I arrived this afternoon on the connecting BA flight from Heathrow at approximately 1600 local time.
My neighbors on the plane were a couple from Texas, he Church of Christ and she raised a Catholic. She said she has a problem with the pope because he lives in the Vatican surrounded by all that splendor, or something to that effect. You already know the old line well, "Sell the Vatican, feed the poor", right? Well, the only problem is: it was the poor that built the Vatican! IT GAVE THEM A PLACE TO GO TO GET AWAY FROM THEIR HOVELS! It gave them a sign here on earth by which to hope for the mansion God has prepared for them in heaven. The truth is, "Sell the Vatican and take away the hope of the poor".
We believe in the Lord who said, "Man does not live on bread alone". Man lives on hope, and hope is founded on God, and the Basilica of Saint Peter and every work of man raised to the glory of God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ His Son in the power and life of the Holy Spirit is a sign of hope for mankind, a milemarker upon his slow and sometimes painful march to the kingdom of God and the reward prepared for him from the foundation of the world.
And what of the many, rich and poor, who come, sometimes with difficulty, to see the vast collection of fine art and other treasures of the Vatican? Are they to be denied the privilege because of a false and insincere opposition set up by enemies of Christ and His Church between preserving this opportunity and the need and duty to feed the poor? Would not the devil love this? Man does not live on bread alone! He also needs hope! We can, and must, both feed the poor AND preserve the patrimony of mankind. This the Vatican does, under the leadership of our Holy Father and all those who assist him.
Oh, by the way, my neighbor on the plane admitted that if she had been catechised to understand her faith better she might have remained Catholic. Are you listening, catechists?
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