Pope's anti-materialism message?


#1

I was interested to read this: wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=1129685&tw=wn_wire_story
in which the Pope decries materialism during Christmas celebrations from the balcony of a marble, gold-domed building in the midst of a jewel-encrusted religious icons while wearing giant gold cross.

Isn’t this just a teensy bit hypocritical?


#2

[quote=Flickker]I was interested to read this: wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=1129685&tw=wn_wire_story
in which the Pope decries materialism during Christmas celebrations from the balcony of a marble, gold-domed building in the midst of a jewel-encrusted religious icons while wearing giant gold cross.

Isn’t this just a teensy bit hypocritical?
[/quote]

The Pope was decrying the fact that even Christian parents have made Christmas a material holiday instead of making it more of a spiritual celebration. He was then giving concrete examples to do activities other than visiting Santa Claus that give Christmas more meaning for children as well as adults.

I personally do not find a man, who is calling for making less materialism in Christmas, yet who clearly enjoys material items hypocritical. His call is to make CHRISTMAS less about presents and more about Christ.

Yet even if you and others did find him hypocritical, it perfectly shows the infallibility of the Pope on faith and morals. His moral message is 100% correct. He simply fails to live out the message as well as he could. (I am assuming you do not disagree that Christmas has become too commercial?)

However, I fail to see how *wearing *expensive items (that were gifts, and not bought by him, nor do I believe were they intended as Christmas gifts?) is failing to live out his message of stopping to materialize Christmas. If he ordered some kind of expensive present for each and every one of the Vatican members, then I would say he is being hypocritical. If he is failing to decline gifts given to him, he *may be hypocritical. *However, he may also be recieving many gifts and because of this, recognizes and is trying to teach on something that has become quite apparent to him, without singling out any one person and throwing a gift back in their face.

**Maybe you need to focus more on the message (Christ) and less on the messenger. **

We tend to lose focus when we fail to listen to the message of Christ and take our eyes off him. I think you have made that same mistake.


#3

Ok thanks, good answer. So he was specifically talking about Christmas and not year round materialism - which he certainly enjoys, gifts or not. So I guess that warrants another question: What is the Pope’s (Church’s) view on materialism, period? I assume it’s okay to live in such opulence. I’m reading the Catechism now but haven’t got to that part yet.

Also this:

Yet even if you and others did find him hypocritical, it perfectly shows the infallibility of the Pope on faith and morals. His moral message is 100% correct. He simply fails to live out the message as well as he could.

The way you explained it seemed reasonable to me, but hypothetically, if he WAS being somewhat hypocritical in whatever capasity, ie. failing to live out a certain message as well as he could, then that would be fine with Catholics (and God), as long as the spoken message was clear? You seem to imply that would be the case.

Maybe you need to focus more on the message (Christ) and less on the messenger.

I understand, but we all have questions. Know that I don’t ask to try and dismantle or put down but to satisfy a genuine curiosity.

Thanks for your time.


#4

a judge wouldn’t appear in court in jeans and a tank
top, but wears a robe, to signify his office, and to
show his ( or her ) respect for the institution and
the office they hold…

the Pope wears the traditional robes of his office…
i’d think he probably truly hates having to put all that
stuff on… but, it’s duty to, and respect of, the office
he holds, to wear them…

as for the church, read how God instructed the Jews
to build his temple… St. Peter’s sounds like it might
almost measure up… almost…

and remember, there aren’t many
institutions that have given more to the poor and the
needy, than the Catholic church, afterall, we feel it’s
necessary to our eternal salvation to do these works…

merry Christmas…

:slight_smile:


#5

[quote=Flickker]I was interested to read this: wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=1129685&tw=wn_wire_story
in which the Pope decries materialism during Christmas celebrations from the balcony of a marble, gold-domed building in the midst of a jewel-encrusted religious icons while wearing giant gold cross.

Isn’t this just a teensy bit hypocritical?
[/quote]

These items are not his. They are part of the Vatican. He did not run out and make the purchase of any of these items. They belong to us the Catholic church. I don’t think that Pope Benedict actually owns anything.

In the Old Testament, God designed both the temple and his priest clothing to be very opulent. So apparently God does not frown on some material display when it is used for his glory.


#6

The Vatican is a Catholic Treasure. Much of the art donated and maintained by patrons.

Here is some reading tha will help put it in perseptive:

The Vatican


#7

I remember reading that Pope John Paul II had no more than a handful of personal possessions (I belive it was three). The things he owned were listed, and though I can’t remember exactly what they were, there was nothing of significance. He had far less than what the average American owns.

The expensive items that you mention that surround the Pope are to honor God. They do not belong to the Pope, they are not the possession of any individual.

I don’t see the hypocrisy.


#8

[quote=Flickker]Ok thanks, good answer. So he was specifically talking about Christmas and not year round materialism - which he certainly enjoys, gifts or not. So I guess that warrants another question: What is the Pope’s (Church’s) view on materialism, period? I assume it’s okay to live in such opulence. I’m reading the Catechism now but haven’t got to that part yet.

.
[/quote]

You must understand that the Catholic church is very old and has acquired a great many artworks and other precious items. Using such items to glorify God is wonderful. It would only be wrong if the Catholic church gave nothing or very little to the poor.

I have been both Protestant and am now in RCIA to become Catholic. My priest often stresses the importance of helping the poor and needy. I am not saying that Protestant churches never do this, just that Catholic churches seem to put more of an emphasis on helping the needy among us.


#9

Vatican Riches … Ask Father Mateo

As some U.S. dioceses face financial crisis,
Vatican has own problems


#10

[quote=Flickker]Ok thanks, good answer. So he was specifically talking about Christmas and not year round materialism - which he certainly enjoys, gifts or not. So I guess that warrants another question: What is the Pope’s (Church’s) view on materialism, period? I assume it’s okay to live in such opulence. I’m reading the Catechism now but haven’t got to that part yet.

[/quote]

Exodus 28:2
Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor.

Exodus 28:40
Make tunics, sashes and headbands for Aaron’s sons, to give them dignity and honor.

Materialism in the Bible??? The office of the priesthood has always been given honor and “opulence”. The extravagance you see isn’t to glorify man but to glorify God. Should we celebrate mass in a barn and wear sackcloth just to show our humility? Christ’s Church demands more reverence and dignity.


#11

[quote=Sugar Ray]I remember reading that Pope John Paul II had no more than a handful of personal possessions (I belive it was three). The things he owned were listed, and though I can’t remember exactly what they were, there was nothing of significance. He had far less than what the average American owns.

The expensive items that you mention that surround the Pope are to honor God. They do not belong to the Pope, they are not the possession of any individual.

I don’t see the hypocrisy.
[/quote]

[quote=deb1]These items are not his. They are part of the Vatican. He did not run out and make the purchase of any of these items. They belong to us the Catholic church. I don’t think that Pope Benedict actually owns anything.

In the Old Testament, God designed both the temple and his priest clothing to be very opulent. So apparently God does not frown on some material display when it is used for his glory.
[/quote]

I read the book Padra Pio. He describes how men would join the monistary and take vows of poverty. The monistary itself did not take vows of poverty. So the Monks, all vowed to poverty, lived like royalty among the phesants. Padra Pio did not think these men, simply because they owned nothing, as making sacrifices. He made them out as evil in trying to make it look like they were making material sacrifices for God.

I have no problem with the Pope living like he was King David. I would have a problem if the Pope, in doing so, claimed he was making some sort of material sacrifice of poverty for God, simply because he himself did not own anything.


#12

[quote=buffalo]Vatican Riches … Ask Father Mateo

**As some U.S. dioceses face financial crisis, **
Vatican has own problems

[/quote]

Hello buffalo,

I heard on the news one time where a Vatican official was begging Condolisa Rice to have the administration intervene and stop lawyers trying to sue the Vatican over the clergy abuse scandal.

The last thing the Pope wants is to be brought to justice on this issue. Condolisa Rice assured the Vatican that the Vatican has diplomatic imunity and they would not be brought to justice on this issue.

To those whos children were abused, due to full knowledge negligence, I do not think it matters how much the Vatican is worth, simply that the Pope pays his share for any wrong doing, even if it means loosing his, even if not so valuable, Vatican.


#13

originally posted by **Flickker **
Ok thanks, good answer. So he was specifically talking about Christmas and not year round materialism - which he certainly enjoys, gifts or not. So I guess that warrants another question: What is the Pope’s (Church’s) view on materialism, period? I assume it’s okay to live in such opulence. I’m reading the Catechism now but haven’t got to that part yet.

You asked two separate questions.

The Church’s view on materialism is very similar to any Christian Church’s view. Focus on God not things.

What is the Pope’s view? Well clearly he teaches one thing but his clothes he chooses to wear, whether gifts or not, are very expensive. And although I would agree with others when they say it is not wrong for a pope to dress in expensive gifts, I prefered JPII and his acting out of his faith in Christ. He, although wore the clothes, the uniform so to speak, he was often seen in plain brown shoes. I don’t think he ever had expensive sunglasses as the current pope has been photographed in and is being reported in the news.

The way you explained it seemed reasonable to me, but hypothetically, if he WAS being somewhat hypocritical in whatever capasity, ie. failing to live out a certain message as well as he could, then that would be fine with Catholics (and God), as long as the spoken message was clear? You seem to imply that would be the case.

No, it would not be fine with God nor Catholic Christians. Just because we can accept the fact that people are human with human failings, does not mean we should not fight against it/them whenever we encounter it.

What I meant by that is it is an example of how the Church and its teachings are kept true by God’s promises in Scripture, yet the man who is supposed to be leading it, fails to live up to the teachings of the Church.

I understand, but we all have questions. Know that I don’t ask to try and dismantle or put down but to satisfy a genuine curiosity.

Thanks for your time.

Questions are good. But sometimes, it appears as if others expect the Pope to be impeccable, perfect in behavoir. My explanation was trying to show that even if in the worst case scenario, (and there have been some worst case popes in history), even if the pope’s behavoir were not Christian, it does not mean the teachings of the Catholic Church ever stopped being Christian, just as Scripture promises.

We have yet to see much of the fruit of the new pope, except that he may be too attatched to the finer things in life. Either that or he has not figured out how to gracefully say no, without hurting the feelings of the giver. Either way, the fruit of an individual, does not reflect the fruit of all in a Church. The weeds and the wheat are supposed to left to grow together.

God Bless,
Maria


#14

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello buffalo,

I heard on the news one time where a Vatican official was begging Condolisa Rice to have the administration intervene and stop lawyers trying to sue the Vatican over the clergy abuse scandal.

The last thing the Pope wants is to be brought to justice on this issue. Condolisa Rice assured the Vatican that the Vatican has diplomatic imunity and they would not be brought to justice on this issue.

To those whos children were abused, due to full knowledge negligence, I do not think it matters how much the Vatican is worth, simply that the Pope pays his share for any wrong doing, even if it means loosing his, even if not so valuable, Vatican.
[/quote]

I would answer you, but this really is a new thread. Why don’t you make a new one to discuss the clergy abuse and whether or not the vatican should pay anything for it.


#15

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello buffalo,

I heard on the news one time where a Vatican official was begging Condolisa Rice to have the administration intervene and stop lawyers trying to sue the Vatican over the clergy abuse scandal.

The last thing the Pope wants is to be brought to justice on this issue. Condolisa Rice assured the Vatican that the Vatican has diplomatic imunity and they would not be brought to justice on this issue.

To those whos children were abused, due to full knowledge negligence, I do not think it matters how much the Vatican is worth, simply that the Pope pays his share for any wrong doing, even if it means loosing his, even if not so valuable, Vatican.
[/quote]

This sounds like a lawyer. Sue whoever has money no matter their guilt.

I guess we should sue Bush for slavery. He needs to pay his share too.


#16

[quote=MariaG]I would answer you, but this really is a new thread. Why don’t you make a new one to discuss the clergy abuse and whether or not the vatican should pay anything for it.
[/quote]

Hello MariaG,

Should the Pope be held liable for full knowledge negligence in clergy scandal?


#17

[quote=buffalo]This sounds like a lawyer. Sue whoever has money no matter their guilt.

I guess we should sue Bush for slavery. He needs to pay his share too.
[/quote]

Hello buffalo,

If someone breaks down your front door barges in and rapes your son while you are eating your dinner, would it be a crime if you did not set down your knife and spoon long enough to call 911? When the police come to the house, could not your son have a justifiable greivance that you did nothing while he was being raped?

Did the Pope, do this toward thousands/ tens of thousands of young victims or did he not? If he didn’t know, he didn’t know. If he did know and did not at least use his world mass media to warn Catholic Parents, is there guilt? I do not want the Pope sued if he is not guilty. I just want to know that he is accountable to justice for his actions in the same way every man is.

Bush did not sit by idly while slavery was going on. Did Pope John Paul II sit by idly, with full knowledge, while children were being raped?


#18

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello buffalo,

If someone breaks down your front door barges in and rapes your son while you are eating your dinner, would it be a crime if you did not set down your knife and spoon long enough to call 911? When the police come to the house, could not your son have a justifiable greivance that you did nothing while he was being raped?

Did the Pope, do this toward thousands/ tens of thousands of young victims or did he not? If he didn’t know, he didn’t know. If he did know and did not at least use his world mass media to warn Catholic Parents, is there guilt? I do not want the Pope sued if he is not guilty. I just want to know that he is accountable to justice for his actions in the same way every man is.

Bush did not sit by idly while slavery was going on. Did Pope John Paul II sit by idly, with full knowledge, while children were being raped?
[/quote]

The Pope was’t even Pope when this was happening.


#19

[quote=buffalo]The Pope was’t even Pope when this was happening.
[/quote]

Actually it was Pope John Paul II who was in office when the request not to be sued came to Condolisa Rice from the Vatican. It is he that was protected with diplomatic immunity. However Pope Benedict XVI was there too. He would know who and when any such information about bishops moving sexual predetor priests from one group of victims to the next came to both their attention.


#20

Hello buffalo and all,

I did start a new thread devoted entirely to the issue as MariaG requested of me. We might want to take it over there.
Should the Pope be held liable for full knowledge negligence in clergy scandal?


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