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PopeWatch: Businessmen and Beggars

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Pope Francis yesterday in his daily Mass homily blasted three groups with the Church:

 

“Uniformity, rigidity – these are hard. They do not have the freedom that the Holy Spirit gives. They confuse the Gospel that Jesus preached, with their doctrine of equality. Christ never wanted His Church to be so rigid – never – and such as these, because of their attitude, do not enter the Church. They call themselves Christians, Catholics, but their attitude drives them away from the Church.”

The second group or kind of Christian the Holy Father identified is made up of those who always have their own ideas about things – people who do not want to conform their minds to the mind of the Church.  The Pope called these, “alternativists”:

“[They] enter the Church, but with this idea, with that ideology, and so their membership in the Church is partial. They have one foot out of the Church. The Church is not their home, not their own, either. They rent the Church at some point. Such as these have been with us from the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel: think of the Gnostics, whom the Apostle John beats so roundly, right?  ‘We are … yes, yes … we are Catholics, but with these ideas – alternatives.’ They do not share that feeling of belonging to the Church.”

The third is made of those, who call themselves Christians, but do not come from the heart of the Church. These are the “exploitationists” he said, “those who ‘seek the benefits’, and go to church, but for personal benefit, and end up doing business in the Church”:

“The businessmen. We know them well! They, too, have been there from the beginning: think of Simon Magus, or Ananias and Sapphira. They took advantage of the Church for their own profit. We see them in the parish or diocesan community, too, in religious congregations, among some benefactors of the Church – many, eh? They strut their stuff as benefactors of the Church, and at the end, behind the table, they do their business. These, too, do not feel the Church as a mother, as their own.”

Go here to Vatican Radio to read the rest.  Interesting criticisms with a fair amount of validity.  PopeWatch would point out a fourth group within the Church, lets call them “holy beggars” who seem to spend an inordinate amount of time hitting up fellow Catholics for donations for the Church.  These Catholics almost always work for the Church and give the impression at times that the money contributed comes off of money trees rather than the sweat and entrepreneurship of lay Catholics who might be pardoned for suspecting that sometimes they are looked upon as walking ATMs by some within the Church.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

19 Comments

  1. How about the Povertyists (How’s that for a neologism?) That’s those who always cite material poverty as trumping any other consideration in the Church including spiritual considerations. Even when it is to the detriment of the poor themselves.

  2. Povertyists – evangelists of the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Ignoring the plight of and even damning the poor for the sake of the appearance of piety and holiness. The new Pharisees.

  3. “Uniformity, rigidity – these are hard.”

    I recall the Holy Father saying several months ago,” We must be rigid, even stubborn in our Faith; otherwise we are on the road to apostacy.” I think those are the words he used.
    How does that stack up against what he is saying now? He is certainly a difficult man to interpret.

  4. A year ago he said:
    The faith is not negotiable. There has always been, in the history of the people of God, this temptation: to cut a piece away from the faith, perhaps not even very much. But the faith is how we speak of it in the Creed. We must overcome the temptation to do a bit as everyone does, not to be so very rigid, because right from there begins a road that ends in apostasy. In fact, when we begin to cut up the faith, to negotiate the faith, to sell it to the highest bidder, we start down the road of apostasy, of infidelity to the Lord. (Chiesa)

  5. “PopeWatch would point out a fourth group within the Church, lets call them “holy beggars” who seem to spend an inordinate amount of time hitting up fellow Catholics for donations for the Church. These Catholics almost always work for the Church and give the impression at times that the money contributed comes off of money trees rather than the sweat and entrepreneurship of lay Catholics who might be pardoned for suspecting that sometimes they are looked upon as walking ATMs by some within the Church.
    .
    Unless the priest tells me something about God, I will not give my tithe to him.
    .
    .
    The truth of Vatican II is that every man is entitled to the Truth of Jesus Christ In Latin and every language.

  6. Pope Francis omitted another group. I don’t have a name for them, but they are the people who foister the drivel of Marty Haugen and the St. Louis Jesuits upon countless churchgoers on Sunday mornings.

    I want Pope Francis to come to any suburban USA parish and be encouraged to sing Gather Us In and Bread of Life to Eat on any Sunday morning in Ordinary Time (geez, Ordinary Time seems so bland, like salt free and fat free potato crisps and fat free bread).

    I would replace waterboarding with Haugen.

  7. I like Gather Us In when sung at the one parish we visit every now and then, but the above is simply dreadful!

  8. “He certainly is a difficult man to interpret” ! Amen Don the Kiwi!
    The quote I responded to you with was in an article headlined ” pope defends doctrinal rigidity” one year ago on Catholic Online.

  9. Table of Plenty is even worse than Gather Us In. Schutte is a Haugen wannabe who succeeded, and that ain’t saying much.

    The contemporary music used at most American Novus Ordo Masses is a major reason I sought refuge in the Tridentine Mass.

    I am sure that Pope Francis cares little what much of the Western world thinks of him or what he says. 34 years of JPII and Benedict did not well prepare us for a Pontiff who rarely ventured outside of his diocese, and almost never his part of the world.

  10. Three types he talks about: 1 the rigid doctrinaire type, 2 the alternativist personal interp of doctrine type, and 3, the one who profits emotionally or fiscally either way.
    To me, Schutte is both 2 and 3
    .
    #1 is most like me in that while I am all for understanding (and loving) the development of doctrine, I also still hold the incontrovertibility of the core. To quote Newman:
    .
    “Of these one is to the effect that Christianity has even changed from the first and ever accommodates itself to the circumstances of times and seasons; but it is difficult to understand how such a view is compatible with the special idea of revealed truth, and in fact its advocates more or less abandon, or tend to abandon the supernatural claims of Christianity….”
    .
    It is difficult to be modern without modernISM..
    . The songs you mention are symptoms as well as causes now.

  11. Church music can be contemporary without being banal.
    I am one of those fortunate enough to remember Olivier Messiaen at Sainte-Trinité in Paris. The Sainte-Trinité has a long tradition of musical excellence and composers associated with it include Hector Berlioz and Georges Bizet. It has two Cavaillé-Coll organs, a chancel organ and the grand organ in the balcony.

  12. “He is certainly a difficult man to interpret.”

    He is not the only one who is difficult:
    1) “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30
    2) “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:50; Mark 9:40)

  13. This is not, at least from that excerpt, a denouncement of businessmen. Simon Magus, Ananias, and Sapphira treated religion as a business. That’s a perennial problem within the Church, and it remains so. These “holy beggars” can fall within that group. The homily, I gather, was about how we approach the Church. If we approach it as a set of rules to beat up the other guy, or as what C.S. Lewis called “Christianity And”, or as an opportunity for financial gain, we’re using it as a means to an end. Christ’s body is not a means to an end.

  14. Pinky: “Simon Magus, Ananias, and Sapphira treated religion as a business. That’s a perennial problem within the Church, and it remains so.”
    .
    Jesus Christ threw the money changers out of the temple.

  15. Pinky wrote, “Christ’s body is not a means to an end”

    Cardinal Henri de Lubac once said, “the church is not instrumental to God’s purpose of redeeming the world, rather the world is instrumental to God’s purpose of fashioning a body and bride for his Son.”

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