[quote="sgcecilia, post:1, topic:313577"]
I just watched this video clip from Bill Maher's documentary, Religulous. In it, he is standing in front of the Vatican, points to it, and asks the audience,
"Does that look anything like anything Jesus Christ had in mind?"
And I know how much all of you probably adore Bill Maher ;), but he has a point. My home parish is currently building a second church for $2.5 million, complete with gold trimmings and and big ol' church bell. Which is fine and dandy, but um...there are thousands of people all over the world who lack food, water, medicine, shelter, and even a semblance of a religious community, and that $2.5 million could have gone toward them. I am aware that the Catholic church is very active in aiding the poor, but imagine how many people we could feed with $2.5 million more. Just saying.
How can the Catholic church allow such extravagance? And don't tell me it's just a problem with my diocese because this happens all over the place; in fact, it happens at the Vatican! It seems so contrary to Christ's message.
I just want to see if any of you can possibly figure out a way to justify this.
Let's put this in perspective. Would it be wise to, say, not build a school or hospital and send that money to feed the poor? I think not. Why not?
Some might argue that the local medical or educational needs of those who would lose out if those buildings did not go ahead take precedence. That would be a good argument. Why not the spiritual needs?
It is a question of priorities, however. The equitable distribution of food and goods hinges upon a very broad set of practices and policies that everyone has a part in. Consider the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on cosmetics, sporting events and facilities, discretionary items, etc., by modern western culture. Shouldn't these unnecessary monies be diverted to the poor ahead of resources earmarked for building a strengthened spiritual and moral culture locally?
Why is Bill Maher, for example, focussing his critique on the Church and not on some wealthy billionaire who lives in a mansion worth 100 million dollars which serves only his own needs rather than the spiritual needs of a billion Catholics? Again a question of priorities.