Jesus said that the two greatest commandments from God were the Shema, and to treat your fellow Jews well. When a rich young man told him (Matthew 19: 20) that he had followed these – and the Ten Commandments, and in fact all of God’s commandments – and asked what he had to do to gain eternal life, Jesus did not, repeat NOT, say anything like “Accept me as your Lord.”
Jesus said “Sell everything, give it to the poor, and follow me.”
In ‘The Gospel According to the Romans’ the words would carry a different nuance: “Sell everything, give it to the Zealots, and join the insurrection against the Roman occupation.”
In any case, the young man went away sadly, because he was rich. That was when Jesus made his remark about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into Heaven.
And no matter which interpretation of Jesus’ words is correct, it is hard to imagine either the Pope or any televangelist being allowed in at the pearly gates.
So this post got me thinking (and subsequently got me lost in web searches). I wondered if there was a guesstimate balance sheet for the Catholic Church. I was pondering $ value of gold, art, PP&E (surely a church is a factory of sorts). Unbelievable variation in best guesses, but all blow the mind.
As for Income Statements- looks like there are semi-credible reports from Vatican City. Though a few years old – If this is right, I would recommend (as a former shareholder) a change in management.
“His Excellency Archbishop Velasio De Paolis explained the 2009 financial statement of the Holy See, that records income of 250,182,364 euro [US$ 316,317,777] and expenditures of 254,284,520 euro [US$ 321,504,333], with a deficit of 4,102,156 euro [US$ 5,186,556].
In relation to the returns of 2009, it was possible to absorb the negative fluctuations that were suspended in 2008 through the reception of calculable standards that were internationally adopted.
Most of the expenditures can be attributed to the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the dicasteries and organizations of the Holy See, which, with their specific activities, participate in the Supreme Pontiff’s pastoral work with respect to the universal Church. In this ambit, the whole communications network of the Holy See is taken into consideration, with particular attention to Vatican Radio.
Together the above-mentioned entities employ 2,762 persons, 766 ecclesiastics, 344 religious (261 men and 83 women), 1,652 lay people (1,201 men and 451 women).”
– from http://www.zenit.org/rssenglish-29859
Shame on you Nikolai
If you want to credit my Shame account (I assume it is a liability account) then please put a corresponding debit in Social Justice. I have a hard time feeling shame for my (overly) gentle jibes at the poor use of the vast fortunes of the church. I suppose they do let a bit out now and again for anti-contraception campaigns in the AIDS-afflicted third world or to defend pedophile priests. Let me go get my sackcloth and ashes.