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Pope Francis

POPE FRANCIS I’s “REJOICE AND BE GLAD” — an American Catholic Response

 

By Lawrence J. Fedewa, May 12, 2018

Pope Francis I released his third papal letter on April 9, 2018. (dated March 19, 2018). Its cheerful title in English means “Rejoice and be glad”. American reactions have been mixed, more or less along predictable lines. That is, his conservative critics found his view of contemporary holiness too flexible and too elastic; and the “official” Catholics thought it was just great. This reader found it to be too long, too confusing, and, unfortunately, largely irrelevant.

This is unfortunate because religion in general and Christianity as an institution sorely needs an interpretation of its beliefs and its morality which demonstrates not only its relevance but its importance to modern life and to the unavoidable decisions we all must make.

During the early days of his papacy, Francis I appeared to many as the messenger sent from God to help us through these troubled times. His personal charisma, his humble demeanor and his wit and charm were much on display during his historic visit to the United States in 2015 and he gained a great following.

Luckily, few of those millions of admirers will read this 12,000-word exhortation, and the images he created during that visit will remain their view of him. Among the more curious followers of his papacy, however, he has become very controversial. The basis for these reactions tends to be his writings rather than his actions, such as his visits to Israel, Palestine, and many other lands. This document illustrates some of the common objections to his teachings.            Keep Reading

A New Year’s Resolution for Pope Francis I: Start Monetizing the Vatican Assets

Pope Francis greets Bishops

by Lawrence J. Fedewa

https://drlarryonline.com/a-new-years-reso…e-vatican-assets/

 

 

 

Pope Francis I earned the admiration of many when he promised to make the Catholic Church “a poor church for the poor.” I think of that every June when the Peter’s Pence collection is taken up in all the Catholic churches worldwide. The purpose of the collection is to support the Vatican’s donations to the poor. A serious scandal occurred when it was learned a few years ago that 80% of the collection’s $80 – $100 million proceeds were used to offset the Vatican Curia’s operating deficit (National Catholic Reporter, 11/23/2013).

The larger question is, “Why does the Vatican have a deficit at all?” In fact, why is there a Peter’s Pence in the first place? The Vatican has accumulated its wealth over 2000 years and no one really knows how much net worth the entire operation has. Britain’s International Financial Times (7/19/14) quotes Italian newspaper, L’Espresso’s estimate of the Vatican’s net worth as nearly 10 billion Euros ($12 billion). But Cardinal George Pell, who oversees Vatican finances, said recently, “In fact, we have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed, because some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet.”

Not only is the balance sheet enormous, but cash flow is even more impressive. The 800 inhabitants of th Vatican average $365,796 per capita, making the Vatican the richest state on the face of the earth! (Ibid.)

So, the fact is that nobody knows how much wealth resides in the Vatican. What we do know is that Pope Francis uttered a new standard when he said to a group of seminarians, “It hurts my heart when I see a priest with the latest model car. If you like the fancy one, think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world.”

Leaving the rest of us to wonder, how many starving children in the world could be fed with $12 billion?

In order for Pope Francis to “walk the walk”, he has to know what he is dealing with. We humbly suggest that his New Year’s resolution be, “Resolved to make Cardinal Pell’s mission to find and record the totality of the Vatican’s resources the top priority for 2018.”

Next year’s resolution should be how to monetize and distribute that wealth to the poor of the world.