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A Reply to the Pope

21 October 2008

On October 8, 2008, an article in the Toronto Star (Credit Crunch Shows Futility of Money : Pope) should have set to rest the minds of any who are worried about the worlds financial crisis. “Pope Benedict XVI, reflecting on crashing stock markets and capitalism, concluded that, ‘money vanishes, it is nothing’ and that, ‘the only solid reality is the word of God. He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career, and money, builds the house of his life on sand’, the pontiff told bishops at an assembly in the Vatican.”

This represents one of our criticisms of religion in general. It attempts to assuage the suffering of the masses with the belief that a better life awaits after death if you endure this suffering without protest, instead of analyzing the true causes of that suffering and proposing real solutions that work in the material world. Of course, that would mean advocating an end to our present class system of economics that religions support.

I only wish I could meet the Holy Father in person and say, “Gee, thanks, what greatness of character you have that you can rise above your worry of homelessness, starvation, and unemployment that many of us have to contemplate in a recession. How small I feel that I should worry that my pension plan may be reduced to nothing while you are not worried about it in the slightest. You don’t worry about pulling your next meal out of the garbage can. If I am reduced to sleeping over a subway grating, I’ll gladly give it up and sleep somewhere colder if I see you coming down the street. I read in the paper that you and your cronies in the Vatican have to rely on roughly one billion dollars in stocks, bonds, and real estate to top up donations from Catholics around the world. It must be a terrible struggle. In fact, the report said that you might have to dip into your Peter’s Pence, the one source of cash that comes directly from the faithful. Peter’s Pence collected $79.8 million in 2007. If I believed in God, I would pray that in His mercy, the Lord would help you in your struggle to get out of poverty.”

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