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New World Library Unshelved

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Friday, May 24, 2013
What Does the Pope Think about Money? by guest blogger Julie Schwietert Collazo
 
Pope Francis recently made headlines when his spokesperson announced that the Pope would not be authorizing bonuses traditionally distributed to 4,000 Vatican employees upon the succession of one pope by another. Citing the Vatican’s 15-million-euro debt, spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi was quoted as saying that bonuses “might be normal in a situation of abundance, but that is not the world we find ourselves in now.”

Already highlighted by international media for his humble tendencies — shunning luxurious accommodations and finery, as well as traditional papal transportation — Pope Francis seems to be making not only personal gestures of humility but institutional gestures as well.

But what does he think of money and its roles in the Church and society at large? His homilies, letters, and interviews over the past 15 years give us some good clues:

“The measure of every human being is God, not money.”
from “Homily of the Archbishop in the Mass for Education,” April 18, 2007

“Sometimes I ask someone who is making confession if they give alms to beggars. When they tell me ‘Yes,’ I ask, ‘And do you look in the eyes of the person to whom you are giving alms? Do you touch their hand?’ And that’s where they start to get tangled up, because many just throw the money and turn their heads.”
from Sobre el Cielo y La Tierra, 2010

“Money also has a homeland, and he who exploits an industry in a country and takes the money to another country to store it is sinning, because he is not honoring with that money that country that enriched him.”
from Sobre el Cielo y La Tierra, 2010

“There’s always talk about the Vatican’s gold, but that’s a museum. The Vatican’s balance is public, and it’s always in deficit; what enters in donations or through museum visits goes to leprosariums, schools, and communities [in need].”
from Sobre el Cielo y La Tierra, 2010

“There is a saying from a first-century preacher that behind a great fortune is always a crime. I do not think this is always true.”
from Sobre el Cielo y La Tierra, 2010

“Either you live in solidarity with your people or you live with your ill-gotten money.”
from Sobre el Cielo y La Tierra, 2010

“The relationship between religion and money has never been an easy one.”
from Sobre el Cielo y La Tierra, 2010

“How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor.”
from a Vatican press conference, March 16, 2013

***

Based on the book Pope Francis in His Own Words, edited by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Lisa Rogak. Copyright © 2013 by Julie Schwietert Collazo and Lisa Rogak. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com


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