Many of the cathedrals are hundreds of years old, and the people who built them, bought and paid for the materials, furnished them, are long dead. So. . .just who actually OWNS them, for example? The people of the town, whether they’ve lived there 6 days or 6 hundred years? Just who will profit by a bishop putting chalices on the auction block? Who puts a price on a saint’s relic which has been venerated hundreds of years? Who owns the Sistine Chapel? Who is going to BUY it?
“Wealth” is a very subjective term. I don’t go into my church thinking, “why can’t we sell everything in here that isn’t nailed down and give it to the poor”. . .because is it MINE to sell? Were mine the hands that made the objects? Was I the one who bought them?
Rather, do we look at the faith and love of those who willingly made, and bought, beautiful objects for God, remember them as part of the communion of saints and our brothers and sisters, and strive to give God beautiful objects in making our SOULS beautiful by deeds of prayer, worship, and almsgiving, to name just a few?
Let’s not turn into Judas and murmur about “why was not this sold and the money given to the poor”. . .but rather turn to Jesus with our hearts, minds, and souls, give to Him honor and glory, and treat our neighbor as ourselves. . .