Simony & St. Patrick's

by Michael Sean Winters

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Thanks to Robert Christian at Millennial for calling our attention to comments by Ken Langone in which the Home Dept founder challenges Pope Francis for his comments about capitalism and wondering how the Church in New York City will ever get the money to refurbish St. Patrick's Cathedral if the rich fat cats the pope challenges do not fork over their charitable donations. I understand the need to preserve our great works of religious architecture and applaud those who donate to that effort. Of course, St. Patrick's was built with the pennies of the many, not the tax deductible checks of the few. But, be that as it may, Christian is right to point out that the Holy Father is not merely calling us to acts of private charity, he is calling us to justice. Conservative Republicans are trying to do to the pope's message what they try to do to government programs, privatize it, turn a call for just structures into a call for private charity in which, of course, their rich friends will be the most prominent. It is not simony, but it is a short step away from simony. The Cardinal-Archbishop of New York needs to deliver a more forceful rebuttal than the one he delivered here. (h/t to Rocco for the video link.)

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