Saturday, July 13, 2013


Pope Francis is pained by the nice cars bishops, priests and nuns drive. Rumor has it that Pope has inspected Vatican parking lots to see what Vatican employees, including bishops and cardinals are driving. I suspect he really wants to know what all the Vatican bankers drive!

So, what should we drive?


Anonymous said...

a white Nissan with a Choose Life license plate


maybe perhaps next time, an american made/ american auto show solidarity with the common folk

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As though I don't have enough Catholic guilt, now the pope guiltifies us in our rides! What's next with this Puritan, I mean Pope?

rcg said...

What about a 2013 Pious? I means Prius.

Anonymous said...


It does seem Bishop-y and Superior General-y of him to call for change and self-reflection among religious...(and the Laity)
Who does he think he is..The Pope??


Pater "Honda Civic" Ignotus said...

What should priests drive? Since the parish pays for gas and regular maintenance, the priest's car should be high mileage, low maintenance, low emission, and not commonly associated with luxury or exclusivity.

There are "common folk" in all the countries, including Japan, where cars are made or where auto companies are based. Solidarity known no national boundaries.

Joseph Johnson said...

For once I can agree with Pater Ignotus.

Gene said...

"Solidarity known no national boundaries..."
You are starting to speak like all the "solidarity" folks. LOL!

Gene said...

A Priest who has taken no vows of poverty should drive whatever he wants to and can afford.

Jgr said...

There is a misconception among some that parish priests take a vow of poverty like consecrted religious
who live in a monastery or convent.
Thay don't of course. Now one might
pose this: "Should thay live as if do?". That is another question of course. I can just picture parish priests going about like Columbo!
In the countries of Latin America you have extreme poverty, the likes of which one would have a difficult
finding examples of in the Industrialized nations of Europe, North America and on the continent of Australia. A priest who by American standards is living quite
modestly would, in some parts of the world be considered wealthy.
I wonder if the Holy father should
also take aim at the social-welfare
structures of Western nations who, whether out of genuine charity or political considerations in their (in some cases)well-intentioned benevolence, have created
a materially better off underclass
but one which is more lacking in spiritual values. Maybe he is doing that in what he is saying. The secular world has done its damage and now the members of the Church need to go out and repair it.
Of course, the whole strata of Western Society are more lacking in spiritual values but it is especially tragic among the poor, even if thay are better off in material possessions.

Rood Screen said...

Secular priests may not take such a vow, but canon law does say, "Clerics are to foster simplicity of life and are to refrain from all things that have a semblance of vanity." CCL 282:1

Rood Screen said...

Beyond the car itself, I would say a cleric should not have anything beyond what he can fit in his modest car in one trip.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - You are wrong. I am not "starting" to talk like the solidarity folks. I've been there a long, long time.

It's very "liberating," to use another term that sends shivers up and down the spines of some who, too often, read the Gospel as a vindication of their own predilections.

Robert Kumpel said...

I used to live in a diocese where there were a couple of priests who (kind of) scandalized the faithful by their luxurious lifestyle. One served in the most expensive part of town (Rancho Santa Fe) and drove a Mercedes. However, he was a good, reasonable priest to a fault. The other was a well-connected Monsignor who knew a lot of rich people and was often invited to their functions. He looked like a movie-star priest (in a distinguished, elderly kind of way) and, again, was pretty solid. We used to jokingly call him "Monsignor Rancho Santa Fe". Another priest came from a very wealthy family and, consequently, was known to visit Hawaii on his vacations.

So what are we supposed to do? I don't want to be the one telling priests that they are living too large. Maybe some of them are, but if the books are open and they have nothing to hide, what they do with their money is THEIR business (and their responsibility).

In a number of parishes, there is often a wealthy person who will buy a car for a priest. What's he supposed to do with such a generous gesture? Turn the donor down? That would be a bit of a slap, don't you think?

Gene said...

Ignotus, I guess you don't have any "predilections," huh? Leftist predilections are not Biblical, either. Why don't you just get a Che t-shirt and go join the Trayvon crowd down in Sanford. You should feel quite at home...until they beat the snot out of you because you're white...LOL!

Gene said...

I expect a Sacrament administered by a Priest driving a Mercedes or a Lexus is just as valid as a Sacrament administered by one driving a Yugo or some other piece of crap.

Carol H. said...

Maybe he needs a Ford truck with a camper shell so he can escape the rats in the rectory!

ytc said...

Seems like a grand waste of time. When a priest buys himself a Ferrari, talk to me. A new midlevel car is nothing for a cleric to be ashamed about whatsoever.

Steven Surrency said...

JBS WAS HERE is right. Canon Law says avoid vanity and aspire to simplicity. These are actually the calling of all Christians, methinks. Priests are especially responsible to lead the way. Now, what is simple and humble, that depends on where one is and one's own disposition.

Gene said...

How about a white, unblemished RAM 2500 diesel?

Pater Ignotus said...

"...what they (priests) do with their money is THEIR business...)'

Not so. The Christian Tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute and untouchable. "On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation; the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone." (Laborem Exercens 14)

What any person does with his or her money is not purely a private affair, since goods - in this case money - have primarily a community, not an individual, destination.

If a priest is offered luxury goods, he should charitably refuse them, and ask the donor to give the money instead to the local Catholic school to pay for the education of a poor child. No one is under any obligation of any kind to accept a gift.

Anonymous said...

By solidarity with the common folk, I was referring to the common folk in HIS sphere.
Yes, common folk are all over the earth, in every locale.
However...the people in one's particular location are the people we are responsible to be charitable to least that's what I have been taught.
It is simply a thought for consideration.
In some areas of the USA, it would have a greater impact...say Detroit for example, than in Macon, GA.


John Nolan said...

This side of the pond we have a term 'humbug'. It can refer to a hard-boiled peppermint-flavoured sweet, but it has another connotation, difficult to define. Mohandas Ghandi, with his loincloth and spinning-wheel was essentially a humbug. Churchill saw through him, as did Nehru (who was shrewd enough to see that the Mahatma's humbuggery could be turned to political advantage).

Pope Francis is in very great danger of becoming a humbug. It will not affect his popularity among the undiscerning - after all Ghandi is still revered by those who really ought to know better.

Gene said...

Private property is not community property, at least not in a free capitalist our's used to be. The Church may be a bit too comfortable with socialistic forms of government, which are not supported in Scripture. The Church is clearly conflicted because the Catechism speaks strongly against socialist and communistic forms of government, but has had a history of confusing welfare and socialism with you do, Ignotus. So, common use be damned, if they come after my private property they get the bullets first...

Gene said...

John Nolan, Seriously. Look at India when it was the Raj...schools, hospitals, roads, an actual infrastructure, protection, law and order, and food services. Now, post-Ghandi, look at it...a third world, filthy backwater. Now, they all come over here to make money with absolutely no understanding of, or appreciation for, our culture, traditions, or heritage...just like the Muslims we are importing wholesale. It is a form of cultural suicide that I find difficult to tolerate.

Pater Ignotus said...

"When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice." - St. Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis, 3. 21

Owners who heedlessly idolize their goods (Cf Matt 6:24, 19:21-26, Lk 6:13) become owned and enslaved by them. (cf Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 27-34) Only by recognizing that these goods are dependent on God the creator and then directing their use to the common good, is it possible to give material goods their proper function as useful tools for the growth of individuals and people. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, 181)

Rood Screen said...

Gene and John Nolan,
I wonder if it was not so much Ghandi as the need to fund the National Health Service that paved the way for Indian independence. Ghandi's worthy goal of uniting all Indians certainly failed with partition and the subsequent cold war there.
At any rate, one does get the impression, surely a false one, that our pope doesn't like priests. He's more critical than encouraging. Priests are an easy target for anyone wanting to bolster his own image.

Templar said...

The White Man's Burden
by Rudyard Kipling 1899

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

As true in 2013 as it was in 1899, and no applicable to Holy Mother Church as the Pope brings in his Third World "sensibilities" to the Vatican.

Pater Ignotus said...

"50. The ascendancy of market-based economic models over collective or command economic models has increased the importance of Catholic Social Teaching in the modern day, especially because its own critical analysis of free-market capitalism has in no way been discredited. The Catholic Church has a long history of resistance to Marxist Communism, both as an ideology and as a power structure. But it recognises that the very existence of this ideological opposition to capitalism, however flawed, tended in the past to act as a balancing factor or crude brake on some of the excesses of which capitalism is capable. In the light of such considerations as these, it is more necessary than ever to explain, promote and apply the Church's social teaching in the communities for which we share responsibility."

"81. These are among the reasons why the Catholic Church has remained cautious and on guard towards free market economics for more than a hundred years, and why we think it is time to re- emphasise in our society the concept of the common good. It provides the criteria by which public authorities can distinguish between those economic activities that can safely be left to market forces, and those that require regulation, state intervention, or full provision by the public sector. The dividing line will be different at different periods. But Catholic Social Teaching, while it recognises that there are at times merits in the market principle, resists the conclusion that that principle should be
extended wherever possible. It is always the business of public authority to arbitrate between the sometimes conflicting demands of a market economy and the common good."

- The Common Good and the Catholic Church's Social Teaching, Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, 1996

Anonymous said...

"A straightforward analysis of the poem may conclude that Kipling presents a "Euro-centric" view of the world, in which people view society from only a European cultures point of view. This view proposes that white people, consequently, have an obligation to rule over and encourage the cultural development of people from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds until they can take their place in the world by fully adopting Western ways. The term "the white man's burden" can be interpreted simply as racist, or taken as a metaphor for a condescending view of non-Western national culture and economic traditions, identified as a sense of European ascendancy which has been called "cultural imperialism".

Racist and condescending......

Gene said...

I think Kipling is right on...great job those non-whites are doing up in DC. The most divisive administration since Lincoln.

And, who can take the Catholic Bishops' conference in England and Wales seriously?

John Nolan said...

Actually, Kipling's poem was addressed to the United States; he felt that with her growing economic power America should accept her imperial responsibilities, and in the coming century, with the Pax Americana succeeding the Pax Britannica, it could be said she accepted the challenge.

The way for Indian independence was paved by its British rulers and if things had gone to plan it would have happened around 1960, most probably without partition and the massive bloodshed which accompanied it. World War II changed everything.

Gene, the infrastructure (economic, political, military, educational and linguistic) of the Raj has endured and India is far from being a third-world backwater. Most people's view of Ghandi is based on the Richard Attenborough movie of that name, which was partly financed by the Indian government. Far nearer to the truth is "The Myth of the Mahatma"(1986) by the historian Michael Edwardes.

Gene said...

John, I have never been to India, but my son and my best friend have. My best friend is a physician and my son is a biologist. They both judge India to be a filthy, backward country with only islands of modern conveniences here and there...

Pater Ignotus said...

"The common good therefore involves all members of society, no one is exempt from cooperating, according to each one's possibilities, in attaining and developing it. (Cf Mater et Magistra 417; Octogesima Adveniens 46; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1913)

The common good must be served in its fullness, not according to reductionist visions that are subordinated by certain people to their own advantages; rather, it is to be based on a logic that leads to the assumption of greater responsibility.

"The distribution of created goods, which, as every discerning person knows, is laboring today under the greatest evils due to the huge disparity between the few exceedingly rich and the unnumbered propertyless, must be effectively called back to and brought into conformity with the norms of the common good, that is, social justice." - Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno, 197

Templar said...

Anon at 10:39 must be far younger than I and a product of our wonderful Public Schools to have come to such an insightful analysis of Kipling's poem. Only a 21st century man can be so cocksure of himself to cry racism so quickly.

In any event, the world was a far better place when Kipling penned it, and John is spot on in the reference to the US and the Philippines, although it applies retroactively to India as well. Anyone with an ounce of historical sense of Catholicism would immediately recognize that the "white man's burden" is Euro-centric because everything that is good in the world come's directly or indirectly from there, or more precisely from Christendom. The rest of the globes contribution to the progress of the human race pale in comparison to what the Church has contributed. Now a days it's all fashionable, even to our new Pope it seems, to bash our own patrimony, paint it as something evil, or mean, or "racist"....but it's not, never was, never shall be. It is our "burden" to bring the Truth to the rest of the world. Take up your Cross (eh hmmm, burden) and follow may have heard that somewhere.

Gene said...

We have an obligation to help those who are truly poor and in need by giving money, time, and aid. Both society and individuals share this obligation.
We do not have an obligation to support socialist/collectivist ideologies who use the poor as a foil for their political agenda.
Since the time of Pius the XI, "social justice" has become a euphemism for Marxism. The Church has sometimes confused socialist agendas with charity. The USCCBis particularly guilty of this.

John Nolan said...

Templar, the Pope himself is a product of European expansion, otherwise the religion of South America would consist of tearing people's hearts out with obsidian knives and rolling their bodies down the steps of pyramids.

British (ie English, Scots, Irish and Welsh) colonialism produced the United States and Canada; a similar imperialism formed modern India and other eastern countries like Malaysia. Preparing the latter for independence required a long war of counter-insurgency, 1948-1960, which was the only successful campaign of its type in post-war history, unless you count Northern Ireland (1969-1997) which was really a domestic affair.

"Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay".