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 Post subject: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:34 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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From the Pope's speech, posted on Fr. Z's blog (comments in brackets are Fr. Z's):

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/09/the-holy ... -breisgau/

In order to accomplish her true task adequately, the Church must constantly renew the effort to detach herself from the “worldliness” of the world. In this she follows the words of Jesus: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn 17:16). One could almost say that history comes to the aid of the Church here through the various periods of secularization, which have contributed significantly to her purification and inner reform. [This is certainly what is going on in this time of purification. I wonder if this isn't going to result in a "creative minority" of which the Holy Father has spoken.]

Secularizing trends – whether by expropriation of Church goods, or elimination of privileges or the like – have always meant a profound liberation of the Church from forms of worldliness, for in the process she has set aside her worldly wealth and has once again completely embraced her worldly poverty. In this the Church has shared the destiny of the tribe of Levi, which according to the Old Testament account was the only tribe in Israel with no ancestral land of its own, taking as its portion only God himself, his word and his signs. At those moments in history, the Church shared with that tribe the demands of a poverty that was open to the world, in order to be released from her material ties: and in this way her missionary activity regained credibility.

History has shown that, when the Church becomes less worldly, her missionary witness shines more brightly. Once liberated from her material and political burdens, the Church can reach out more effectively and in a truly Christian way to the whole world, she can be truly open to the world. [kenosis] She can live more freely her vocation to [To what Holy Father? To what?] the ministry of divine worship and service of neighbour. The missionary task, which is linked to Christian worship and should determine its structure, becomes more clearly visible. The Church opens herself to the world not in order to win men for an institution with its own claims to power, but in order to lead them to themselves by leading them to him of whom each person can say with Saint Augustine: he is closer to me than I am to myself (cf. Confessions, III, 6, 11). [I love that quote.] He who is infinitely above me is yet so deeply within me that he is my true interiority. This form of openness to the world on the Church’s part also serves to indicate how the individual Christian can be open to the world in effective and appropriate ways. [ad intra and ad extra]...


There was so much to think about in this address. No wonder we're reminded to "Be Not Afraid." Even under horrible circumstances (as the human eye perceives them), God is still in charge, and the Church is still the Bride of Christ.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:47 am 
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I would love to see our churches give up the tax exemption. I know it would mean great sacrifices for the people, but I believe it would be worth it.

Peace,
Linda

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:16 am 
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St. Dymphna wrote:
I would love to see our churches give up the tax exemption. I know it would mean great sacrifices for the people, but I believe it would be worth it.

Peace,
Linda

I'll bite...why and how?

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:43 am 
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Quite frankly I am rather confused by this address. There is a certain sense of secular that was created by the Church herself, through the uprising of the pataria and the subsequent "Gregorian reform" that hopped on that bandwagon. But what he seems to be talking about, when he gives examples, is modern secularism. "Expropriation of Church goods" and all those things the Church has always and everywhere attacked, condemned and protested. Now it is clear he is talking about a reform through purification, so okay, yes good comes out of even martyrdom.

But I am very unclear about the profound liberation. It seems to me in the last 200 years, whilst Church goods have been stolen, privileges denied and the duty of the state to the true religion mocked, the Church has become more worldly not less so. By Church I of course mean the people in it. There is also a danger, I am afraid, of mistaking certain things as detachment from worldliness which really aren't (such as the French liberal custom of wearing the cassock as street wear...that's right, liberal custom. It was meant to be a sign that priests had no say in secular affairs).

Now I certainly see the potential for such liberation, but I see little of it actually. Maybe as we go forward

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:31 pm 
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I found the speech odd as well. Not that I don't agree with the sentiment.


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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:35 pm 
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ellietrish wrote:
I found the speech odd as well. Not that I don't agree with the sentiment. I wondered whether Benedict might want to be to Capitalism what John Paul was to Communism?

I didn't quite get that impression myself. I was thinking that maybe he doesn't want us to fear in the face of the threats being aimed at the Church. You know: being sued here, being threatened with back taxes there (was it in Italy that the Church was accused of not qualifying for tax exemptions/breaks received?), Catholic hospitals having to chose between conscience or conformity, etc.

I think that he wants us to remember that the Church is from God, and however much good can be done when abundant in earthly resources, this world is not the source of our sustenance. The Church will still be able to carry out her mission, even in the face of opposition or loss of earthly treasure and privilege.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:50 am 
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[/quote]
I'll bite...why and how?[/quote]

Because I think the Church may be too vulnerable to pressure just to keep the tax exemptions. I went to a Catholic college. There were no Crucifixes in certain classrooms or labs because government funding had paid for those rooms. We have seen people who are Catholic cave in to pressure (think of Sr. Keegan, who supported Bo's healthcare bill. I believe that the Church is facing a crisis, and it will emerge victorious, but a leaner, more faithful Church. I think Benedict has stated that a smaller Church will be our future. I would like to see the dissenting Catholics bail. But I still think that giving up tax exemptions would be a good think. How, I'm not sure. Just letting the govt, on all levels know that we no longer will claim the exemptions.

Peace,
Linda

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:02 am 
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St. Dymphna wrote:
Because I think the Church may be too vulnerable to pressure just to keep the tax exemptions. I went to a Catholic college. There were no Crucifixes in certain classrooms or labs because government funding had paid for those rooms. We have seen people who are Catholic cave in to pressure (think of Sr. Keegan, who supported Bo's healthcare bill. I believe that the Church is facing a crisis, and it will emerge victorious, but a leaner, more faithful Church. I think Benedict has stated that a smaller Church will be our future. I would like to see the dissenting Catholics bail. But I still think that giving up tax exemptions would be a good think. How, I'm not sure. Just letting the govt, on all levels know that we no longer will claim the exemptions.

Peace,
Linda

1. If what you say is true of classrooms in your Catholic college, then the answer is for them to no longer accept any government money, not work to change their tax status.

2. No offence, but I not think you have the quote from His Holiness right. I would be deeply shocked and concerned if any Pope said that a smaller Church will be our future. It has never been so and isn't today. We continue to grow around the world as more hear the message.

3. Your personal desire is even more troubling. You should never hope that dissenting Catholics "bail"! Why would you say that? They are drowning and will do so without the Church. Once they leave, or are pushed away from the lifeboat by those who want that, they will be lost for eternity.

I don't mean to come down on you so hard personally, I'm just shocked by what you said.

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:21 am 
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DF, then Fr. Ratzinger, and then Cardinal Ratzinger repeatedly said the Church of the future will be smaller

"Let me go one step further. From today’s crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow that will have lost a great deal. She will be small and, to a large extent, will have to start from the beginning. She will no longer be able to fill many of the buildings created in her period of great splendor." (from an address given on the radio, when he was still just a priest). He goes on about far more radical changes, some of which he probably no longer thinks the same of

And as Cardinal

""it will be reduced in its dimensions, it will be necessary to start again. However, from this test a Church would emerge that will have been strengthened by the process of simplification it experienced, by its renewed capacity to look within itself."

"To begin with, the Church "will be numerically reduced." When I made this affirmation, I was overwhelmed with reproaches of pessimism.

And today, when all prohibitions seem obsolete, among them those that refer to what has been called pessimism and which, often, is nothing other than healthy realism, increasingly more [people] admit the decrease in the percentage of baptized Christians in today´s Europe: in a city like Magdeburg, Christians are only 8% of the total population, including all Christian denominations. Statistical data shows irrefutable tendencies. In this connection, in certain cultural areas, there is a reduction in the possibility of identification between people and Church. We must take note, with simplicity and realism. The mass Church may be something lovely, but it is not necessarily the Church´s only way of being. The Church of the first three centuries was small, without being, by this fact, a sectarian community"

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=19347

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 Post subject: Re: Stripping the Church of wealth, or eliminating her privilege
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Taking away the tax exemption of the Churches would virtually destroy in in the USA. There would be no churches, no Catholic Hospitals, No Catholic Schools, etc, etc.

Catholics simply do not provide enough financial support to the Church to withstand such a movement. Compared to the Protestants I was raised with, including my maternal grandfathers very fundamentalist sect, Catholics are horrible about supporting their churches. They simply do not appear to understand that the money comes from the people, and they will NOT tithe or give anything even remotely approaching a tithe.

I would suggest that instead of "Cherry Picking" certain statements of that particular speech, you read and consider it in its entirety. The Pope was NOT proposing that we financially support the church to a lessor degree, quite the opposite. He was advocating that the Church, and its people, be less involved with the world, and a LOT more involved with our spirituality.

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