Friend Criticizes the Church on extravagance

A friend of mine says that the big nice cathedrals/church buildings are wrong. He also has bashed the Pope with the nice robes. Jesus had mentioned to abandon oneself from wordly possession(paraphrasing). What’s the justification for the nice robes churches, jewelry, whatnot? I’d just like to have a counter if he ever brings it up again. BTW my friend is baptist and doesn’t really like Catholicism at all.

Matthew 26:7
a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head while he was reclining at table.
Matthew 26:8
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and said, “Why this waste?
Matthew 26:9
It could have been sold for much, and the money given to the poor.”
Matthew 26:10
Since Jesus knew this, he said to them, "Why do you make trouble for the woman? She has done a good thing for me.
Matthew 26:11
The poor you will always have with you; but you will not always have me.

Also, I doubt it would have gone over very well if the three wise men had brought wood, hay, and stubble,
instead of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Buildings cost money, why don’t all the baptists sell all their buildings and give the money to the poor, and just meet in house churches like some non-denominational evangelicals?

Vestments are also something of a uniform, and uniforms are always more expensive.

Churches and Cathedrals are buildings in which the primary focus is to worship and glorify God. They give us inspiration. While beautiful churches are not a necessity for worship, does it not stand to reason that a building in which we worship should glorify Him as well? In addition, shouldn’t the most beautiful building in a city be used for worship? If we can’t justify spending more on a Church, how can we justify spending money on other city buildings?

Yes, we will always have to poor with us. We should do everything we can to provide for them - not just physically, but spiritually as well. They should have a beautiful place to go to worship the Almighty Father and a place that inspires them and gives them hope. After all, we Catholics have heaven on earth in the Mass. That is what the buildings help us remember.

Jesus never condemned the extravagance of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Tell your friend that man does not live by bread alone. The poor are just as entitled to worship God in a beautiful setting as are the rich.

To give Glory to God. Humans are creatures of the senses. We worship with all our senses, and the “extravagance” serves that end.

God Bless

Ask your friend if God deserves the best that we have to offer (in terms of architectural and artistic beauty) or our leftovers.

Actually, I wouldn’t call them extravagances. They are tradition from the Old Testament to today.

That’s why I put it in quotes; Iwas using the OP’s words. I don’t believe it is extravagent either.

God Bless

Sorry, I was agreeing with you not against. I don’t always make myself clear.

Contrary to popular impression, the Vatican is a spartan operation. Its annual operating budget is about $277 million. The University of Notre Dame’s annual operating budget for 2007-2008, by comparison, exceeds $2 billion. The Holy See is indeed in need of financial support from the Catholic world, and American Catholics usually supply about 25 percent of the annual operating budget.

What about the artwork-the Pietà, the Raphael frescoes, and so on? These treasures are literally priceless, but they appear on the Vatican books with a value of one euro. According to the [laws] of the Vatican City State, they may never be sold or borrowed against.

The “wealth” of the Vatican has accumulated over the centuries and is basically art work, historical documents, and buildings. The Vatican views these buildings, historical documents, and works of art as belonging to all peoples - they are merely under the care of the Vatican. They are not for sell because the Vatican doesn’t view them as its personal property too sell. Why not sell all the works of art in the Louvre? Or in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art? Why not sell the Mona Lisa to feed the poor? Why don’t museums sell off their Rembrandts and Van Goghs and Picassos to feed the poor?

About 20 years ago, Peter Drucker, the management consultant, concluded that the three most efficient organizations in history were General Motors, the 19th-century Prussian Army, and the Catholic Church. He put the Church on his list because it manages to hold a worldwide organization together with an exceptionally small central headquarters. For the 1.1 billion Catholics, there are about 1,700 people working in the [Vatican]. As Drucker pointed out, if the same ratio were applied to our government in Washington, D.C., there would be 500 federal employees working in the capital, as opposed to roughly 500,000.

So, just give people the facts, and tell them not to believe the lies. By the way, if they are critical of the Vatican, are they also critical of the Temple of Solomon? By all accounts, the Temple of Solomon makes the Vatican look like the poor house. Should the Israelites not have built the Temple of Solomon? Should they have used all the resources that went into it to feed the poor instead?

Taken from an article I read in the past. Sorry, forgot the source.

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