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An Ultimate Question for Catholics and the Religious.

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posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:03 AM
Dearest ATC,

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 world.
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 aesthetics.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:19 AM
The Catholic church is one of the biggest scam artists of the last two millennium so don't expect any time soon for any money out of their bank to be donated to help anyone other than themselves, at least on a global level. They help people on a small scale, and for the most part churches at a local community level contribute to the local areas, but for the big boys in the vatican to just open up and say "show me the money!", NOT gonna happen.

Btw, it's really hard to read a wall of text, and most people are very inclined to skim or skip altogether, so you might want to break it up a bit more, you know, paragraphs would be nice....


posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:32 AM
I'm not religious by any means, but I find the hypothetical concept interesting.

I, without a doubt, would give the money to those in need, even if it meant that the continuation of the Catholic church was in jeopardy (then again, easy for me to say as I'm not Catholic). I believe that Jesus spoke an enlightening message, a message of love and respect, compassion and helping those who don't have the means to help themselves.

To me, the truest Christian is a human being who embraces love, compassion, and understanding to all individuals without pretentiousness, greed, hatred, judgement, or nefariousness. When it all comes down to it, Christ is love, nothing more, nothing less. To promote love is to promote the teachings of Christ -- the ultimate message a human being can promote.
edit on 27-4-2012 by Ashmedai because: Grammar correction.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:49 AM
reply to post by Kingalbrect79

Thanks for the tip! I've got a bad habit of forgetting about space when my minds on a bit of a rant

Will definately breathe a little more with future posts.
With regards to your thoughts, I couldn't agree more....

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 03:56 AM
reply to post by Ashmedai

You make a strong point. While I don't believe in religion at a base level, and thus can't say I believe in Jesus Christ, I do believe that it's a comforting thought that a figure such as Jesus is so built into our history.

Whether he is real or not, it would be hard to deny that he would make quite an impression if we were given the opportunity to have a chat with him. Whether he was created by man or was in fact the son of God, he's a good measuring stick for the kind of person we strive to be.

That so many of us would perhaps use the money in the hypothetical for good reasons casts such a strange shadow across a global structure that infers it has the corner covered for what is right and what is wrong...I mean, if the guy or girl at the end of my street would spend the billions in the blink of an eye to save lives, what does that say truly about the Pope?

Can a person still honour his leadership if his moral actions are less than so many around him? If so, what exactly is being honoured? His power? Wouldn't honouring power be against the ideals of Christianity?

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:07 AM
Hmm that brings up this question. If they had such money, why would they hoard it?
The only reasons I can think of would be for power, greed. or use as some kind of leverage. And last time I checked all three are non Christian acts.
edit on 27-4-2012 by proob4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:45 AM
You know its not about people or churches or money or greed or self, its about Jesus.
People are not Jesus, not even a little bit,
To think they are is a sin.
Joyce Myers wont fly anything but first class, she said she deserves it. She actually deserves far less.

Jesus was an itinerant who healed people and forgave sin, dont confuse dumb Christians like me, Myers and a silly selfish greedy Pope with Jesus. You misunderstand the whole purpose of Christianity

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 04:49 AM
Its a business simple as that. The catholic church is a multinational corporation with a product that costs nothing. Talk about the margins on that!

The easy thing to do as pope is to melt down all the gold chalices and replace them with plastic ones. How much cash would that generate? I have now got the image of the pope in the Pawn brokers in my head now.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:12 AM
Of course give the money away, its an easy choice.

Cant see many religious folk defending the church on this one, not unless its in riddle form or a quote from the bible.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:30 AM
reply to post by proob4

Whether it's power, greed or leverage, or any other title that sways the benefit to the church, it is astonishingly revealing that a person who is supposed to have some form of direct communication with God would actually be overshadowed by the honest and simple actions that many of us would represent.

Then it comes down to why on earth would people agree to follow such a figurehead? For what purpose? The simple truth is I know so many people from different walks of life that could not sleep if they knew they could save a life by choice and means. In fact most people would be sleepless for days until they did everything they could.

And yet, right now, here in the land of reality, is a group of men that carry gold and jewels and eat only the very best, sleep on only the most comfortable of beds, wear only the finest silk, travel only in the best of class, and these very men know that at any second they could release church funds to save a life. Not just a life, but LIVES.

Why maintain a real estate portfolio if the money can bring life to a dying child? How can these men sleep at night? How can Catholics know this and sleep at night? Because at the end of the day, it is about ego and not about love and actions of kindness without reward. To me there's no difference from a Catholic or a Christian or a Muslim to a fanatic football fan. They WANT you to know what team they're on. They WANT you to know it is the winning team. They WANT to feel as though they belong.

Ever noticed a born again Christian suddenly seems to think that they have discovered all the answers? That they suddenly know so much more than you? It's ego based. Instead of facing issues in their lives, they join a "team" that they are convinced will win, and suddenly they are better than anyone else. The problem is that they get so caught up in buying the team shirts, learning the team songs, trashing the other teams and trying to make you join them that they've forgotten, or never actually knew, the rules of the game in the first place!

To all the fanatic religious team members - if you can, then you should. If you don't, then why not? To all Catholics - from the bottom of your heart, what is more important? Money and power or the chance of life for suffering children? Answer honestly now.

Children you might say? Then, pray tell, what the hell are you doing supporting one of the richest organizations on the planet?

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 05:41 AM
reply to post by Cyberdaz

I seriously doubt the Catholic Church has anywhere near that amount of cash, it's more likely the alleged huge wealth is mainly in sacred artifacts and other treasures.

But suppose there was that much cash in the treasury. A mere $30 billion. A few days of the US Federal budget at best? Give it away? That's only about $6 per person, it would do little good and be gone almost immediately. The benefit would last mere minutes at best.

No, use it to fund the building institutions and hiring of staff to educate instead. Teach people how to feed themselves and care for themselves. Provide higher education to those who are more likely to become honest leaders and champions of the people. Teach those who have been graced with abundance to feed the starving, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless as much as possible.

Gee, that's what the Church does in addition to tending to one's soul. The Catholic Church is the largest charity in the world. It provides a first rate education and health care to millions world-wide. It serves people in need, regardless of religion, color of skin, or creed.

Show me any secular institution which has done as much with as little. Show me any secular institution who's staff are prefect in all endeavors. Are the US government's liberal social programs a model of good? Certainly not -- the US enslaves entire generations in lasting poverty by encouraging lack of personal development. One must stay in poverty and essentially unemployed to get the handouts. Our so-called poor are rich compared to most of the world, and definitely much richer than the average person in the parts of the world to which I have traveled often. Perhaps the US should give trillions to the poor in the world instead of paying for cell phones and utilities and steaks for our so-called poor instead.

Why so many thoughtless arguments posed? Is it the sincerity of the Church which is being questioned or is an excuse being made for one's own inaction in providing for the poor of body and poor of spirit? Does it make a hater feel better to find what they believe are flaws in what the Church does or in any individual who represents the Church? Which has the more moral position, the hater who does nothing to better the world or the members of the Church who care for the body and souls of those who ask and seek?

A much better question might be, in order to keep the education and charity programs going, how large should the financial reserve of the Church be? Should it be 10% or 50% of the ongoing annual expense? How much is enough to ensure the survival of these programs through financial depressions and global or regional secular wars? Should it be nothing as advocated by the OP? Where does that lead? Is it morally right for the Church to place itself in a position where it must close it's doors and programs to those who seek and ask for help when they are most in need? Is it better for the poor to be enslaved in lifelong poverty by misguided Liberal programs, as is done in the US, so those graced by some wealth do not have to mingle with the needy?

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 06:02 AM
I ran a search for "catholic charities" and all I got was the sound of crickets in the background.
Those greedy Catholic bastiches! Not doing anything for the needy!

(P.S - I'm not catholic.)

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 06:21 AM
Your question is relevant to Catholics, but not so much to "the religious"... nor to me, as a Christian.

The answer is pretty simple.
The church should never, EVER retain money. Whatever goes in should always, ALWAYS go out. The church on earth is here for two purposes: to preach God's Word, and to care for the needy.

Doing otherwise is simply wrong.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 11:29 AM
Because if you can keep a people poor, you can keep them uneducated.

And if you can keep them uneducated, on top of being poor, you own their ***es.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 12:01 PM
reply to post by Cyberdaz

I couldn',t agree more with you. I myself am in dyer straights right now,and I think of all the people in the world who have so much wealth and capitol and think to myself "If only I had that" . Is this also my own greed? Would I even think this way if I wasn't in need? I do know that if I did have the resources I would help as many as I could.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 12:07 PM
reply to post by sk0rpi0n

This is not true. Try Vincent De Paul society or LOVE inc. (Love in the name of Christ) I know because they have helped me as much as they could.

posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:32 PM

Here are the problems with this thread, it's not serious and it has no depth. It's like teenagers sitting around asking each other if God can create a rock so heavy he can't lift it.

Before you can even begin to answer the OP's hypothetical, there are questions that need to be answered that the bashers on this thread are ignoring.

1) Is that an actual estimate of the wealth of the Church?

2) How much money does the Church need to pay it's bills, such as salaries, rent, retirement benefits, electricity, etc.?

3) How much does it cost to keep the doors open on the hospices, orphanages, food banks, soup kitchens, hospitals and other charities that the Church runs world wide?

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

The OP is a cute way to get everyone on board the 'yeah, those greedy bastards!' train, but the lack of any relevant data makes the discussion worthless.


posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:34 PM
BTW, no one worships the Pope.


posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 12:54 AM
reply to post by EricD

In this crazy world I am sure someone if not many actually do worship the Pope.

So you can't actually mean that.

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 03:25 PM

Originally posted by proob4
reply to post by EricD

In this crazy world I am sure someone if not many actually do worship the Pope.

So you can't actually mean that.

That's what you are questioning in this thread? Ok.


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