In his first formal homily as Pope, Francis, (ever the Jesuit as well as the Argentinian bishop), raised quite a lot of eyebrows when he mentioned the catch-all-phrase "economy of exclusion and inequality ". This seemed to hark back to the 60's when a revolutionary ideology called " liberation theology" was the vogue among the more radical Latin American clergy, that delved deeply into their clerical concerns of the disenfranchisement of their poor parishioners.
Not to be outdone, Pres. Obama just the past week have started to talk about "income inequality"....which he insist could be be fixed via governmental imposition of his now familiar refrain:"income re-distribution".
A coincidence perhaps, but when it comes to issues of economic imbalance, its root cause(s) and possible solution(s) I'd rather go to where the money is, i.e. un-bridled, un-fettered capitalism. Not Catholicism, not liberalism.
Apparently the catholic church is the richest organisation on earth.
I think its a bit hypocritical to call on others whilst they languish in the lap of luxury themselves.
The richest? I doubt it. The catholic church have budgetary impositions and needs what with its world-wide operation. As such, despite what we may think, their finances are not entirely immune to fluctuations in the financial market.
The Vatican's monetary operations are of course not transparent, so the best that experts could come up with are rough estimates of how much the Catholic Church is worth, how much of it is liquid, and what exactly are the market value of those art collections that it has accumulated through the years.
It has $10billion invested in companies across the globe, it owns 716000 sq kilometres of land, untold amounts of works of art and owns about a metric tonne of gold. Its been accumulating wealth for 2000 years.
Wall street considers it the biggest stockbroker in the world.
It paid out $2billion in compensation to victims of abuse by its officials
And it pays no tax.
Not bad for a religious organisation.
Oh and it has its own country as well.
Now NOT paying taxes is very problematic. In my country, the Philippines, the Catholic Church occasionally goes beyond their spiritual responsibilities by getting involved in politics. I'd say that the best way for the church not to interfere in purely civil affairs is to take away its tax exempt status. But they are very organized and well connected and can check-mate the civil authorities if it finds that action necessary.
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