor, an existence surly no less spectacular than the palaces where the pope, cardinals, deacons, Rabbis, Mullahs and other spiritual teachers and leaders live in.

I find it hard to believe that a rich god would want his creation to live in poverty and squalor since he lives in enormous prosperity and splendidness.

Here on earth mere-mortals that become rich and have offspring usually, if not always, allow their children to live in the same splendor and grandeur as they do; they share the wealth with their children. So why is the most powerful and enormously rich god of the whole universe so stingy with his human offspring?



Anyway, the best way to rid people of poverty is sensible economic policies that make earning a decent living possible. The best way to keep people poor is to try and provided for their every need and want and having no means to pay for it other than plunder taken from others, which has been the way nations prospered in the past, by conquering other people and taking their riches (booty).

God has already stated that the poor will always be with us, presumably meaning that he is not going to share the wealth with his children (at least not in this life), therefore it is up to humans to make the best of their economic situations with smart economic principles.

Sharing the wealth, taking booty and plunder from others, is not a godly biblical principle; nor is it a practice that works for mere-mortals when it comes to alleviating poverty.

Hopefully the new pope will look for ways to teach the poor and their leaders a way to fish, as Jesus metaphorically did for his disciples, and not to plunder as did Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro and many others, who ended up creating more poor people than they started out with.




posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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reply to post by sleeper
 


What would happen if people tried to Occupy St. Peter's Square, with tents and encampments, to advocate for the poor?



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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Lead by example?

But...





posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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I think he's a bit confused . His church is for ALL PEOPLE last I knew. I'm not a catholic so what do I know



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Aleister
reply to post by sleeper
 


What would happen if people tried to Occupy St. Peter's Square, with tents and encampments, to advocate for the poor?


The 200 strong Swiss Guard (dressed by Michaelangelo, the fay joker; 500 years ago) would swiftly dispatch them. Why is it another 75 year old man with conservative mindsets was chosen? A Jesuit from Argentina would have been a better choice if looking for salvaging the poor. Post above--"There will always be the poor, no point in wasting time upon them" is a high five to Christs wisdom. The Catholic Church has the wealth that should belong to the poverty stricken, they specifically targeted 3rd world nations for the gain of such; not to convert--to steal what they did not know they had that was valuable currency "GOLD European". The great divide between the Jesuits and the Vatican NOW was realized when they understood they were being used, tactically for an unsound moral premise.
edit on 16-3-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by vethumanbeing
 

I'm not so sure. The Swiss Guard might want to get rid of them, but Pope Francis would have to agree. And then if they "dispatched" the first bunch, more would come and set up an encampment. Occupy St. Peter's Square would have to have some kind of theme, but the Pope would have a hard decision to make (or maybe not, maybe he'd move in with them!)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by Aleister
reply to post by vethumanbeing
 

I'm not so sure. The Swiss Guard might want to get rid of them, but Pope Francis would have to agree. And then if they "dispatched" the first bunch, more would come and set up an encampment. Occupy St. Peter's Square would have to have some kind of theme, but the Pope would have a hard decision to make (or maybe not, maybe he'd move in with them!)


The Square is for tourist or pilgrimage traffic only. No camping on the mall, it would change the circular traffic flow; and that could tire the pidgeons, nowhere to land. I can see Francis sharing and blessing the tailgaters, you know it would be a well funded demonstration. I wonder if hes ever had a bratwurst or a porkchop sandwich (white bread).
edit on 16-3-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 07:49 PM
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So why is the most powerful and enormously rich god of the whole universe so stingy with his human offspring?


Why is it that today's society equates riches with happiness and contentment? Isn't this the problem?


These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge (drown) people into ruin and destruction (perdition). 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6


Those who come to view godliness as a means of gain versus those who know that contentment and godliness are the gains.
There is a huge difference that you should think upon. It is only in the past 100 years that our society has shifted from godliness and contentment being the gains of a life with the Lord to believing that "godliness" as the means to gain. The opulence of the churches should be a rather big clue as to how inverted they are to the words of scripture.

Poverty is relative. The happiest person that you could ever meet may be very poor. Money does not buy contentment, but in a world which now equates the two, people are miserable. The fact that the holy spirit ties in "drown" and "perdition" is also a huge clue as to the days of Noah.



posted on Mar, 16 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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I think it's an encouraging sign, personally. I think it's important to recall something with the Catholic Church. In the West and developed world, it's just another religion and another course on the menu of options.

In much of the developing world, where the TRUE poor exist IMO, the Catholic Church can and sometimes is the only help grinding poverty gets.

At the same time, the Catholic Church is one of the largest land owners on Earth, even in the modern age. They're #3 on this list. Queen Elizabeth and the King of Saudi rank above the Pope as heads of ownership.


Land: The 110 acres of The Holy See that constitute Vatican City. Also, roughly 177 million more acreage of various lands owned by the Catholic Church throughout the globe, including the hundreds of Vatican embassies that are legally titled to The Holy See as an independent nation.
(Source: Largest Landowners in the World )

It took a minute, but 177 million acres works out to 716,293 Square Kilometers. It's the equivalent of an area larger than Afghanistan ..but of course, spread a couple acres here and there, all over the world, many times over.

The fact they haven't used their immense wealth and resources to do more for those in the developing world and in true lives of poverty by circumstance has been part of what I've had against them. If there is hope of seeing that change to even a small degree, all the better. Small in their sense of numbers is huge in impact, IMO.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 

Dear Wrabbit2000,

It's wonderful to see you again. I hope you won't mind if I express an opinion a little different from yours.

Your landowners list confuses me a little, you've accurately reported what it says but I'd like to suggest a different #3. The federal government owns between 650 and 750 million acres (depending on your source), four times what the Church is credited with.

But there's another nit to pick. In one sense the Church owns the land that every church is located on, but in a more practical sense the church land is owned by the Diocese, or bishop level organization, that the church is in. Sure, the Pope could direct a Bishop to sell a piece of land and close the church which is on it, but I've never heard of it happening. It would be more extreme than the President ordering one concession stand in a National Park to close and the land under it to be sold.

Remember also, that there are more than 200,000 churches in the world, not even considering convents, monasteries, missions, etc., and the embassies that Vatican City maintains as do other soveriegn states.

Immense wealth? Again, that's handled at the Diocesan level. Some are very rich, some are very poor. The rich ones often operate hospitals, shelters, schools, and more. What about the money the Vatican is sitting on? What money? The Holy See, or Church headquarters, sometimes runs a surplus of a million dollars, sometimes a deficit. There's really not much evidence that I have seen which indicates the Pope has billions and billions of dollars to do with as he wills.

But what about the art and buildings in Rome? Some people give money to the Church, some give their talents. These are meant as tributes to God, not to be lightly used for any purpose other than which they were intended. Besides, the Vatican doesn't take the position that they own them, the idea of selling them is terrible. The art and architecture is preserved by the Church, not owned by it to be sold off and sprinkled through the world to private collectors.

Anyway, I've run on too long, as is my wont. Again, good to see you.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 12:15 AM
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Hypocrisy from the Christian "church" (any denomination) is probably the main reason I stay away from organized religions in general now. Maybe it's more something in the Western churches, but that mindset is what gets propagated to "3rd world" countries, like many people would call the Philippines, through missionaries who come to create concepts like "land ownership" only to take as much land as they can from the people in the process.

In this case, the catholic church would set a darn good example to sell everything they own, and use the money to invest in "poor" people with education and knowledge. Not keep them in the dark, but able to think, act, and function as free human beings not dependent on a system, person, or religion. I think an act like that alone from any church would even help it in the long term to grow larger than it was before.

But the likelihood of that happening is about the same as me meeting a formerly rich man trying to get into heaven, who does give away everything he has to enter heaven, and makes the camel go through the eye of the needle.

And if you think your church is one of the "good" ones, ask them if you can personally audit the church's financial records. Start with asking this new pope. =D



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 12:22 AM
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A general comment. As has been noted ably in an earlier post, wealth may not be happiness. I don't believe that the Pope wants to make everyone wealthy, well off, or even comfortable.

There is a dignity that every soul has, and I believe he wants to assure that. That includes some measure of freedom, rights, and in the economic realm a "just" treatment of workers and concern for their situation. I also believe, as another poster put it, that he wants workers to be able to improve their lots and own the necessities, not be slaves to the state.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:01 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

The list would read considerably different if it took Governments into account. That list's value was primarily in finding a solid number for sheer land they did own. The list criteria came from land owned with control or direct line to specific people. The President of the United States doesn't own the BLM land in Nevada, for instance. As I understand the organization of things ...That technically would be the case for those on the list in what they control.

I also do understand the literal franchise system of the Catholic Church. It's why I've sometimes referred to them as the Catholic Corporation and the Pope, it's CEO. Still, as you note, the Pope could directly order the closure of local Churches and the handling of the land. It doesn't happen, but that direct level of control is the issue....and if he's re-dedicating the church to making life more comfortable in hard poverty, then he would have the power to make that happen with their resources.

Oh, wealth not only includes the art, precious stones, metals and other exotic items that come in every major Catholic Church or Cathedral in the world ..but I consider something else. Since the Church began in a formal way with the Vatican as a place to collect things, they've been collecting. From local dispatches of the day to artifacts sent back by whatever means of the day, for the Vatican to hold and add to it's collections. Over the many hundreds and hundreds of years.....quietly..collecting. Everything they could.

I include the logical sum of those centuries of collecting in terming the Church as possessing immense wealth. I don't say it as a negative thing..just a statement of how things are, IMO.
edit on 17-3-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:57 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 

Dear Wrabbit2000,

I'm confused (which is the way I go through life) by your response.

The list would read considerably different if it took Governments into account. That list's value was primarily in finding a solid number for sheer land they did own.
But it does take governments into account, only #13 and #15 on that list refers to private citizens. Except for the Pope all the others are kings or queens who own entire countries. Certainly they will not take the land with them when they step down, nor can they sell the entire country, it belongs to the government which happens to be a monarchy. Nor did Benedict XVI take it with him, it's in trust to the Church.

The list criteria came from land owned with control or direct line to specific people. The President of the United States doesn't own the BLM land in Nevada, for instance. As I understand the organization of things ...That technically would be the case for those on the list in what they control.
True, the US government land is not in the name of the President, neither is the Church's land in the name of Pope Francis. They both exercise similar control. The President can certainly tell the BLM to sell a portion of the land, or the mineral rights to it, and it will happen.

Since the Church began in a formal way with the Vatican as a place to collect things, they've been collecting. From local dispatches of the day to artifacts sent back by whatever means of the day, for the Vatican to hold and add to it's collections. Over the many hundreds and hundreds of years.....quietly..collecting.
Well. yes, that's true. But what are they to do with La Pieta for example, not keep it as a gift to the Church? Refuse it?

I include the logical sum of those centuries of collecting in terming the Church as possessing immense wealth. I don't say it as a negative thing..just a statement of how things are, IMO.
I agree again. There is immense wealth there. It may be an overused cliche, but it truly is priceless. As I've said, this wealth is held in trust and can only be used in dire circumstances.

It may be that the world today is seen as being in dire circumstances, but other countries have spent trillions on eradicating poverty without success. I'm not suggesting giving up, but looking for a more permanent solution which will be found by changing hearts and institutions.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by WhoKnows100

Why is it that today's society equates riches with happiness and contentment? Isn't this the problem?


It's not about rich or poor it is about having the things that make life worthwhile mainly freedom to do and go wherever you want to go. The more one has the more freedom one has, the less one has the less freedom also. Some people that have the most freedom because of wealth don't mind if others don't have such freedoms or wealth. Far too many people believe that "others" don't need broad freedoms and attempt to impose their own beliefs on them...due to political or religious beliefs/reasons.



Those who come to view godliness as a means of gain versus those who know that contentment and godliness are the gains

There is a huge difference that you should think upon. It is only in the past 100 years that our society has shifted from godliness and contentment being the gains of a life with the Lord to believing that "godliness" as the means to gain. The opulence of the churches should be a rather big clue as to how inverted they are to the words of scripture.


True, but everyone's idea of godliness is not the same or desirable...the concept of what godliness is has been corrupted by religious and political dogma and means whatever the leaders of such organizations want it to be.



Poverty is relative. The happiest person that you could ever meet may be very poor. Money does not buy contentment, but in a world which now equates the two, people are miserable. The fact that the holy spirit ties in "drown" and "perdition" is also a huge clue as to the days of Noah.


Money might not buy contentment but it will buy things that make life comfortable; poverty buys nothing and begs for the little it has. People make the mistake of confusing poverty in developed countries and the "real" poverty in undeveloped countries. Big, big difference.

Poverty is 100 % politically based. When people have lack of opportunities and the freedom to engage opportunities, they have poverty and despair and very little if any "contentment".



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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The information age has increased the number of poor. Lets take Dolly Parton as an example. She was born and raised in a poor family. She was happy as a clam. She had no idea she was poor. She rode into town with her mother once, she saw a prostitute dressed...well, like a prostitute. She told her mother " Look how pretty that lady is mom!" Her mother replied " That is just a trashy whore!" Dolly replied " Mom, i want to be a trashy whore!" To this day that is how she dresses.

Obviously there are people truly poor and going without a meal. Nevertheless, Our idea of poor does not remotely resemble true poverty. It used to be that the fear of being poor in America was enough for people to pull up their boot straps and get their ass to work. Now it is better to be poor in America today than a king in the 16th century. Being financially challenged happens, what you do about it is up to you. America still has opportunity for success, even if it is a bad time to be looking for a job. Pride and fear are a driving force that seems to have been bred out of too many Americans. Instead of digging a ditch or cleaning a house for money. The common theme seems to be to apply for government assistance. Or the ever popular unmarried mother drawing a fat check based on how many kids she can have. I was a single parent with 2 kids. I was offered nothing to help me, nor would i have taken it.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 11:35 AM
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Im not a Xtian.. but I am more than familiar with Catholicism and Christianity. Poor doesnt only mean monetarily or etc.. it means poor in spirit or spiritually bankrupt. Poor doesnt always mean living in a box and eating sand... it also means having ones priorities of flesh and not the spirit.. addiction to materialism and not understanding the idea of living simply in the flesh and being rich in the spirit. Poor also means hungry and needing assistance.. for a variety of reasons.

I think youre ol pope is speaking more of a "renaissance" of the Catholic Church and not simply advocating for the less wealthy. He IS a Jesuit, you know.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

I must say, I really enjoy the times we come to have small disagreements, as they always do seem to be small. You have a way of never letting anything slide ..or let anyone get away with anything ..yet you don't come off like a Nazi or troll. That's quite a talent there and it really does make for a pleasant debate. Just wanted to mention that.


Anyway, I looked back over the list from 1-15 to be sure of myself and here is the way I understand that list to read. The people on it are, for the most part, heads of state. However, you see no Presidents or Prime Ministers. They aren't national leaders. They are *HEADS* of state. As in, They OWN the state. At least, in the technical legalese of how this all works at national leadership and structural levels, that's how I understand the difference.

The Prime Minister of England, serves England. The Queen of England OWNS England.
(Before Brits go ape...thats how I understand the technical legalese to be ...no relation to daily reality of how anything functions)


In the case of the church, please keep in mind, I pulled the list as one of a few sources to get just one thing. I wasn't looking for comparisons or relative size to anyone else. Not at that stage... I was only looking for the number. How much did they REALLY own? I've heard it said McDonald's surpassed Vatican City for literal direct land ownership. (I'm not joking....and couldn't find numbers to verify what I'd heard one way or the other right now..but they claimed it about themselves in a book I picked up several years ago)

The use of that specific list as the reference was chosen because the overall list gave everyone at ATS something far more interesting to see in the supporting link that a dry and boring table of data and land totals ..as the second list was for where they rank among actual nations in land mass.



On the Vatican's wealth? Indeed...I would say the majority they hold in public knowledge IS gifted or of some meaning beyond what can be flipped to liquid and spent. A horrible thought for most of what comes to mind in major pieces they hold!
On the other hand.... Do we think they display even a part of what they have? The Smithsonian Institute has been around a small fraction of the time of the Vatican ..and it also interested in collecting stuff, as you may have heard rumors about. lol.... In their short time doing it, they have amassed enough to fill far more warehouses of what is not and may never be on display ..than what IS in display in one of the largest museum complexes in the world. So who knows what resources the Holy See actually has..if they chose to use them?


A quick note on the poverty thing. I've never known the Church to be in the "fixing" business when it comes to poor communities. They leave that to the corruption and stench of politics. I think the Church accepted long ago that only naive politicians will EVER believe poverty can be "solved" or "fixed". The Church just does it's bit, where it can on a daily basis, to make life that much easier for so many 10's of millions at the lowest levels...who have little to nothing else for that little bit of support.

Personally, ASIDE from the evils of internal Vatican politics and the horror of the corruption from Pedophiles in the Church itself? I think they are one of the better organizations in the world for the actual, on the street and IN real life good they manage to do for individual people. (Now if they will clean house and eliminate their baby raper problem with extreme prejudice, eh?)
edit on 17-3-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by jimmiec
The information age has increased the number of poor. Lets take Dolly Parton as an example. She was born and raised in a poor family. She was happy as a clam. She had no idea she was poor. She rode into town with her mother once, she saw a prostitute dressed...well, like a prostitute. She told her mother " Look how pretty that lady is mom!" Her mother replied " That is just a trashy whore!" Dolly replied " Mom, i want to be a trashy whore!" To this day that is how she dresses.


good story, nevertheless, if Dolly didn't know she was poor then she wasn't really poor as is true with many poor in America. I grew up poor and remember going to bed hungry many nights. I was made fun of at school for the second hand clothes I wore, and not by the rich kids, but the kids living in public housing.


Obviously there are people truly poor and going without a meal. Nevertheless, Our idea of poor does not remotely resemble true poverty. It used to be that the fear of being poor in America was enough for people to pull up their boot straps and get their ass to work. Now it is better to be poor in America today than a king in the 16th century. Being financially challenged happens, what you do about it is up to you. America still has opportunity for success, even if it is a bad time to be looking for a job. Pride and fear are a driving force that seems to have been bred out of too many Americans. Instead of digging a ditch or cleaning a house for money. The common theme seems to be to apply for government assistance. Or the ever popular unmarried mother drawing a fat check based on how many kids she can have. I was a single parent with 2 kids. I was offered nothing to help me, nor would i have taken it.


Exactly, why would anyone work if they had government benefits? I remember our parish priest trying to convince my parents to move into public housing and going on welfare. They came close to taking him up on it but for some reason didn't. The friends I grew up with and always had spending money for candy bars and soda pop, (I never did) grew up in public housing and still live there.

The good thing about America is that people can make those kind of life choices...choices not available in economically unstable countries.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Advantage
Im not a Xtian.. but I am more than familiar with Catholicism and Christianity. Poor doesnt only mean monetarily or etc.. it means poor in spirit or spiritually bankrupt. Poor doesnt always mean living in a box and eating sand... it also means having ones priorities of flesh and not the spirit.. addiction to materialism and not understanding the idea of living simply in the flesh and being rich in the spirit. Poor also means hungry and needing assistance.. for a variety of reasons.

I think youre ol pope is speaking more of a "renaissance" of the Catholic Church and not simply advocating for the less wealthy. He IS a Jesuit, you know.


I agree, but renaissance and new beginnings is usually ignited with the word "poor" because most people sympathized with the less advantaged, or are themselves poor. That's how tyrants like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, and others, have gotten massive numbers of people to follow them off a cliff.





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