On Heaven and Earth

Today, I was reading some of the book on Pope Francis called, 'On Heaven and Earth'. I was struck by a passage within it which is detailed below on Zenit. It struck me as odd. You'll see why. I have read quite a bit of this book and would like to give some thoughts on it in a different blog post, but I disagree in principle with the idea that its bad to sell something flashy and expensive off for 'charidee'.

I always thought Our Lord told us not to sound a trumpet blast when we do a good deed and He slated the Pharisees for doing so. I guess that when you are the Pope, people are going to report on whether you sneezed, so secrecy in giving is near impossible.

Also, you might not want to give your money to Caritas, since they don't have a great reputation in terms of their Catholic identity, but that's another matter entirely. In his dialogue with same-sex marriage supporting Rabbi Abraham Skorka, the then Cardinal Bergoglio opined as below...

'Regarding care for the poor, the cardinal differentiates between genuine works of charity and “social-conscience calming activities” carried out in order that a person “feel good about oneself.” But love, he says, “requires a person to go out from himself, to truly give oneself to others.” He then gives as an example a Church charity auction in which a gold Rolex was auctioned off. “What a disgrace [and] bad use of charity,” he says. “It sought a person who would use this watch for vanity in order to feed the poor.” (Words of the then Cardinal Bergoglio, in the book, On Heaven and Earth)

From Rome Reports today we receive this news...

'Pope Francis donated one of these Harley Davidson bikes to charity. The bike will be auctioned off and the money will go to a Caritas shelter in Rome. During the summer, nearly 2,000 Harley Davidson owners made their way to the Vatican to mark the brand's 110th anniversary. As a gift, they gave Pope Francis two bikes. Now Pope Francis has decided to give the bike to charity. The funds will help Rome's 'Don Luigi di Lietro' center, which provides both shelter and food to those in need. In fact it helps over 1,000 people every day. The local director of Caritas, Bishop Enrico Feroci, said the gift shows the Pope's support and closeness with the people of his diocese of Rome.'

So, Your Holiness, is auctioning a flashy materialist item for charity right or wrong? Why is it not a "a disgrace, a bad use of charity" when you do it, but it is if others do it? What a grumpy old negative git I am, but not for the first time, I'm confused. Surely, a more humble approach is to say, 'Who am I to judge?' one who donates or sells an item for charity. These things seem like such little things, and yes, I am being critical, but this is another example of the contradictions communicated by Pope Francis.


Anonymous said…
Seems to me that you can no longer see much, if any, good in Pope Francis. In your pages the overall toee seems to me to be that "he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't."
Sorry to be so critical, but it seems to me that recently you have been doing the devil's work

What do you expect from the pupil of the liberation theologians Lucio Gera and Juan Carlos Scannone SJ? Yesterday evening I read two of their books for the third time hoping that I finally would be able to figure out what they intented to say with their materialistic theories regarding “the poor”. I didn´t succeed but I once more came to the conclusion they both had invented a new gospel which they tried to bring into the Church using the poor.
Nevertheless reading it for a third time wasn´t in vain. They both speak very often about the "new evangelization" of the peoples. Yesterday I couldn´t help thinking that this is a code word for their new gospel.
And they very often refer to the Conference of Latin American Bishops in MedellĂ­n in 1968.
The Bones said…
Hi Father

That's fine.

I'm just asking the question.
Anonymous said…
But what is wrong with auctioning a Rolex? He may not approve of luxury items, but their production provides jobs. Does he know what motivated the person? It seems rather judgmental to me.
Nicolas Bellord said…
I think you have to see this in an Argentinian connection. The contrast between very rich and very poor is so extreme in that country that it makes one think in the way Pope Francis thought about the Rolex watch. I remember walking along a street in Buenos Aires at night and being amazed at the luxuries on sale even more exotic than Bond Street in London. Looking into a window I suddenly realised that curled up in the doorway was a small child aged perhaps eight or nine crawling with cockroaches and probably high on glue.
@ Bone
Keep up asking your questions.

Reminds me of Randy Engel´s Interview on the New World Order.
People are too trusting, people don't ask the right questions." Sometimes, being too trusting was equated with being too dumb.

(Page 3)
JB said…

He is at his core a socialist, a failed economic system and one which the Church does not include within its ordinary or extraordinary magisterium. The people who make Rolex watches all need to earn a living, and they make a very high quality product that can last for generations, literally.

Unfortunately he seems quite shallow in his thinking.
Jonathan said…
@EF pastor emeritus

"Sorry to be so critical, but it seems to me that recently you have been doing the devil's work"

Father, why do you feel so free to criticise so harshly, with such a serious accusation? You echo the 'Holy' Father who is so stringent with the everyday faithful, who strive to pray for him or to sell their goods to feed the poor, yet so relaxed with those opposed to Christ. An atheist who promotes abortion is treated as a man of good will, protestant leaders who deny the Eucharist and the papal office are invited to cordial dialogue. Even rabbis and imams who deny the divinity of Christ are treated with respect. Yet if anyone dares to make a criticism, argued from observable facts, of pope Francis then they are condemned.
Singalong said…
I find all this criticism of Pope Francis very disturbing. Do you really think that Pope Benedict was inspired to stand down so that an unworthy successor could be elected?
Anonymous said…
Jonathan, in answer to your question we know from prophesy that well-being people will be deceived.
The Lord also told us to 2let your light shine before men, so that seeing your good works they may give the the praise to your Father in heaven"
I think Laurence who normally does an excellent job has developed a cataract or as had an aberration and in is full flight doing the devil's work sowing dissension.
Bones cannot take refuge behind the statement that he is merely raising questions..... he is very much muddying the waters at a difficult time for t Mother Church
The Bones said…
I think it would be charitable, Father, to suggest I am being petty in my criticism.

I don't offer dissent to my readership, nor am I being disloyal.

I am saying that the Holy Father, in his book said one thing, but has since done another.

What I have said is my opinion on a matter which is not a matter of Faith and morals.

Perhaps I am being petty, hyper-critical, a little provocative, but I think its a little overblown to say I'm Satan's little helper.

Still, you, too, are welcome to your opinion.
The Bones said…
Also, Father, I would add, it is not me who is condemning the Holy Father in recent blog posts, but His Holiness, himself, by his own words, who fuels, knowingly, or unwittingly, suspicion and sometimes discord.

All I do, as other bloggers do, is respond to the sense of 'crisis'. Perhaps I should not think out loud, but then, perhaps neither should His Holiness, if he wishes to foster peace and concord among the Faithful.

There are times when I cross a line, I admit. This last post is quite petty and not helpful. However, I believe I am not alone in finding Pope Francis difficult to work out, to understand.
Anonymous said…
I think we will just have to differ, since I know you to be a good person who has been doing the good work that the Pope encourages....and you were doing
it long before he was elected!

Good night and sleep well.
Gloria Deo said…
What do you honestly expect Pope Francis to do with a Harley Davidson which he never asked for in the place? Sure he could have it stored in some warehouse but what would be the point of that.

Maybe you should try writing to him and he'll provide you with an answer about why he's decided to sell it.
Anonymous said…

@EF pastor emeritus

"Sorry to be so critical, but it seems to me that recently you have been doing the devil's work"

I think this blogger is honest and fair to the Holy Father.

FrereRabit said…
I have never before heard so many people accusing each other of "doing the devil's work" as in this past few months of people trying to be open about their feelings concerning Pope Francis, and others insisting on his authority. We are all the time subject to a barrage of confusion, and we are all sometimes guilty of suspicion; but introduce the accusation of doing the devil's work and you must live with the real and painful consequent divisions.
Lynda said…
Mr England is not dissenting or muddying waters but acknowledging things said and done by Pope Francis which are objectively wrong. He honours truth and The Truth on which the One Holy Catholic Church is based. He is loyal to the Magisterium, Sacred Scripture and Tradition of Christ's Holy Church. He is using his God-given reason to support the Church. Ignoring serious errors on the part of the Pope is to do a great disservice to God and His Church, and to aid in leading souls astray, or at least to fail not to act to prevent people being lead astray.
Lynda said…
There may be no good in making pure luxury/prestige products but surely a charity auction is merely an interesting, enjoyable, social way to give money to what one assumes is a morally-good cause, and the item purchased is of little import?
I love the blog title:)
Genty said…
I can understand where Father is coming from but I think it rather unfair to suggest that legitimate questions foment dissension. Goodness me, there's enough actual dissension already and its adherents grow bolder under this pontificate. That's the cause of crisis in the Church, not a few blog posts.
For this Catholic, Francis is difficult to understand because he gives conflicting, often illogical, messages. It would help if the Bishop of Rome were to cease tailoring what he says to different audiences. All he has to do is stick to the script. It's when he goes off on one that the confusion occurs.
It comes to a pass when good priests have to spend time mining his major utterances to explain what Francis really meant when it seems pretty clear what he did mean.
I, for one, am very uneasy when I read the copious plaudits from readers of secular newspapers about how wonderful it is that Francis is dragging the "misogynistic/homophobic" Catholic Church into line with the modern world. The misconceptions appear to be universal.
Martin Herris said…
I cannot see a problem,selling a rare book,for example,for charity,without thinking how it may affect the purchaser.Christ told the young man to sell all he owned,and give the money to the poor,with no other qualification added.
Jonathan said…
@Bones "This last post is quite petty and not helpful."

On the contrary, I find it very helpful. I have wasted a lot of mental energy reading and pondering Francis words, as have very many commentators in the press. We are all trying to understand him. What your post clearly exposes is the absence of rational thinking in Francis' pronouncements; his statements are not consistent and therefore there is no hermeneutical key that will allow us to understand him. He is a waffler, devoid of intellectual seriousness and his comments are unworthy of rational study.

You have saved me from future headaches, I can safely ignore everything else he has to say having proved to my satisfaction that he is a foolish chatterbox.

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