In a recent discussion with a Protestant friend he criticized all the pomp and splendor of the Pope’s recent visit and Mass in NYC. He said the Pope should be, at the very least, meeting with the common man and serving in the soup kitchen as well.
I said that the Body of Christ has many members and that, because of the Pope’s many duties, other people are doing these things on his behalf. I also said the Pope is meant to represent the visible unity of the Catholic Church, thus, we go to good and appropriate lengths to make him visible in our ceremonies. He said the Pope should be visibly helping people to encourage charity worldwide.
He also seemed to think Protestants contribute more to charities. I pointed out the most famous charitable woman is probably Mother Teresa, but I couldn’t think of any others.
Does anyone know how much the Vatican itself gives to charity? What is the proportion of charitable activities by Catholics, and if the Popes ever engage in charitable acts?