Saturday 29th of November 2014

on golden calf .....

on golden calf .....

from peter fitzsimons …..

It's about the Pope's move last week to dismiss German Bishop Franz-Peter Terbatz-van Telst of Limburg, after finding out he'd spent no less than 31 million euros on his private residence. An admirable move, one might think, given that this Pope's motif seems to be simplicity and humility

I agree. But what about our own Cardinal George Pell? How is he going when it comes to simple living?

In 2011, Cardinal Pell was instrumental in the Australian Catholic Church using money, mostly from the Sydney archdiocese, to spend $30 million – though one estimate goes as high as $85 million – to buy Domus Australia, an old Marist Fathers home in Rome's Via Cernaia that has been converted into a guest house, with a 150-seat auditorium, and includes a private apartment for Cardinal Pell.

"It's the cost of a high school, perhaps a high school and a church," the Cardinal conceded to Good Weekend, before noting: "We haven't given the money away. It's an investment."

And yet, the vice-president of the Rationalists Association of NSW, Max Wallace, raises a fair question: "How is it that the maximum payout of victims of sexual abuse can hope to achieve through Cardinal Pell's Towards Healing process is $75,000 yet the church can find as much as $30 million to acquire a property in Rome? This surely tells victims that the church really doesn't care about them, and the church's mea culpas in the light of all the revelations about abuse are hollow and insincere.

Exactly. And another matter I don't get. One of the few things I remember from attending Peats Ridge Sunday School in the 1960s was the biblical aphorism that "it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to get into heaven".

So why do these representatives of Christ on Earth insist on living like rich men?

Church's Spending Habits A Bit Rich