Ironic collision of two Sunday stories raises question of what a “poor Church” means

Crux | 10/21/2019 | Staff
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ROME - When James Joyce used the phrase “here comes everybody” to describe the Catholic Church, he wasn’t kidding. The glorious, and also maddening, thing about Catholicism is that it contains both everything and the logical opposite of everything.

Two headlines on Crux yesterday make the point anew: “Amazon bishops pledge poverty,” alongside “Leaked documents detail $200 million Vatican deal for swanky London property.”

Sunday - Morning - Bishops - Part - Oct

On Sunday morning, roughly 40 bishops taking part in the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon trekked out to the Catacombs of St. Domitilla in Rome in order to renew a pact originally signed at the Second Vatican Council in 1965, pledging themselves, among other things, to a “happily sober lifestyle” in contrast to what they called an “avalanche of consumerism,” vowing to live in a manner that’s “simple and in solidarity with those who have little or nothing.”

On their way to the signing, however, they may have seen a feature article in the Italian news magazine L’Espresso based on leaked Vatican documents that detail the fashion in which the Secretariat of State, possibly in violation of the Vatican’s own norms on financial transactions, ended up owning a former Harrod’s warehouse in the swanky London district of Chelsea destined to be converted into luxury apartments.

Vatican - Employees - Investigation - Affair - Commander

So far, five Vatican employees have been suspended in an investigation of the affair while the commander of the Vatican gendarmes, Italian layman Domenico Giani, was compelled to resign due to leaks of the details of that same investigation.

What the ironic juxtaposition of the two stories on the same day illustrates is a chronic confusion within the Church about what an “option for the poor” actually means.

Way - Church - Case - Sort - Wheeling

One way of interpreting it is that the Church ought to shun worldly wealth entirely, in which case the sort of wheeling and dealing captured in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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