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Christmas Message from the Pope

He says don’t be selfish and help those who live in places where the basics needed for survival are missing. He said this from an extravagant mantle, on a gold throne with jewels, wearing a priceless gold cross, and some expensive clothes.

Good message there, chief.

24 Responses to “Christmas Message from the Pope”

  1. Says:

    A good point.

    How does he make such statements with a straight face?

  2. Chris Byrne Says:

    Oh I dunno… how about because the catholic church is by far the largest charitable organization in the world; and does more work for the poor world wide than all other charitable organizations combined?

    Or that the church has a less than 5% administrative overhead on its direct charitable donations (meaning that $0.95 on every dollar donated goes directly back into charitable works) ; and worldwide 40% of its non-charitable giving (that which is given to parishes and diocese but not explicitly for charitable purposes. Perpetual funds and the like) also goes to charitable activities.

    How about that the catholic church runs the single largest schooling effort in the world, and educates more children than any nation on earth except China and India… and in fact a significant number of those Indian kids.

    Of all those children, more than half are educated at no cost to the parents, and almost all of them are educated at reduced cost, including my own children (our tuition is less than half the cost of their education; and 25% of the kids in our school pay no tuition at all).

    You can bag on my church for all it’s faults, and god knows I do; but you cannot fault the church for its charitable activities.

    Call it a silly hat, sure; but recognize that when they are asking you to be charitable, they are backing their words with actions.

  3. Says:

    ” He said this from an extravagant mantle, on a gold throne with jewels, wearing a priceless gold cross, and some expensive clothes.” I donno that is a whole lot more credible to me than if he had said it wearing birkenstocks or crocks . Or for that matter said it from Washington DC on MSNBC. The Church ( any Church , pick your flavor ) has done a lot of bad over the years , and like congress tends to not favor truly altruistic folks in leadership . However unlike congress as a rule the Church does more good than harm .

  4. Mikee Says:

    That’s my pope you’re insulting here, buddy….

    There was a wonderful movie made a few decades back, where a newly installed pope, coming from a poor background, decided to sell a large portion of the church’s lands and art to buy food to stop a famine in communist China. The movie ended with the Chinese not starving and everything was supposed to be hunky dory, but the communists were still firmly in control, and the Church was poorer. I think the book may have been better (“The Shoes of the Fisherman, if I recall) but I doubt it.

    So, you gonna agree with the commie-sypms who made that rotten movie or are you gonna admit the Church does good in the world?

  5. Mikee Says:

    Oh, and hey, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  6. Linoge Says:

    Heh. Going to a Roman Catholic high school and being exposed to this kind of… stuff… on a daily basis just solidified my belief that I could never belong to that sect with a clear conscience.

    Of course, I am one of those revolutionary bastards who is firmly convinced that “two or more” is all you really need, not gold and jewels and fine fabrics and all that nonsense. Obviously would not fit in :).

  7. Nomen Nescio Says:

    How does he make such statements with a straight face?

    presumably the same way he — the highest high priest of a church that for centuries has demanded of its priests that they should never have sex — can baldfacedly make pronouncements on how folks should be having sex.

    you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules, says i. but that might be the atheist in me talking…

  8. Timmeehh Says:

    The Papist church has done more harm over the years than Nazi-ism and Communism combined. Of course they had a 2000 year head start.

  9. Robert Says:

    Well, hell. You don’t expect the servant of God to be a simple bastard with a bad haircut who walks around in a robe and pair of rawhide sandals do you?

  10. Jim W Says:

    Chris Bryne,
    You said it better than me, but I did love the way Mother Theressa went about her business, and when the time came for a visit with John Paul came she said she was much to busy with her work and needed to reschedule.

  11. Dr. Strangegun Says:

    The first thought in my head was that they *did* have several hundred years to save up for all that stuff.

  12. John Paulding Says:

    Get a sense of humor you guys.

  13. STEPHEN KING Says:


  14. thomas m Says:

    I will second ( or third) Chris Byrne and point out that these treasures are viewed as kept in trust by the church. The church does spend a considerable amount of money restoring conserving the art it has accumulated over the centuries. Would you sell a work of art created to celebrate the glory of God ?

  15. Chris Byrne Says:

    I have no problem with people making fun of the trappings of catholicism; I often find them ridiculous and excessive myself (some degree of “magic” is wonderful; but there’s some crazy stuff in there about salt cellars etc…).

    The problem I have is the accusation of hypocrisy, when in fact the catholic church does more for the poor than any other organization in the world.

    Not only that, but catholic clergy live an ascetic, communal life; with little personal property. You won’t see a catholic priest; or even a bishop, cardinal, or the pope himself; owning mansions in five states, with a multi-million dollar publishing empire. The profits from books that clergy members write (and they do; several thousand a year in fact) go back into the church, not into their own wallets.

    The ceremonial vestments and accoutrement of the pope are not his property; they are the property of the church. Further, other than his personal vestments, they are hundreds of years old; and were not purchased with charitably donated funds, but were gifts from patrons of centuries past (often royalty or the extremely wealthy).

    Most of the “palaces” so often decried by anti-catholics are also hundreds of years old (or over a thousand in some cases); and again were not purchased with funds intended for charity.

    Should priceless antiques be sold to do more? What about the churches and cathedrals, after all without all those big old buildings the church could do even more.

    What about all the art work? What would all that gold and art do to the world market when it was auctioned off? How much value would they get?

    What exactly would happen to it all actually… Where is the private market for it?

    Oh and all those museums that solicit donations, shouldn’t they be shut down and their art sold, and the money donated to the homeless?

    How about me… I exhort my fellow man to charity. I believe that we can do good with private efforts, and should when we get the opportunity. I make a good living; and I give about 10% of my salary to charity (about half to catholic charities, 1/4 to my local parish and my kids school, and 1/4 to soldiers angels), but I could give so much more. I could sell my car and my TV and give it all to the homeless.

  16. rightwingprof Says:

    If the Church didn’t do more than any other organization to alleviate poverty and save lives, you might have a point.

  17. Sebastian Says:

    Compare that to the setting for the Christmas Message of the spiritual head of another Christian church, which looks downright humble in comparison:

  18. Rustmeister Says:

    Thanks, Chris

    You’ve said it better than I ever could.

  19. Billy Beck Says:

    “So, you gonna agree with the commie-sypms who made that rotten movie or are you gonna admit the Church does good in the world?”

    That’s a false dichotomy and you can keep it.

    When Rome tells me that selfishness is evil, I rack my pistol, exactly as I do when a commie tells me the same thing.

    Full stop. No discussion.

  20. Wolfwood Says:

    I don’t know about paraphrasing from Nazi plays to make a point, Billy Beck, but whatever.

  21. Ahab Says:

    As a rep for Team Jesus with a sense of humor, I’d like apologize for the absolute lack of same from the members of the Non-Reformed side of the house. I tell you, nail some thesis to their door one time and they just lose any ability to laugh at themselves.

  22. Ron W Says:

    I don’t concern myself to much about what the Pope says I should do. I can ignore him and I can read God’s Word for myself and do what I think best. My much greater concern is when the elite ruling class does the same as the Pope, but they’ve got lots of hired guns to impose their morality on me.

  23. dustydog Says:

    Book of Matthew, Chapter 26.
    “6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
    8When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9″This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

    10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

    Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
    14Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. 16From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

  24. Billy Beck Says:

    “I don’t know about paraphrasing from Nazi plays to make a point, Billy Beck…”

    It’s about premises. I see them and I meet them their way.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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