The Catholic Church and its multitude of charities do not exist as a vanity project for the rich when they’ve retired and need a big tax write off from Uncle Sam. Though large donations are very necessary to the survival of the individual institutions within the church, large donors should treat their donation just as that, a gift without expecting anything in return, just like when they buy themselves a fancy car or penthouse. A gift to the church you feel that was instrumental in your success in business and (hopefully) as a human being. If wealthy donors of the church donate to get their name on a wall or special treatment from the Pope, then they are totally misguided in the meaning of ‘charity’ as prescribed by the church. To give is a greater gift than to receive. You do not and should not expect anything in return when you give. Otherwise it’s not a gift.
To threaten to rescind a pledge or donation just because the Pope criticized corporate greed, which, by the way, is totally legitimate and to twist the Pope’s message of allowing all willing and able persons a chance at prosperity into creating envy and jealousy into the rich and the not, is self-serving and very un-Christian.
If this is how Ken Langone feels about the Pope’s message, then he best keep his money and donated it to the Republican Party instead which they will put to great use for bashing poor for their own plight.
The principles of charity, kindness, mercy and social justice are about the only things that is holding the Catholic church together. The church has been rocked by scandal, charges of hypocrisy, bigotry and discrimination against divorced persons, intermarried Catholics, gay marriage and same-sex families, so, pretty much the only thing it has going for it is its fundamental teachings of charity, humility, caring about the least in society, the downtrodden – in a word social justice. The amazing work that is done by anonymous members of the church who care about people that are worse off is what is keeping the church going. Not the likes of Ken Langone and his ilk.
Upon arriving in New York, Pope Francis immediately traveled to the center of the city’s ecclesial and civic life for a service of “Vespers with the Clergy, Men and Women Religious” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan. What a great idea!
And what a great joy that the pope would take the time to address women religious, many of whom have felt so marginalized by the church under two recent investigations. By far, the height of his homily during the vespers is when he spoke directly to women religious:
“In a special way I would like to express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people…
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