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  #1  
Old Jun 4, '13, 4:04 am
Sultan Of Swing Sultan Of Swing is offline
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Default Wealth of the Vatican

I've often heard people say that Jesus wouldn't want the Vatican to be so grand and wealthy etc.

I've heard one person who said they went to the Vatican to pray but just couldn't imagine how all of this grandeur was in line with Jesus' teachings or what He had in mind.

Now I'm not speaking about pure monetary wealth. I'm speaking about the grandeur of the buildings themselves and all the wealth that is evident within Vatican City.

What is the Biblical basis for this? How do we respond to people who say that Jesus was against worldly riches and would be against the grandeur of the Vatican?
  #2  
Old Jun 4, '13, 4:13 am
markomalley markomalley is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by Sultan Of Swing View Post
I've often heard people say that Jesus wouldn't want the Vatican to be so grand and wealthy etc.

I've heard one person who said they went to the Vatican to pray but just couldn't imagine how all of this grandeur was in line with Jesus' teachings or what He had in mind.

Now I'm not speaking about pure monetary wealth. I'm speaking about the grandeur of the buildings themselves and all the wealth that is evident within Vatican City.

What is the Biblical basis for this? How do we respond to people who say that Jesus was against worldly riches and would be against the grandeur of the Vatican?
Take a look at the splendor of the Temple in Jerusalem. Lots of gold, jewels, fine craftsmanship, etc.

Also, take a look at this:
John 12 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
Judas had the same attitude as those who would have the Vatican sell off the works of art or the buildings or whatever else. And you see that Jesus reproved him for that.

Pope Francis had the following commentary on this:
"Let us think of that moment with the Magdalene, when she washed the feet of Jesus with nard, which was so expensive: it is a religious moment, a moment of gratitude, a moment of love. And he [Judas] stands apart and criticizes her bitterly: 'But ... this could be used for the poor!'. This is the first reference that I personally found in the Gospel of poverty as an ideology. The ideologue does not know what love is, because they do not know how to gift themselves".
The Gospel is not Marxist. The valuables with which the Vatican has stewardship are there for the glory of God, not the enriching of any person.
  #3  
Old Jun 4, '13, 4:39 am
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ajecphotos ajecphotos is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

Glory of God but maybe it just looks wrong I guess having all the wealth when people are suffering around the world.

I know the church are the biggest charity in the world and help out millions. It's the way it looks I guess.

I am all for the Glory of God.
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  #4  
Old Jun 4, '13, 5:01 am
markomalley markomalley is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by ajecphotos View Post
Glory of God but maybe it just looks wrong I guess having all the wealth when people are suffering around the world.

I know the church are the biggest charity in the world and help out millions. It's the way it looks I guess.

I am all for the Glory of God.
Look at it this way: if the Vatican was emptied, if all the buildings in Vatican City were sold off (maybe to be converted into condos or something), and if the Holy Father became an itinerant preacher, living in the rectories of parishes where he preaches missions, maybe they could raise a couple of billion dollars. Maybe. Just maybe.

If they were to divide that among the world's poor, that would be about a dollar a person. Again, maybe.

How far would that go?

And then what would happen after that distribution was made?

-------------------------

Having said that, would you encourage the USA to sell off all the possessions in the Smithsonian? How about converting all the government buildings into low income housing (in order to alleviate homelessness in the DC area).

<Note, for political reasons, I'd love to see about 2/3 of the government buildings in DC gone...but the sale of the buildings themselves??? No impact at all>

Or how about selling off all the stuff in the British Museum?

Or maybe the Egyptians could sell off the stuff in their museums?

Would any of that actually have any kind of long-term impact on eliminating poverty?
  #5  
Old Jun 4, '13, 5:22 am
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ajecphotos ajecphotos is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

What would happen?

The church would show people that it put them first? It would show them that material things are worthless when it comes to the needs of its neighbour?

I don't know what to say. Didn't Jesus say that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven?
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  #6  
Old Jun 4, '13, 5:25 am
markomalley markomalley is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by ajecphotos View Post
What would happen?

The church would show people that it put them first? It would show them that material things are worthless when it comes to the needs of its neighbour?

I don't know what to say. Didn't Jesus say that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven?
He did. But what man is wealthy?

Pope John Paul II died penniless. As did Pope Paul VI. As did Pope John XXIII.
  #7  
Old Jun 4, '13, 5:49 am
chero23 chero23 is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by ajecphotos View Post
What would happen?

The church would show people that it put them first? It would show them that material things are worthless when it comes to the needs of its neighbour?

I don't know what to say. Didn't Jesus say that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven?
The church already puts ppl first. Besides you always want to look your best for God, whether is by the way you dress and by the churches that we have. If you remember, the ark of the covenant was made of the purest gold, yes it's true god would be present in the ark, but don't you think that somebody probably said, why so much gold?

Even in kings I believe, it speaks about how magnificent the temples were.
  #8  
Old Jun 4, '13, 6:12 am
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ajecphotos ajecphotos is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by markomalley View Post
He did. But what man is wealthy?

Pope John Paul II died penniless. As did Pope Paul VI. As did Pope John XXIII.
I know. You are right. But, there are still many wealthy individuals in the church! I could point out a few but I won't. I know of one Bishop that is very well off while the diocese is in financial trouble! But let's not go there!

There will always be an argument about this subject. For me, what reallly matters? Is that the church stays united. That I continue and grow in my love for god and do the very best for my neighbour. God Bless you all.
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  #9  
Old Jun 4, '13, 6:15 am
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Back2Church Back2Church is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

No one can eat the Vatican, or gold, or jewels, etc. Sure, you can sell off all that stuff and buy food for the poor, but once it's all gone, then what? The poor we have always.

I used to question why the Vatican wasn't just some simple bricks and stuff, too. But then I read about how God commanded the Ark of the Covenant to be built and how the priests were to be adorned. From the very beginning, this was what God told us to do with that stuff.

In the end, it's all just stuff. Can you eat it? Share it with the hungry. Can you wear it? Share it with the naked. Can you use it as a tool? Share it with the jobless. Is it pretty? Adorn something holy with it.

We don't need gold to feed the hungry, we need food. All we do by selling gold to buy food is transfer profit around and make a market of feeding the hungry. Forget the gold as part of the solution and start growing some food to give out. How easy it is for us to look at the wealth someone else has as useful, but fail to see the wealth we have in our own abilities as worthy of anything.
  #10  
Old Jun 4, '13, 6:22 am
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Used2beSherryG Used2beSherryG is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

I hear this argument often from Baptists and Church of Christ members. I explain that their thinking is misguided considering that the one true faith has been handed down ever since Jesus Christ walked on the earth because of the hierarchy and organization of the Catholic church. The organization was created by Christ himself and the instruction to teach all nations has been and is still being carried out around the.globe to this day. As for the grandeur of the church, consider God's own instructions to the Isrealites for the dwelling place of God among men in the ark of the covenant in Exodus, God design for the Holy temple of Jerusalem. God dwells among us today in the tabernacles of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church. The Magesterium of the Church is so important to the world that Jesus himself established it and told us that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. God commands us to pay homage to Him and His son in what could only be called the closest thing we can create to heaven on earth in our beautiful places of worship which still stand today in modern times as the most beautiful architecture ever created. When I see travel brochures beckoning people from all over the world to visit places such as Italy, Germany, France, Austria, and so on, look at the photos and you will see beautiful catholic Churches. Our mother, the Church is the largest organization of believers in the world. We revere our Pope as the Vicar of Christ and Vatican Cityis the center of the deposit of the faith that Jesus instituted, the new covenant as the rudder of humanity. Protestants necessarily must look at their churches as nothing more than a building, like any other. There is nothing sacred in that building. I can understand their position as they have been indoctrinated to mistrust and even hate the Catholic Church in an effort at self preservation.
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Old Jun 4, '13, 6:27 am
aemcpa aemcpa is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

This "wealth of the Vatican" is the collective contributions of the Church over centuries to build a fitting Temple to the True God. It doesn't belong to anyone because it belongs to everyone. And who could possibly afford to buy it? And if that person is going to spend billions so that the treasures that currently belong to the whole world would instead belong to one man, where is the outrage against that person and his excess billions?
  #12  
Old Jun 4, '13, 6:35 am
Sultan Of Swing Sultan Of Swing is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

But how do you respond to people who say the grandeur has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings in the gospels?

Another response is that the grandeur of temples in the Old Testament simply isn't necessary anymore. We are the temples of God and God lives within us. The outer efforts to display holiness, such as abstaining from certain foods, was unnecessary after the death of Christ and many would argue that this certainly applies to grand churches and wealth.
  #13  
Old Jun 4, '13, 6:39 am
dmar198 dmar198 is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sultan Of Swing View Post
I've often heard people say that Jesus wouldn't want the Vatican to be so grand and wealthy etc.

I've heard one person who said they went to the Vatican to pray but just couldn't imagine how all of this grandeur was in line with Jesus' teachings or what He had in mind.

Now I'm not speaking about pure monetary wealth. I'm speaking about the grandeur of the buildings themselves and all the wealth that is evident within Vatican City.

What is the Biblical basis for this? How do we respond to people who say that Jesus was against worldly riches and would be against the grandeur of the Vatican?
There are several biblical indications that it is okay for the Church's institutions to be magnificent and richly decorated. A major indication to this is the Temple in Jerusalem, which is a prefiguring of the Church. It was vast, magnificent, and richly decorated in at least as many ways as our cathedrals are. In the Bible King David tells us how much he had prepared for it:
With great pains I have provided for the house of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it; timber and stone too I have provided. To these you must add. (1 Chronicles 22:14)
And Solomon did add:
So now send me a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue fabrics, trained also in engraving, to be with the skilled workers who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. Send me also cedar, cypress, and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon. And my servants will be with your servants, to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the house I am to build will be great and wonderful. (2 Chronicles 2:7-9)
And here is the beginning part of the description of the temple:
These are Solomon's measurements for building the house of God: the length, in cubits of the old standard, was sixty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house; and its height was a hundred and twenty cubits. He overlaid it on the inside with pure gold. The nave he lined with cypress, and covered it with fine gold, and made palms and chains on it. He adorned the house with settings of precious stones. The gold was gold of Parva'im. So he lined the house with gold -- its beams, its thresholds, its walls, and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls. (2 Chronicles 3:3-7)
It was pretty magnificent. The description goes on like that, in more and more detail, to the end of chapter 4, and after that it starts describing all the costly cups and bowls and oils that Solomon brought in for liturgy. So we have more than enough precedent to have all these things in our churches.

Another important consideration is this prophesy, which describes the New Covenant:
Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity; you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father's house; and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him; the people of Tyre will sue your favor with gifts, the richest of the people with all kinds of wealth. (Psalms 45:6-13)
That shows us that the New Covenant will have magnificent buildings ("ivory palaces") made with vast wealth from the nations ("the richest of the people [will offer] all kinds of wealth.") This prophesy is fulfilled in the New Covenant.

I'm sure there are more passages that offer evidence of the magnificent beauty of our cathedrals. It really makes sense when you consider what they're made for: to be vessels of the presence of God in the Eucharist. If the Old Covenant found enough justification for large and splendid buildings because they bore the presence of God in the Ark, then how much more should we! But as I say, there are more passages that support this, but this post is already getting long. I hope what I've posted helps and shows you that we don't do this out of any contempt for the poor, but out of honor to God and His presence. God bless!
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  #14  
Old Jun 4, '13, 6:43 am
aemcpa aemcpa is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by Sultan Of Swing View Post
But how do you respond to people who say the grandeur has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings in the gospels?

Another response is that the grandeur of temples in the Old Testament simply isn't necessary anymore. We are the temples of God and God lives within us. The outer efforts to display holiness, such as abstaining from certain foods, was unnecessary after the death of Christ and many would argue that this certainly applies to grand churches and wealth.
It isn't the rich who built the great churches of the world. Ask the poor Irish immigrants who built St. Patrick's Cathedral whether they'd rather worship God in the same shack where they spend the rest of their week.
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Old Jun 4, '13, 6:44 am
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Usige Usige is offline
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Default Re: Wealth of the Vatican

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Originally Posted by Sultan Of Swing View Post
But how do you respond to people who say the grandeur has nothing to do with Jesus' teachings in the gospels?

Another response is that the grandeur of temples in the Old Testament simply isn't necessary anymore. We are the temples of God and God lives within us. The outer efforts to display holiness, such as abstaining from certain foods, was unnecessary after the death of Christ and many would argue that this certainly applies to grand churches and wealth.
I look at it this way. My wife doesn't need beautiful gifts, she knows I love her. But personally I want to give her a gorgeous flower or maybe a nice necklace; not because she wants or needs it, but rather because it expresses the inner beauty I see in her.

The art, etc. of the Church is the same way. It is not meant so much to "impress" God as it is a reflection of the Glory that is out poured from our hearts. If you were an artist and wanted to express the glory and majesty of Christ would you not want to use the materials that best reflect what you feel inside?
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