Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What If Pope Francis Had Merely Quoted The Bible?

The Pope has hurt some rich folks' feelings:
Billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone has a warning for Pope Francis.
major Republican donor, Langone told CNBC in a story published online Monday that wealthy people such as himself might stop giving to charity if the Pope continues to makestatements criticizing capitalism and income inequality.
Langone described the Pope's comments about a "culture of prosperity" as "exclusionary" statements that may make some of the rich "incapable of feeling compassion for the poor."
One wonders what Langone would do if the Pope had merely quoted I Timothy 6:10:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Langone might have felt more excluded if Pope Francis has read only Matthew 19:23-24:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The Epistle of James is also rather pointed in chapter 2:
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
Revelation Chapter 3 has these verses:
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
On a side note, I'm not Catholic, but isn't threatening to cut off the Pope unless he preaches a sermon one likes considered blackmail or, at the very least, bad form?

1 comment:

Troy said...

Bad form, bad discipleship, bad listening.

Theologically, Francis and Benedict are hard to distinguish. What most Catholic's understand is the Pope''s words are to be interpreted and understood in context of the whole of Catholic Teaching, which is based on Revelation of the Word.

As an open capitalist, I don't disagree with Francis because I hear his words in context of the whole. As a person who believes nations can protect their borders and essentially determine who are its citizens, I don't disagree with Francis on immigrants.

This is why Francis is more loved than Benedict by non-Catholics and those who don't align with Catholic teaching (sidebar, those who picked him as Man of the Year don't know what they got): They hear his words in context of THEIR world-view and not the Church''s universal (small c catholic) comprehensive view.