Monday, August 08, 2005

"Silver and Gold Have I None"

+JMJ+

One of the other interesting questions I got from family concerned the fact that the bishops and other high clergy seem to live quite well, particularly Pope Benedict. They were curious as to how they squared this with their vow of poverty.

Well, the first part of the answer is that diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty, so technically they wouldn't have to worry about such things.

That being said, they should still live in a simple manner, and be generous with what they have. However, one thing that most people fail to keep in mind is that, like it or not, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope are leaders of the community, either local or universal as the case may be. That being said, they will need to meet with other leaders, both local and international, in order to carry out some of their duties. They need to continually advise the leaders and urge them to make moral decisions, and need to do what they can as well to see to it that their flock is safeguarded. Because they need to interact with secular leaders (as well as leaders of other religions), they need to a) have the means to recieve and host them, should they come and b) have the means to go to the leaders in order to present the views of the Church, argue them, advise the leaders, or whatever else needs to be done. To do this, they need something of a nice place, and a travel budget.

Should some of them perhaps live a little less extravagantly? Yes. But many, such as Cardinal Dulles do it quite well. Archbishop Sean O'Malley, of the Capuchins, has also done a good job, selling the former bishop's residence for a simpler, though still adequate, place.

+Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam+

"The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against wacking them around a little." (Amen to that!)
-Joe Martin