If the Pope Sold the Vatican, I’d Buy Him a Bigger Palace

If the Pope sold the Vatican, we–Catholics–would build him a bigger palace.

At a soup kitchen I was speaking with a well meaning woman, who had volunteered that day, about the affairs of the Catholic Church. She pondered the question…rather loudly, “Why does the Pope not sell his palace and cars and feed the hungry of world and shelter the homeless.” I told her the above quote. Then, I asked a beggar if he’d rather see the Holy Father in a smaller estate or forgo his rations for a season, he’d quipped that he’d rather forgo seven seasons without, rather than see the Holy Father out of St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope is the steward of the Church’s treasury. But it is his flock’s gifts that built and sustains St. Peter’s Square. Those who love one another give each other extravagant gifts, The Holy Father shepherds us and gives us the most extravagant Gift; we in turn sustain his “Palace.”


4 thoughts on “If the Pope Sold the Vatican, I’d Buy Him a Bigger Palace

  1. I have been seeing this topic come up in a lot of places as of late, and I know part of that is because I have bee reading things you posted in your weekly Ledes. (Thanks for those, by the way!) However, I have heard people discussing this around town and at work. I admit to having uneasy feelings at times about how opulent some things can be, but I also know that many things are donated to the Church and building new structures creates jobs. Therefore, I have few qualms on this issue (other than with people who complain before/without thinking or refuse to listen).

    Good work!

    • Well, there is also some stewardship issues that come along with money for Cathedrals and feeding the poor. Besides the false dichotomy of feeding the poor and building Cathedrals (which the Church has been doing both for a long time as the largest charitable organization and one of the largest owners of churches), the Bishops have a certain duty to use the money of the parishioners as it is supposed to be used.

      Not to be sensational, Judas threw a fit over not selling perfume to feed the poor instead of using to to put on Jesus feet. However, let’s reverse the situation. If I collect money from you and said that I was going to use this money to feed the poor, and then I turned around and built a Cathedral. People would probably be upset. I know they would, as people get upset all the time when people find out a priest misallocated funds.

      The situation is the same with the Cathedral, the priest and bishops have a duty to allocate the money where it is supposed to go. So, like the Crystal Cathedral out in Orange, CA. The money came out from the building fund and general fund.

      However, again with the false dichotomy. If it really did come down to feeding the poor or having a big Church, as we can see in the poorer areas of the world, we choose the poor every time. This is in accord with diocese’s budgets are usually over spent, and usually over because of one thing: charity. There is something to say though about the spiritually poor. Cathedrals aid in feeding the spiritually poor with their beauty just like food kitchens help feed the hungry with stew.

      Speaking for myself, I’d rather feed the poor than have a fancy Church, but I’d rather feed the poor and feed the spiritually poor at the same time.

      Anyway, good talking to you. I hope the Christmas Mass was excellent.

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