Issues > The "Moral Clarity" of the Pope
The "Moral Clarity" of the Pope
by Daniel Newby,
April 20, 2005
Politicians and news agencies around the world have gone wild
celebrating the greatness of the new pope, Joseph Ratzinger. He has
been adored by president George Bush as a, "man of great
wisdom and knowledge." According to Utah's Deseret News,
he is a man of "moral clarity".
react with praise, concern," Tom Kenworthy, USA Today,
4/19/2005; "A pope with moral clarity,"
Deseret News, Apr. 20,
Is this kind of praise deserved? How does
the pope's character appear when one considers the MEGA-BILLIONS of dollars the
Catholic Church receives annually through:
"Kirchensteuer", or church taxes, in Germany
(which amounted to approximately 4.7 billion in 1995 — or 8
or 9% of taxable income, of which the government scoops off
Direct government grants in Belgium?
Check-a-buck-type programs in Spain and
Government subsidies here in the U.S.?
Source: See, for example, "In
Europe, 'church taxes' not unusual," John L. Allen Jr.,
National Catholic Reporter Online, 1/29/1999, or examine
president Bush's "Faith Based Initiatives" subsidy program.
Is it truly ennobling and moral to fill one's
coffers with tax subsidies? Aside from the fact that
petty thieves frequently operate without the assistance of
government, precisely how is the pope different? And by
praising this pope, what moral and political messages are we
sending to the already-confused youth of the world?
Many of our forefathers, through hard
experience, saw through the sophistry, the grand airs of
pretended benevolence, and the convenient fist of government
that religious organizations and figureheads utilized to leech
the people. Rather than remember, it appears that the
sky is the limit to one's popularity if government
dispensations are involved.
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