The article below records a sermon by Pope Francis against a consumerist and hedonistic society. He asks for every man and woman to seek a modest, simplistic living.
I find this article troubling in that it is filled with reprehensible hypocrisy as the Vatican Bank has multi-billions of dollars, and not without its share of scandals. It is also reported that the Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations …estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. That does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars in artwork including priceless works of art by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael. If that is not hedonism, I don’t know what is. Then while Pope Francis calls for nations to take in thousands of refugees into their countries in the spirit of love, the Vatican has only documented taking in TWO refugee families. And this was all spoken from a walled in, well guarded, multi-million dollar balcony! MB
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Pontiff tells Catholic faithful to reject hedonism but makes no mention of refugee crisis in homily at St Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis returned to one of his favored themes in his homily at midnight mass on Christmas Eve at the Vatican, castigating a hedonistic and consumerist society and a culture of indifference.
Meanwhile, one of his senior cardinals, Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster and the leader of the Catholic church in England, focused his Christmas Eve message on “gratuitous violence” in the home and the suffering of persecuted Christians around the world.
Neither Catholic leader mentioned the continuing refugee crisis, a surprising omission at the end of a year in which the plight of those fleeing conflict, persecution and hardship has dominated international headlines. In September, Francis called on every religious community across Europe to offer sanctuary to refugee families.
At midnight mass, the pope urged his followers to pursue a life of modesty, saying: “The way of authentic liberation and perennial redemption is open to every man and woman who is simple of heart”.
He added: “In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, [Jesus] calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential … Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life should instead be devout, filled with empathy, compassion and mercy, drawn daily from the wellspring of prayer.”
Francis’s mass in St Peter’s Basilica comes shortly after the start of his “year of mercy”, during which hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are expected to pass through a huge bronze “holy door” and attend special masses and papal audiences. Catholic churches around the world have opened their own holy doors to mark the special year.
At Westminster Cathedral in London, Nichols focused a key part of his homily on the domestic arena. One of the lessons of the nativity was that “in the crib there is absolutely no place for gratuitous violence. In the presence of a child we should always watch our tongues and behaviour, for childhood lessons of anger and violence are never forgotten.”
The cardinal drew a link between domestic violence and violence committed in the name of religion. “Let us be resolved to lay aside our own tendencies to angry violence so that we may condemn, with integrity, those who perpetrate such violence and claim for it the name of God.”
He offered prayers for the “victims of such violence, in many parts of the world. We pray especially for our Christian brothers and sisters who suffer grievously for their faith in Jesus as their Lord, losing life and belongings, suffering torture and unspeakable cruelty for his sake.”
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I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.