Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘Tyranny’

  • submit to reddit

Pope Francis attends an audience with healthcare workers, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Earlier this month, Laurie Goodstein reported for The New York Times that Pope Francis’ softer rhetoric on hot-button social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage were causing conservative Catholics no small amount of chagrin.

It looks like they can expect more cognitive dissonance, according to this report in The Guardian

Pope Francis has attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

In a sense, the new pope is just grappling with the reality he faces. Polls show that American Catholics, at least, agree with the pontiff’s position that the church focuses too much on social issues. And Francis recently commissioned a survey of Catholics around the world to see where they fall on these questions.

Meanwhile, Dominic Barton, the Managing Director of McKinsey & Co., writes in today’s Wall Street Journal: ”In 2012, the top 1% of earners in the US collected 19.3% of the country’s total household income–an all-time high… The disparity is growing rapidly as well. Incomes of the top 1% grew by 31.4% from 2009 to 2012, compared to just 0.4% for the remaining 99%.”

 

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
  • submit to reddit

BillMoyers.com encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to content on Moyers & Company and the BillMoyers.com website.

  • The editorial staff reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, hate speech, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements, impersonate someone else, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity.

If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.

We need your help with this. If you feel a post is not in line with the comment policy, please flag it so that we can take a look. Comments and questions about our policy are welcome. Please send an email to feedback@billmoyers.com

Find out more about BillMoyers.com's privacy policy and terms of service.

  • NYCgal

    I love this new pope, he should lead by example. One idea would be to have him sell lots of the Catholic Church’s wealth, jewelry that Vatican is covered in and valuable real estate. Sell it dearly to the 1% and feed the poor of the world for the next 20 years.

  • Linda Bourque

    maybe the Vatican can start by sharing their wealth??

  • http://www.myspace.com/TheeUnicorns christopher witt diamant

    They won’t listen until there’s rioting and the blood of the rich as they are pulled out of their gated enclaves and hidden cloisters is running red in the streets: and all these “poor” Americans, robbed and oppressed by the corrupt elite; are rising up in fury at them in complete revolt…..count on it: it’s coming…and it won’t be pretty..
    …..Doubt me? My Father Jesus has no doubts: believe that….

  • Anonymous

    he wants to kick the moneylenders out of the temple ….

  • David

    Sounds like a pinko commie to me!

  • lapsedandback

    “Polls show that American Catholics, at least, agree with the pontiff’s position that the church focuses too much on social issues. ” I don’t understand this – is poverty not a social issue? Is income inequity not a social issue? The Church focuses too much on sexual mores (too bad this doesn’t include abuse prevention, of course) and not enough on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and the Sermon on the Mount. Blessedly, this is not the case in my own parish or I’d be out the door -again.

  • Crest Villa

    We were expecting John Paul I to say something like this. Unfortunately he died . Or assassinated?

  • Anonymous

    I like this pope! All the real Catholics take heed, stop the greed!!

  • cmmj

    Sorry – the RCC lost me when they tossed everything John XXIII set forth in V2 in the 60′s. It’s been downhill ever since, imho. It’s nice to see Francis sort of returning to the language of V2 openness, but as sincere as he seems, it seems too little, too late. There’s no way I’ll ever look at the RCC again as an ‘open organization’ until I hear that they’ve accepted the first female novitiate/candidate for the priesthood and rescinded the absolutely ridiculous and unnatural practice of male/priestly celibacy.

    Yes, I’m in favor generally what Francis is exclaiming here – of course! – what right thinking human WOULDN”T agree with this? – but agree with other commentators here – the RCC has to show it own intentions to promote change from within as well as ‘preach’ to the sociopathic core Ownership which controls the world.

  • Eric Van Bezooijen

    Are you an American? Every word coming out of his mouth since Pope Francis got the gig has been the polar opposite everything the right wing believes in.

  • cmmj

    Sorry if you misunderstand. I was a V2 ‘kid’ in the RCC, raised by liberal, upper-midwestern Catholic parents: more openness with other Christian faiths as well as Inter-ecumenical relations with all world religions, anti-war consciousness, more lay, including women, persons involved in the sacraments. folk masses! My Dad used to take us out to the ‘college’ for Newman masses for the guitar masses. I grew up sitting on the floor of Newman college campus houses with sandle-footed college students singing Dan Schutte songs. My Dad thought the only Catholic priests worthy of the collar were the Berrigan’s. My own Catholic ‘hero’ as a college student myself was Thomas Merton (Seven Story Mountain). I was as liberal a socially conscious catholic as was ever raised in the USA in the 60s and 70s. It was Pope John Paul and eventually the clear legal obfuscation of the Priest abusiveness, worldwide, which turned me away from the RCC. AS well, the return to non socially liberal values and the change in focus to right-to-life and recognition of ‘extremest’ Opus Dei-like groups also closed the door to the RCC to me. I left the ‘RCC’ (Roman Catholic Cult) more than a decade ago and have not returned to any form of organized religion as I’ve come to see the hypocrisy of all religions of ‘man’ as organizations of propaganda and control. Humanity needs to move on from all religions as a way to ‘explain’ things. The model of religion no longer is useful in this century.

    Further, from a humanitarian standpoint, I support what Francis is now professing and despite the 11th hour proclamations on behalf of the world’s downtrodden. I was simply saying, that this should have been the position of ALL Popes, always. That it’s somehow ‘new’ that a Pope is making these kinds of statements now shows how shallow and out-of-touch the Papacy and Vatican has been for the last 30 to 40 years, since V2. And all those shallow Boomers thought it was SO neat they brought ‘back’ the Latin Mass this past decade. What BS! – those same Boomers HATED that – and the Nuns who whacked their knuckles – back in the 50s and 60s. What a bunch of hypocrites!

  • Claudia

    I’m starting to almost like this pope. I will really like him if he does the one thing that would truly create change, and that would show that he is practicing what he preaches: auction off all of the Vatican’s gold and glitter, and use that money to create sustainable communities and programs that create prosperity for all.

  • Anonymous

    That is foolish. Would you want the Louvre to auction off all their art to feed homeless? What good would it do to have all the museums auction their art so it could go in private collections (like the Koch brothers) where it is unavailable to the public. The Vatican has probably the most art lovers visiting than any other museum in the world.
    All we need to do to feed the poor is stop the damn wars for corporate profit and make the corporations making the money pay their fair share of taxes and pay decent wages.
    Every time I see that ignorant rant, I see red! The bigots against this church are never called out! Bigot!
    The Roman Catholic Church does a lot for the poor. Catholic Charities spend the money they collect for the poor on the poor, not on more art and glitter for the Vatican.
    And Pope Francis is truly a man of God.

  • Anonymous

    I hope not. Why should all that beautiful art be sold into private collections of the ultra wealthy and not held for the public to see.

  • Anonymous

    Should all the museums throughout the world sell their holdings and give the proceeds to the poor? If not, why the Vatican museums and not others? Don’t you all realize that that art would not exist if the popes throughout the ages had not commissioned it? In doing so, they made it possible for the likes of Michelangelo and DaVinci to make a living and to create the beauty they did. In the Vatican museums, it is available for all of us to see and appreciate. If it’s sold off, it will go into private collections of people like the Koch brothers and the Waltons, where only their privileged friends in the 1% will see it. I think that Pope Francis will be investing current and future contributions to helping the poor throughout the world. He certainly will not be spending it on pomp and circumstance.

  • Eric Van Bezooijen

    I missed the qualifier “right thinking” — my fault :)

  • Stephen Stillwell

    Seems we are at a time when people, actual humans, are still trying to wrest the ownership of this planet from kings.

    Major strides have been made toward that end, but the best accomplishment so far seems to be a transfer from kings to governments, or corporations, which is of little value to the majority of people.

    Market capitalism was supposed to provide prosperity for all, but there appears to be some structural or functional problem with the current world economy preventing the manifestation of that vision.

    A market system can only function effectively when all people can freely participate.

    All people can freely participate only if they are enfranchised.

    Enfranchisement in a market requires secure capital.

    So, if this planet and its resources are assumed to be the property of all its inhabitants, and we agree that the planet has value, we can use this value as basis for an international fiat currency, to be evenly distributed to each, and secured by the various states in permanent local trust accounts providing a regular dividend. This arrangement places the states in debt to the people for the use of their capital, the people invested in society and securely enfranchised in the economic system.

    The human interaction with this utility would be to claim ones share, sign a social contract, and deposit his or her share in a local financial institution.

    The challenge for the various states and economic system as a whole is finding adequate secure investments.

    The worst case is that the international currency would have no value in the market, while in the best case the international currency provides a sustained level of spending on basic human needs worldwide, allowing the market to respond to those needs, while simultaneously stabilizing world markets, along with all those benefits expected from a basic income.

    This long needed economic utility can provide a basic income without anyone’s taxes supporting lay-abouts and drug addicts, as this is original distribution and not re-distribution.

    My Preferred Social Contract between and among People and Governments

    Definitions:

    People: Adult human beings.

    Government: Social structure holding assumed
    right to control social order.

    Common Resources: Those resources accepted as International, earth, air, fire, water, wood, and those resources claimed by governments for its people, monetized as shares for deposit in local banks.

    Rights and Responsibilities:

    Peoples Rights:

    • As described by Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    • An equal share of the Common Resources

    • As provided for by local government

    Peoples Responsibilities:

    • Deposit Common Resources share in local bank

    • Comply with law

    Government Rights:

    • To govern as directed or suffered by its
    citizens

    Government Responsibilities:

    • To act based on objective reality in the
    public interest

    • To safeguard and secure the people, their
    property, and the Common Resources

    • As required and/or demanded by its citizens

    _________________________
    _________________________

    __________________________
    _________________________

  • Tommy Timonere

    God is with us… Again.

  • Anonymous

    Finally!

  • Anonymous

    WRONG

  • Anonymous

    You are talking about the past, I only hope and pray Frances is NOT like the other popes have been, I am not a catholic, I am a jesus freak, I care about how the bible presents him, son of god or not. he speaks of love, and now this is what so far Frances has preached, “who am I to judge” this really caught my attention, I have always said the same thing, If he is anything like what he preaches and we will soon be able to tell, of course by soon doesn’t mean tomorrow. But if he truly is what he espouses, changes will eventually change.

  • Anonymous

    but John Paul HAD a chance to say these things, and didn’t. no comparison.

  • Anonymous

    I had the same reaction to that sentence as you did. I don’t know what they meant. I am hoping they MEANT sexual/reproductive issues. I am sooo sick of the sentimentality about embryos and the callousness towards actual children who are hungry and/or abused.

  • Anonymous

    Her point of the Vatican being the richest non-government entity in the world is completely valid. You don’t need gold and massive property holdings to help your flock.
    The Church has been stupidly ostentatious for YEARS, big huge overpriced cathredals and other non-Jesus rich man trappings. You religious folk ARE aware that Jesus said a camel could more easily pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man could enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
    The CC, at this point, goes straight to hell. Do not pass Go. So does EVERY SINGLE rich piece of Tea Crap in the House.
    The CC has also been far right wing loudmouths and misogynists. Without Francis, the CC was going down like the Titanic.
    MAYBE Francis can save this church, but what he’s already doing is wonderful.

  • Anonymous

    The Church has earned bigots, hiding pedophile boy rapist priests, and actually moving the criminals to new parishes and new victims with no help to victims and no warning to future victims.
    Pull your head out of your moronic butt. You’re lucky there even IS a church left after rancid criminal Benedict.

  • Anonymous

    “Please, God, PLEASE don’t let poor Americans get good health insurance”, sobs the entire Tea Crap party, “I hate helping the unfortunate!”
    Tea Party runs from the room like an overly-emotional twelve year old.

  • Anonymous

    No doubt. Declared himself a liberal, died 18 days later. Murdered.

  • Crest Villa

    I was referring to Pope John Paul I who reigned for only one month.

  • Anonymous

    I introduce a question: Can the pope actually sell off Church riches and give them to poor people? Does he have that power in Rome? In other words, does the pope, or other Church entities, control the real estate holdings and other riches?
    Real question. No snark.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. I wondered about the pope’s power in this area.
    So…the ITALIAN GOVERNMENT is in charge of Church riches. Thanx for the clarity.

  • Anonymous

    KareemAbdul (below) says Italy and its so-called “government” controls all Vatican riches.

  • Anonymous

    The Pope has no control, I just realized from Kareem below. The Italian government controls all riches, the pope can sell NOTHING.

  • Anonymous

    Francis SPECIFICALLY cited too much CC effort and time on abortion and contraception. The stuff far right winger theocrats worry about more than their own families.

  • Anonymous

    He can’t. Italian government owns all.

  • Anonymous

    The pope cannot sell anything from the Vatican. The Italian government owns and controls all. The pope has NO POWER to sell Church riches.

  • Anonymous

    or, he could use some of the Vatican’s billions to feed the poor

  • Anonymous

    this is a man speaking. i’m not smart enough to know about god. but i know when a man loves humanity and that’s good enough for me. go pope francis.

  • Anonymous

    just support him and know that he is trying to get all of those things done you and i want him to do. but, have you watched the hatred of the black president and how those who can’t stand the color of his skin have tried to stop america? the same will be attempted by the extremists in the church. therefore, support him, give him your voice, and urge him on. i’m no catholic, just a thinking caring person who wants to keep chipping away at all the unnecessary pain we cause in the name of who knows what?

  • Anonymous

    i’m no christian or jesus anything, just someone who knows when he hears sincere care for others. support the pope even if you hate the institution he heads. he is in the right direction.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    My love and respect for this pope cannot be overstated. God has sent his message with a pope I adore and respect more than any in my lifetime. His Christ like behavior is winning the respect of the most anti-Catholic persons. Thank you, father, thank you. You are Heaven sent. I may have questioned my own politics before because many in the church seem to feel that questions of contraception and abortion trump care for the living. You have set the record straight. May God keep you safe and with us for years and years to come.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    He has done some of that, but the relics at St. Peter’s belong to all Catholics, and we go there to see them. This keeps the Italian people flush with tourists who pay their bills. Have you seen the Vatican? There is nothing about it that can or should be changed. The Pope has forsaken any of it for himself, but don’t hold your breath thinking he can or should disturb any relics of the church.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see how the GOP reacts to Francis’s specific rebuke of “trickle down” economics…

  • cmmj

    Indeed, ‘avin a laugh! Certainly, I now view the entire Roman concocted Christ/Caesar-like, God-Man Mythology story foisted upon the sketchy legacy of that (poor) anarchist chap from Judea/Nazereth with a skeptical and more learned eye and well understand the evils the past incarnations of the RCC have administered throughout the C.E.. The 30/40 yrs was MY personal reference space/lens of what I understood in >my< life and how I came to evolve away from 'practicing' (if you could call it that) Roman Catholicism. Daniel Berrigan remains, to me, a personal hero – someone, of, very, very few, who actually has the guts to live the message of the best of what the Christ-story purported to bring to humanity.

    No question, the pattern of hypocrisy, including the now historically interesting interaction of the Vatican and the Third Reich in that era of history points to many human and fallible, perhaps even evil, weaknesses the RCC, which itself claimed it's leader as infallible, exhibited.

    Right, Pope F seems like a great chap, at least in his words thus far, imho.

  • cmmj

    Imho, any prominent religious or political voice speaking out against the currently way-beyond-reason evil economic inequalities and in favor of supporting the ‘least of us’, is, of course, always and ever a good thing. I’d never take that away from anyone. Indeed, I’m a former Catholic, but do I have an ounce of hope now that the current leader of my once former church is saying the things that I’d WISHED the popes from 5, 10 or 20 years ago had said? Yes, that is hopeful.

  • cmmj

    No problem – I am too verbose. I continue to work on my editing skills.

  • cmmj

    Oh, totally agree. I’ve read much on that as well. No question, V2/LT hit a little too close to the ‘socialist/openness/equality’ bone for many of the Owners/PTB. PJP2 and Popes who followed spent much of the last four decades ‘dialing back’ V2 within the RCC.

    I’m no longer religious, but the words ‘Fight the Good Fight’ have retained meaning for me. And I don’t mean ‘fight’ with weapons or guns. What IS so funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?

  • Anonymous

    Another piece of anti-life, anti-reason, diatribe from an irrational mystic. Nothing new here.

  • Warren F. Kelley

    Rembering Pope Leo and his encyclicals for the working man.

  • cmmj

    “The Roman Catholic Church does a lot for the poor. ”

    Well, gently, No. The NUNS do a lot for the poor and disenfranchised. And Rome up, until maybe now with PF, has treated US Nuns like Sister Campbell (i.e. Nuns on the Bus) as persona non-grata by Rome. The Good Sister had to go to benevolent, private sources to support ‘Nuns on the Bus’ as Rome wouldn’t even support them. Rome, before Pope F, has even publicly chastised Sister Cambell et. al. for their ‘too Christlike’ mission with the poor and because they wouldn’t carry the ‘right-to-life’ torch for the Pope while they fed hungry bellies. Sorry, one more sore point (treatment of the Nuns) the RCC lost me on over the years.

    I have a close connection into this world, and I can honestly tell you, every Food Bank, regardless of denomination, that I know of in 50 square miles of where I live is headed by a woman. All the officers of the local Second Harvest depot are women. Take an honest look at MOST of the front-line social work being done in the US – Women! Sure, not all Nuns, but Women – many even non-religious! – who do most of the front-line work of getting food, shelter and services to less fortunate families in need.

    Why the US Nuns never broke away and formed their own Catholic organization away from Rome, I’ll can’t understand. I know you’ll say ‘money’, but that can’t be the whole story.

  • cmmj

    “All we need to do to feed the poor is stop the damn wars for corporate profit and make the corporations making the money pay their fair share of taxes and pay decent wages. ”

    Very much agree with this. Let’s hope things don’t get so bad that they start taxing Religious organizations as well in the US. (why are they exempt anyway? – many of them make ‘net profit’ – just ask that charlatan Joel Osteen).

    If they ever taxed religious orgs in this country, few except (maybe?) the RCC would have the deep pockets to survive.

    For note – no one can be a bigot for calling out a centuries-old, male-dominated, top-down, woman-suppressing hierarchy steeped in mystical Roman/Caesar-like infallibility which clearly had a ‘policy’ of allowing priests to abuse young and adolescent children. I can’t imagine all the priests who knew of this activity over the decades and have (still) never said anything about it (‘not me, can’t say anything, can’t get involved, don’t want to get tainted, I’m up for Monsignor next year!’). Also, the air-of-superiority the Catholics have always held over the other Christian faiths – I’ve witnessed this first hand, many many times – is another terrible legacy I hope Pope F can finally shake. I’ve heard many Catholics just as ‘bigoted’ against Lutherans and Episcopalians.

    All religions must begin to wind down this century. This nonsense has got to stop, for our children’s sake. I’m hoping that Mormonism is the last pseudo-Christian ‘cult-of-personality’ type religions to come and go. I do think younger generations are beginning to wise up about top-down, command-and-control religious hierarchies, which is a hopeful sign.

    Look, as a human being, I like Pope F’s overall tone (so far) – but he’d still be awesome in my book, even if he wasn’t a Pope, or even a priest or associated with any church at all.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Exactly, well said.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    He does not have that power, but he was able to do something like that in Germany. He turned a bishop’s palace into a soup kitchen. Italy would fight back hard to stop him from taking one candlestick from the Vatican. They are almost completely reliant on tourists for their living. The Vatican is an historical and artistic masterpiece which should be maintained even if you don’t believe in God at all.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    Really, you’re going to go with the pope having no understanding of Capitalism? Sorry, I missed your qualifications to judge his understanding on the subject. He has us in the United States to point to and that is exactly who he is pointing to. There is nothing very fettered about Capitalism in the United States. We are fast becoming an oligarchy, but not for the first time. This is just a repeat of the 1920′s here in the United States. His comments are exactly right and your point is vague. I bet you can spot connections all the time when there aren’t any, but have a hard time when anyone is being plain spoken as is our beloved Pope Francis.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    He is talking about abortion and birth control as social issues that the American Catholic Church is focusing on to the exclusion of more pressing social issues, but I would be the first to say sometimes what is being said is not specific enough. He needs to spell it out for some of my fellow Catholics. I would tell my fellow Catholics that they are only responsible for their personal moral ethics in this regard. They need to remember that the Bible says that those who commit adultery should be stoned to death, but Jesus changed this when he told the crowd that he who was without sin should cast the first stone. He was telling us not to judge the morals of others. Yes, we do have protect ourselves from murders and thieves, and we have that right, but anyone willing to put them to death is not prolife. Our government’s care of the poor is our concern. We vote and decide as a people what we value and what we will pay for. A country that will pay for wars, but not feed its children is a sad place indeed. That is not a Christian country to my way of thinking. That is what I know he is trying to tell us.

  • Tyler Nicholas Trent

    Hey man, keep what ever you are smoking, AWAY from anyone else… downer…

  • Tyler Nicholas Trent

    Right?, haha, it’s the Catholics that don’t like the Pope… what a coincidence… now that those idiots have had their eyes opened to reality, they can praise the Pope like the other religions do…

  • Tyler Nicholas Trent

    Brother, you couldn’t be more honest with yourself :)

  • Michael

    The Pope also sits in his palace, and on a throne financed by manipulated money, also.

  • Anonymous

    Did Pope Francis actually use the term “unfettered capitalism” or is this an interpretation of the columnist? I ask this because there is no such thing as unfettered capitalism, at least in the United States.
    The markets in the U.S. are highly regulated, and worst of all, the U.S. has a central banking system ( as do many other countries) that is nothing more than a legalized counterfeiter. This legalized counterfeiter manipulates the money supply to the benefit of the rich and the detriment of the poor. The resulting business cycles and devaluation of the dollar are certainly of no benefit to the poor.
    The highly regulated markets engender crony capitalism, wherein companies seek to get regulations passed that favor themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t try to split hairs here, my friend. you know EXACTLY what he means by “unfettered capitalism” – His Holiness also made this statement recently:”…the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.” If it still is not clear to you, unless you are a hopeless tool and enabler for these swine, it’s this – the pursuit of the almighty bottom line, the profit margin; and everything else, particularly the human part of the equation, be damned.

  • Ruth Lopez

    He is talking about the U.S., but it is this nation that has allowed so many people to prosper simply because of capitalism. And, yes, our government is choking the life out of our freedoms and opportunities. Too bad Pope Francis does not lecture governments for taxing their people to death through legalized theft and for regulating their liberties to live to their fullest potential.

  • Anonymous

    People forget that the billions of dollars are needed to generate a return in order to pay for all the resources and provide the continuous income stream to maintain the church’s philanthropic activities.

  • http://blog.doomsdayzen.com agonist

    Pope Francis’ straight talk and honest approach is making me wish I was Catholic.

  • Anonymous

    The last time I heard a meaningful sermon on any social issue – actually moral issue – was so long ago I cannot remember exactly! My recollection is the late 1960′s. I believe that if Catholics don’t return to their religion and its morality, they will lose even more of their faithful who are sick of the pablum church of today!! There are many who believe the Communist party has largely infiltrated the church…. and from what I’ve experienced they might just be right. Maybe this pope will complete the destruction of the church, and that is his plan, and that would be no surprise given his comrade in the White House and his efforts to destroy America. Many Catholics will be faced with loving it or leaving it very soon!

  • Marky Narc

    Only 75%?!?!

  • Anonymous

    Right! We’ll just keep growing consumption and pretending that the world is not limited in resources. That’s capitalism!

  • Anonymous

    No they don’t. That number is false.

  • Anonymous

    In his essay, Vatican Billions, author Avro Manhattan gives the perfect response to the Pope’s call for the rich to share:

    “Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was
    the poorest of the poor.

    Roman Catholicism, which claims to be His
    church, is the richest of the rich, the wealthiest institution on
    earth. How come, that such an institution, ruling in the name of
    this same itinerant preacher, whose want was such that he had not
    even a pillow upon which to rest his head, is now so top-heavy with
    riches that she can rival – indeed, that she can put to shame – the
    combined might of the most redoubtable financial trusts, of the most
    potent industrial super-giants, and of the most prosperous global
    corporation of the world?”

  • Wildfaery

    what? people are not just adult human beings. We were children once too. No one on this planet is not without experience.

  • Bradford Nelson Bray

    Name call much? Classy. Your Reagan “trickle down” propaganda is boring. We, The American People, have been sold a bill of goods since 1980 about deregulation and getting government out of the way of business. In case you have been living elsewhere, this trickle down economy has been running things for over 35 years now. People are starting to wake up to this fact that they have been lied to and deceived. Heck, even Henry Ford understood he had to pay his workers on the assembly line high enough wages so they could buy his cars! That’s how a REAL economy works. people have to have LIVABLE wages to put BACK into the economy. Supply is worthless without consumers who can afford to buy. Capitalism works only when their is a fair and humane balance between labor and capital. For over 30 years the majority of income and “opportunity” has gone to the top 10% while median wages have remained almost flat-lined. You can yell all you want about the virtues of capitalism. However, for the MAJORITY of The People…it is a capitalism that is full of predatory greed with no sense of social responsibility for “the common good.” Have a great Thanksgiving! :)

  • Bradford Nelson Bray

    I think it was Romney who was secretly recorded in saying that 47% of the American people are non-tax paying citizens who vote Democratic because they need the freebies (SNAP, CHIP, SS, etc) that the Democrats give away! Naturally, he forgot about the fact that everything those 47% buy is taxed. But you are right, 47% make poverty wages and, therefore, do not earn enough to pay. I think we need to go back to the glorious years of prosperity in America when the top tax rate was around 80-90% for income over $200,000.00 (during the 1950′s), good livable wage jobs were plentiful, unions were strong, and millionaires still had enough to buy and do whatever millionaires do. Oh, and that socialist president, Eisenhower, wasted billions of our tax dollars on the Interstate Highway System. :)

  • Bradford Nelson Bray

    Yes, the great Vatican…financed by selling indulgences to the working poor peasants to help free people from purgatory! Nothing like the threat of eternal damnation to finance a building project!!!

  • Stephen Stillwell

    For the purpose of economic enfranchisement. The social contract can only be entered as an adult, lest we create the incentive to make babies for their income, while children are rightfully a responsibility.

  • Stephen Stillwell

    I feel that you have not considered the effect of personal sovereignty on the economic dynamics.

    The lack of morality/compassion manifest in the current structure is a direct result of total plutocratic control. Absent the requisite miracle changing the hearts and minds of men, this market amorality is not likely to change, is expected, and is appropriate. After all, the market is a thing, a machine, offers and acceptances. Morality can not be expected of a machine, but I am convinced that enfranchising each person in the market is a reasonable and moral change.

    By enfranchising each human in the market, the morality of each human, the humanity, will manifest in the world as a result of each human making decisions with some protection from the coercion of immoral actors, monopolies, employers, expediency…

    More specifically, if the immoral executive orders an immoral act, this act is less likely to be carried out, and more likely to be exposed, if workers are not in fear of destitution from the refusal, or exposition.

    Just as unions can, and have, persuaded or forced employers to act in a responsible manner, a world workforce with a “strike insurance” of sorts in the form of a basic income has a significantly greater likelihood of “moralizing” the behavior of the “people at the top.”

  • Magdalenaone

    Maryhathspoke,
    Aside from owning real estate, just how much money does the RC have? Is there a public document that supports the statements you have made?

  • Dennis Nilsson

    Utopia doens’t exist.

  • Chad Casale

    I find it quite amusing that the Pope is lecturing the world about greed and inequality when he is the head of the WEALTHIEST government on the planet. Yet every Sunday the Church cries poverty and BEGS for your money. Maybe the Vatican should “spread the wealth around” and help fight the financial inequality in this world? You certainly don’t need to live in a PALACE and celebrate mass in extravagant surroundings. You can praise and worship God anywhere.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    The Catholic Church does spread the wealth around. Catholic Charities is one of the finest in the world probably because unlike protestants our priests and sisters keep nothing for themselves. What they have is owned by the church, and most of them have very little. Our consecrated ladies wear hand me down clothes and rely heavily on the families of the parish to feed them. I work as a teacher in a Catholic church so I have a front row seat to their lives. I actually used to run a Protestant so called non Denominational Churches mother’s day out program. The pastor’s wife took a salary for coming in about once a month and counting the money. She and her family travelled all over the world and lived high on the hog on the money they got from the church and the church school. There is just no comparison. The Catholic Church does have many fine buildings and grand art work, but their members paid for those buildings and commissioned that artwork. If you want to say we should tax them along with all churches I would not actually oppose that, but saying they beg for money and live in a palace is just silly I would not wish to live in a palace that didn’t belong to me or have to ask others for money. Priest cannot marry or have children. Most of them are wonderful people. There are exceptions to that, but what profession does not have exceptions to goodness. In some professions you are lucky if they have good people as exceptions to the usual bad ones. Pope Francis has gone out of his way to remind those who work for the church that what we do is not about the money. I admire him greatly. He has done a great deal to earn that admiration. You are right we can praise and worship God anywhere, and we are free to choose where because we as Catholics pay for it.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I work in a Catholic Church. I see what is happening with the priest and sisters. They still have nothing for themselves as Jesus wished. Pick on the Protestants. There pastors get to marry and own homes. Priests do not own anything usually not even their clothing. They never get to chose where they go or when. I have seen sisters who were well past what others would consider retirement age sent to strange places in the world that most of us would never choose to visit let alone live. The sisters I know wear hand me downs. You don’t know what you are talking about. The grand buildings and artwork were almost all things given by the people of the parish and owned by them. We have had hundreds of years to collect these things, and we take care of them. Governments own museums. Shall we take the contents of those and hand them out or sell them for the public good. There are plenty of people in the world who stole what they have through dishonest deeds so why pick on the Catholic Church. That money came out of our pockets. We get to decide what we do with it.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    We would be happy to have you join us.

  • Anonymous

    It certainly wouldn’t be unfettered capitalism — I think that was the key word in his statement.

  • Anonymous

    More like 36% of federal income taxes, but never let facts get in the way of a good talking-point.

    More importantly, who pays what share of federal income taxes, which make up only around a quarter of all the taxes paid in this country, is a cherry-picked bit of tax trivia, and nothing more.

    http://billmoyers.com/2013/11/13/rip-off-high-out-of-pocket-social-costs-are-a-stealth-tax-on-the-middle-class-and-the-poor/

  • Anonymous

    Actually, those who don’t pay federal income taxes don’t necessarily make poverty wages. A family with two kids — and a 401(k) and some minimal tax planning — can make up to $70,000 without paying federal income taxes.

    You’ve got to be pretty nasty to call such a family “moochers,” or suggest that they can’t take care of themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Fixed that for you: Yeah, let’s sell all the art and historic stuff stolen and pillaged by the Vatican for over 2000 years of history to collect…how much?

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    The Catholic Church runs one of the world’s largest charities. The priests and nuns live lives of complete giving. I work as a teacher in a small Catholic School so I see them first hand. You are talking about a couple of things you seem to know less than nothing about, and yes, you can know less than nothing. Clearly that is what you know. Complaining about taxes? I live in the top 10%. I give to charity and take none of it as a deduction so I can pay more taxes, and I pay plenty. Proudly with patriotism I say tax me I can afford it. Do I have other things I could do with that money. Sure I do. Do I think the things I need or want are more important that feeding, educating and housing the poor. No, absolutely not. Let’s try not building weapons we don’t need and interfering in other countries. Oh, I think that is what our President is already doing. I am getting what I voted for.

  • barkolene

    I’m certain Pope Francis agrees with you Chad. Where do you think he lives now?

  • Michael

    The Pope takes his place on a throne and calls himself the Vicar of Christ ( not biblical what so-ever ) . The Pope lives within the palaces of the Vatican which is hardly a humble place . You need to do a truthful and honest study on the origins and history of the RCC. Much blood money has passed through it’s gates now and in the future as well.

  • Edward Moriarty

    I’m certain Pope Francis would agree with much of what Chad says, and he seems to be moving in the direction of spreading the wealth around. It takes time to change 2000 yr old traditions. This is the first truly progressive Pope I’ve heard in my lifetime. It is best to follow the Pope’s discussions directly in order to not make errors in describing his words and actions. This man is now speaking about changing long established world wide political, religious and economic practices, and placing human beings before established hierarchies and power structures. Anyone concerned about world poverty and inequality would be well served to listen closely to the words this revolutionary Pope is speaking to the people of this world. He may very well be our best defense against an ever-growing elitist power structure.

  • Anonymous

    This article outlines the immense wealth of the Catholic Church as impossible to calculate:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/08/wealth-of-roman-catholic-church-impossible-to-calculate/

  • Jon

    Actually, pope Francis opts to live in badic qiarters and not in extravagancies. He also doesn’t ride in expensive bullet proof cars either. Sure the catholic church is rich and if we were to look into how many people the church helps compared to some top companies… I bet we’d learn they give more.

  • Mars

    I wonder if Italy has “Black Friday”? Oh wait…they call it tourism…..especially to view the Vatican and all it’s priceless possessions.

  • Michael

    Jesus said the rich get richer and the poor get poorer . We do not have free markets anymore , but rather a controlled market in which all the current Presidents and friends ( Papacy included ) are limiting the playing field to a few players . The Papacy has their angle also ; It is called let’s further destroy the once mighty USA for the NWO establishment .

  • Edward Moriarty

    A Pope who listens to people and speaks with people. How inspiringly revolutionary to hear a powerful world voice call for governments that provide “dignified work, education and healthcare” for all people. I am Amazed at his courage and forthright objections to the inequalities created by the world Economy of Greed. That kind of outspoken challenge to world economic moguls has historically been a dangerous path to follow. I am not a highly religious person, but I will pray for Francis.

  • Michael

    The Pope is neither Christ-like nor holy . Anybody man that sits on a throne and considers themselves as called the Vicar of Christ ( while Jesus is in heaven I will take his place ) on earth is strongly deceived and deluded as well as those calling him such . The RCC is apart of the Whore of Babylon , and are modern day Pharisees that keep people blinded to the truth of Jesus Christ which are called wolves in sheep clothing. You are greatly deceived !

  • Mary Whisler Maxwell

    Does it also enumerate the immense charitable work of the Catholic Church? Then it does not give the entire picture.

  • Deb

    I think he’s saying all the right things and I hope others will listen to him.

  • Anonymous

    What is wrong with structuring your business and providing products that satisfy consumers’ wants? When you do so, you satisfy two groups of people: your employees who earn a living to provide for their own needs and your customers who have purchased a good or service they want.

    If you do a very good job at this, your profits will increase to confirm that you are doing the right thing. Profits can be considered a confirmation of a job well done. Now if profits increase to a high enough level, competitors will take notice and seek to compete with you, and if you can’t compete, you profits will decrease. If they decrease enough because your price and/or product is not as good as your competitor, you will have to lay off people.

    Greed can enter the picture when a company seeks to get a government regulation passed that somehow protects the business from competitors so that the company can maintain high profit levels. This I am against and this is what called crony capitalism,
    which definitely does not fall under the definition of unfettered capitalism. Of course, greed can enter the picture in many other ways as well.

    I am not against being amply rewarded for a job well done. Profits are one of the most important signals in a free market.

  • Terri EC Mom5

    I really respect this pope. I’m not Catholic but this guy is so dedicated to the plight of the poor that it reflects his passion for following the words of the bible in everything he does. I’m so happy he doesn’t prescribe to the unauthentic new-age “republican jesus”.

  • Anonymous

    oh yes the markets are highly regulated……….but for what purpose, to help the wealthy become more wealthy?

  • Anonymous

    and your employees just want the same thing, to be paid what they are helping you make, ok the idea was yours, your employees are what makes it work, they SHOULD be rewarded., unfortunately many employers care only about what they make. and don’t want to share. Why, one can only buy so much to be comfortable, not ultra comfortable…. that is called greed.

  • Anonymous

    and yet in a country so repleat with wealth, there are millions who do not have food, a roof over their heads, and it is just because of the greed of the wealthy to hold more money, to what extent, one can only spend so much, why deny so many people that right also, not to live abundantly comfortable, just to live with the ability to buy food, a roof over the head and to be able to get medical help for them and their children. But that is NOT happening here anymore. Oh yes SOME of the wealthy give to charity, for tax purposes, this is not the idea of charity, and it is not true that this country is the only country where people live outside poverty, Norway, Denmark, most of the scandanavian countries do a much better job than we do here. I know that Denmark citizens pay 50% of their income in taxes, they take care of the old free of charge, few if any go without food and shelter, and they don’t whine as Americans do about taxes.

  • Anonymous

    LIKE

  • Anonymous

    YES it is capitalism, and I am only controlled by what I think the government is doing. You have been fed the capitalism reterick and you believe it because its easier for you to live with yourself.

  • Anonymous

    All the people are not in control in this country, otherwise there would be no poverty. you live in a dream world. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy and powerful as long as it is not abused, there is where the unfortunate comes in, too many of our wealthy and powerful don’t WANT to share, I will never understand that. I am not poor nor wealthy, but because of my soul, I need to help the poor and if that is thru my taxes, so be it.

  • Anonymous

    and who are you to tell people they are anti-life, that is one of the problems with the conservatives, they think they have the god given right to tell people how they should live and how they should think god wants them to live.

  • Anonymous

    The intent of regulations is ostensibly to protect consumers. When companies lobby government to get regulations that favor their business, it is obviously for the purpose of giving their company an advantage at the expense of their competitors.

    Regulations are a double edged sword. Regulations can become burdensome and couther productive to the extent that the consumer is harmed by higher priced goods. The question is always, does the good outweigh the bad?

    So yes, in some cases the regulations help the wealthy to become wealthier.

    The bottom line -and this was stated by the Founding Fathers – is that the success of any society depends upon the basic morality of its members.

  • Anonymous

    yea, I that is what I said, only in fewer words, I don’t need a lesson on what the founding fathers meant, No one really knows exactly what was on their minds since no one can read minds, Jefferson tried to get freedom of blacks into the constitution, but like what they can not do now is to bargin, I am not really certain that bargain was worth it to blacks. I am not certain the founding fathers thought ahead of time what our morality would consist of, I am certain there were members of the continental congress who were not moral either, the constitution is about what they could agree to that would also make things better for them, not just the future citizens, They did what was needed at that time.

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    Increase taxes to the top earners and reduce incentives to do business in other countries on the cheap. This manufactured economy based on growth is an illusion. We need to develop an agrarian mind, that buys only what it needs, takes care of it and shares its wealth locally to benefit community.
    Walmart founder appealed to his neighbors to start his business, he is now revolting in his grave about what his heirs have done and how they treat employees.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mary. Popular culture is very anti Catholicism and it’s just leftover Protestant politics. Every religion has its fault and it’s virtues and this Pope makes me proud.

  • Anonymous

    Just like to point out that much of the art work is available for the world to enjoy and I for one I’m glad that over the centuries beautiful art has been accumulated and preserved.

  • Anonymous

    Not all politicians are the same. Learn about the Uruguayan president. He’s a lot like the Pope and he walks the talk. They’re out there,but it’s going to take time. I’d love to see Bill Moyers interview him.

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    even thought they have existed for centuries.
    Jesus came to open heart and minds and spread the good news among the poor, the outcast and the lost. He came to heal.

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    extravagant surrounding represent culture, beauty and artist that worked for years to build the building, the art work and the sculptures. One of them was Bernini, a very devoted christian, who went to mass every day .

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    I guess they have investing in real estate all these years. I wonder if the wealth includes the value of famous work of art that is just hanging on the walls?

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    you left the ethic out of the business process. It need to be a good product, that does not spoil the environment, a well made product and serve a good purpose. If that was our ethic we would not have a world full of useless trash.

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    Again lack of ethics, some countries do no have safe rules in manufacturing and people have died.
    It would be nice if we made things here, buy less pay little more and take care of things. That is the virtue of frugality.
    I think some people would pay more and made here..how many? I heard the amount of trashed clothes is increasing because they are cheap, now we are wasting resources also.

  • http://Beaufishblues.wordpress.com/ leah #lovemyplanet

    where did you get that information? link please

  • Anonymous

    There is a certain irony in your comment. Employers are supposed to care about what they make. If they are honest about that they will seek to come up with the best product for the best price. And to assure that, they need to hire good people and create an environment for them such that they always want to do their best.
    Of course there are bad employers. That is the sad story about the human condition. If the employees don’t like their boss, they can go find a job somewhere else. (I know, this is not always possible.)
    An employer who is exploiting his employees is shortsighted in the extreme. He will only get the minimum effort from his employees. One would hope that the employees would discuss their situation with their employer.
    There are stories of benevolent employers in the news every now and then. If other employers would take notice and see that a happy employee is a more productive employee, maybe, just maybe, he will change his ways.
    We are so steeped in our present overly controlled economic system that we end up thinking that this is way things are and this is the way things are going to be.
    I want to things to change. I want us to be freer. I want the human spirit to be freed so that we can soar to new heights.

  • Mo Reno

    If it doesn’t enumerate the various fortunes held on retainer for the legal defense against their various child-abuse crimes, it does not give the entire picture, either.

  • Mo Reno

    “Many people who are treated at Catholic hospitals are given a bill of ZERO”

    Demonstrably untrue.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/04/26/why-catholic-hospitals-should-scare-you/

  • Anonymous

    What I said was SOME enployeers care ONLY about how much money they make, I have no disagreement with making money, and when you have an idea for a business, you should also be rewarded, but then so should your employees, they are what enables them to sell they item and make money. Somewhere along the way too many have lost that idea, It happens every so often, Then some sort of restriction happens when the people complain and the Govt hears. I Do believe the Gov. is not evil and does help in these situations, usually someone like Roosevelts, just to name one, come along and realize things can change, our federal parks, Because of someones foresight, and some are still trying to move in for the kill for money. God, don’t we have enought land used for housing????the train barons who worked chinese until they dropped for next to nothing, Regulations stopped them. Now the ACA, that people are disgusted with, someday will be just like S.S. and Medicare. Finally someone will also have the foresight to allow laws to be made to raise the minimum wage and I think a wonderful idea, hook it to the Gnp or some part of the govt.

    and to Leah, one mans trash is another mans treasure, If only people were responisble for their trash and treasure. I live on an amusement park lake, people constantly throw their trash, plastic, paper and whatever, out of their cars and boats, they are the ones who have NO pride or care about others. I love this country that my great grandparent and great great grandparents settled enough to take care of my trash.

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    We do keep records. There is always a group of priests whose job it is to keep track of the money and possessions. It is hard for them to take any of it because it isn’t like they can spend it without anyone noticing. Yes, we Catholics have a lot of art, but remember most of the artists painted these for a fee. A very low fee, but good by the standards of the day. The church actually supported most of the artistic and musical talent during the time of the Renaissance. It would not have been what it was without the church. So things that are worth millions now were purchased at a very low price. We have hoarded our money because really the priests and sisters only use what they need. We aren’t like Jim and Tammy Baker. There are no real gold faucets. Most priest don’t own a car, none own a home. I have been to the Vatican. There is a lot of art, and lots of Italian marble, but by American standards most everything in Italy is not up to American standards at all. Catholics aren’t going to give their possessions away any sooner than protestants are.

  • Magdalenaone

    Thank you for this, Janet. It is nice to have some clarification amidst all the wild accusations.

  • Claudia

    I am German living in the US. And I am terribly appalled by people who put things over human lives. I’ve been to the Vatican, and all the gold and glory made me sick, especially thinking about how this wealth was accumulated. The catholic church has committed uncountable crimes throughout history, and many of the riches they have were stolen, not “protected”. In my book, any human life will trump any piece of art or gold. Art can be recreated. But we all have the right to dignity, food and shelter. And unfortunately, in this greedy world, people still think that gold and prestige is worth more than human lives. I don’t have much, but what I have I ALWAYS share. That’s why the most compassionate people usually have the least, because they believe in sharing and the value of human life over accumulations of wealth.

  • Marty Flick

    Maybe yes, maybe no. I responded to what I read: “In 2012, the top 1% of earners in the US collected 19.3% of the country’s total household income–an all-time high… ” Cite the source for your figure … that’s part of debate, is it not?

  • Janet Gallagher Warren

    I have been to the Vatican. No one gets trampled to death there. A more peaceful, kind considerate crowd never has existed, and not everyone there is going for religious reasons, but even the ones who are just there to view the art are always on their best behavior. There is no comparison between the heathen practice of fighting others for the opportunity to buy cheap junk and the viewing of priceless art and religious artifacts. No fights break out over the blessed rosaries in the Vatican gift shop.

  • Anonymous

    we should revamp our tax system, give tax credits to businesses based on how many living wage jobs they have inside the US. That would encourage business to pay decent wages but would also make the companies that do pay well here at home, have a chance to compete with the companies that operate outside, using slave labor.

    We should also only allow 1 deduction for all tax payers. We should have a formula for figuring out the basic cost of living, allowing for housing, food, medical, just the basics, and use that as the only deduction, and then tax every single person the same percentage on ALL income. We have equal protection under the law, same and equal. This means that the rich would deduct the same amount for housing as any other person. And they would pay the same percent on taxes over that deduction as I do.

    Right now, I have been paying 28% while someone like Romney hides money overseas, deducts a large part of the rest, and in a good year for tax payers, he has paid less than 14%. The deductions ought to be the same, the tax levels ought to be the same. This makes the rich pay more, and protects the poor.

  • Anonymous

    I am an atheist, my friends and some family members are Catholic. I heard someone say that there were 3,000 places in the Bible where it tells us to take care of the poor. My neighbor studies the Bible on a daily basis, goes to mass and does all of the good Catholic stuff, kids in their schools, the whole bit.

    So I asked him if that were true, he is a dyed-in-the-wool republican, wanting people to just stop being lazy and work…..he stopped for a minute, had an odd look on his face, and said there are probably more than 3,000 times. And now comes a new Pope saying the same thing.

    I wonder what will happen, will conservatives give up church or the republican party? I am guessing many will leave the church first. Love of money being more than a love of a god.

    On a separate issue, I recommend the new movie with Dame Judy Dench, Philomena. It is based on a true story of what the Catholic church did to young pregnant girls, selling their babies, and making them work for 4 years to repay for the “kindness” of the nuns taking them in. The audience was packed, I assumed most were Catholics, and many of the older women were crying. The movie had sad things in it, but there was humor as well, at the end they showed on the screen where the key people were today. Well acted.

    I like the new Pope, but the church has a heck of a lot to make up for. How they mistreated these young girls in Ireland may not have been a one-off thing. We know that there was wide spread sexual abuse of children for several decades, we don’t know if it was centuries of not. And it was all over the globe. They abused children, lied about the abuse, and covered up for the priests doing harm to children. And when it did come out, the church blamed the children in most cases. This new Pope is good, but he has a long way to go before getting the church to a place where I would respect it again.

  • Anonymous

    if they have amassed the wealth that it has, more than many nations, it hasn’t done enough. One gives and does until the job is finished and people’s lives are healed and hunger is gone.

  • Anonymous

    we don’t fix things with cosmetics, only with truth and real justice. And it is possible to point out the good and the bad, and give credit only where it is due.

    Trying to pretend that bad things didn’t happen and not trying to make amends for those failed policies and actions will not do anything to prevent them from happening in the future, and that ought to be one of the first steps in healing from the wide-spread sexual abuse of children that happened at least for several decades (we have no idea when it started).

  • Anonymous

    where two or more meet in the name of the Lord, that is a church?

  • Anonymous

    I happen to live in an area where the Catholic church runs all of the hospitals. They have statues and engraved saying all over the place about the love and mercy of god, but they want my insurance info and my co-pay before they will give service. And I have seen them send an elderly man away, not letting him see the doctor because he had no co-pay with him.

    In the 70′s with forced busing, I had a friend who had her 3 kids in Catholic schools, she helped at school and paid full tuition, and went to church each week with her kids. Then her husband beat her and left her for another women, right when we had forced busing. The church told her that non-Catholics who could pay full tuition needed a spot in the school, so her kids were out.

    Maybe the church does some good things but my great grandfather left the Catholic church over money. And from what I see, the church is all about wealth, collecting it. And any good they do might be great, but it is still best to help people get out of poverty permanently than to just collect donations to feed a few people enough to keep them from dying.

    I like this Pope though and there could be hope that the church will redeem itself under his leadership. At least in part.

  • Anonymous

    ;-0 The 35 does mean something, not my age, but the year of my birth, so I think that makes me your senior by around 17 years. I am not prematurely gray. It goes with the age. LOL Time to get a new telescope. It has been good fencing with you. Its my favorite thing to do.

  • Takashito Nirobu

    I find it amusing that the Pope is churning stale waters within the church, and we fall short judging him for the Vatican and it’s wealth. He’s probably unclouded more eyes at the Vatican, and enraged more Saving Face “Catholics”, to reform the church. His actions are not dampened, and to spite the mixed reactions within the church, he pushes for more internal reform. A retrofit for the age. Who’s to say there won’t be sizeable disbursements out of the Vatican once he’s made more headwind? He’s not had long, by means of a Pope, and has made more headlines for social reform than the President in the last few weeks. You don’t change Two thousand years of “tradition” and ideology in a year, friend. Give it time. Don’t be the one to cast stones in blind rage. It doesn’t matter who cast the same stone first.

  • Mo Reno

    Lady, you accuse me of exaggeration and bigotry, I accuse you of willful ignorance of facts, and attempting to deflect from the crimes committed by the clergy. How does that sound? If your version of Serving God constitutes abject dismissal of your church’s moral and ethical failings, I feel sorry for you. Don’t you dare come at me with this suggestion that I am unfamiliar with Catholic teachings. I was an altar boy for years, attended CCD and Mass every week and have received the sacraments of baptism, communion, confirmation, and marriage from the Church. I’ve been to the Vatican. I simply chose to acknowledge what the church long denied: there are rapists in the midst of the church, child-rapists, to be exact. There is an ongoing attempt to shield them from their crimes, and you are still footing the bill for it.

  • Mary Whisler Maxwell

    I have seen some of those zero balance letters with my own eyes, for they have been sent to my grown children who had emergency situations, no money and no health insurance. I am also in the business of health insurance, and have been told by many people, when their employers did not cover their bills, they were glad they had gone to Catholic hospitals because their balances were written off.

  • Mo Reno

    Contrast those with the bill I received for $2500 for six stitches at the Catholic Hospital in Redding, CA.

  • Wendy Blaski

    I was trying to like your statement and I don’t know what happened with the arrows, but I ended up with 2 likes and 4 dislikes, and I can’t fix it. But anyway, well said! :) (and sorry)

  • Wendy Blaski

    I didn’t ask you to take my word for it. It’s called “an analogy.” I don’t know the dollar amount the catholic church contributes to charity any more than you do.I DO know they abandoned the Archdiocese of Milwaukee when they declared bankruptcy after settling their sexual abuse lawsuits. I also know the church could have helped them. I live in Milwaukee, so perhaps I got better news coverage of the situation than you did.

  • Anonymous

    So, because YOU got a bill, they are clearly evil? Your logic amazes me. Or lack of.

    No one ever said ALL bills were zero. Do you think healthcare if free? Stop using your limited experience as universal truth. Your disdain for a group that does immense good in the world (although it is not a perfect organization, since it is you know, human) is deeply disturbing. I hope you don’t hold all people in your life to the same degree of scrutiny.

  • Mo Reno

    Blah blah blah. Show me where I equated a bill with evil.

  • http://scottyboman.org/ Scotty Boman

    This is nothing new. Unfettered capitalism is the complete absence of coercion and force. The word “Unfettered” means without chains or shackles. In other words, it means absolute freedom of choice and voluntary interaction — absolute non-violence as practiced by Jesus.

    So how can the pope say the antithesis of this? By practicing Orwellian doublethink. In his book 1984 George Orwell warned us about the consequences of this type of thinking: “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

    Thus he has adopted one of the Orwellian newspeak slogans using slightly different words:

    “Freedom is Slavery.”

  • Anonymous

    Who am I? I am a rational, reason-based, thinking human who observes the facts and judges accordingly. Francis is what he is: A is A. And I will call this religious mystic anti-life because he, like all religious mystics, value an irrational, undefinable, nonexistent “after-life” more than the actual life they (and we) are actually living in the here and now. As regards conservatives, I have no idea what they think (nor do I really give a rip) as I most certainly am not one of them; I reject mysticism in all its forms, including whatever it is you are referring to that is spelled g-o-d. Belief in which, by all accounts, being the litmus test for entry into the ranks of the intellectual midgets commonly known as conservatives. You’re misguided on multiple levels..

  • Chandler Delveen

    I think you need to look a litle deeper than this shallow argument Dan. There are people who have worked hard and lived an honest life struggling to get by while others usurp the profits.