.by Anura Guruge
>> Pope Francis’ 100 days in office … — June 19, 2013.
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I like this pope. I said that from day. Plus, unlike all the other ‘Johnny come latelies‘ I had him, in print, in my ‘Next Pope 2011‘ book, in 2010 as a papabili. So, don’t even think about trying to give me any grief about going after this pope.
I happened to see, yesterday, on TV, the Pope, in Brazil, talking about the evils of money, wearing a pallium. I immediately checked to see what kinds of pins he was wearing. They looked like gold but I wasn’t going to jump to conclusions. I wanted to be sure. So this morning I went checking for photographs. He is using gold pallium pins. They could actually be those that his extremely vain predecessor, the noted dandy, had designed with jewel heads.
I am nothing but consistent when it comes to this issue of pope’s dripping gold (like … (and you can substitute your favorite euphemism)).
This is from Christmas day 2011 — and look at the pins.
For those of you who are not familiar with palliums and the 5 pins, let me tell you about the irony of using gold pins — a fashion started by the vainglorious German pope.
The 5 pins are supposed to represent the five rusted nails used to crucify Jesus on the cross!
With all due respect and all humility that I can muster, there is nothing that this pope can tell me or teach me about charity. I know charity from both sides of the divide.
Wearing unnecessary gold ornaments and then getting on your high horse to talk about the evils of money does not impress me.
Yes, it is possible that this pope was waylaid with these pins, i.e., he was told, at the last minute, that that as all they had. But, I don’t buy that. If this pope was genuine he could have used 5 safety pins and pocketed the five gold pins. Then he should have called out, during Mass, for 5 people running charitable orphanages or dispensaries. Yes, they have them in Brazil. He should have then given each one one of these. That would have been real class.
I have talked about this before. So far, this pope has been all words, little action. Words are cheap. Actions are more difficult. Here is a simple test. I will contend that I have given more to the poor, in terms of tangible physical goods, than this pope has! We are not talking words, gestures and kissing babies. We are talking chattels, shekels and dollars. Driving around in a Ford Focus is very nice, but did he sell the fleet of German luxury cars owned by the Vatican and give it to the poor? I have yet to hear of this pope, as pope, as an individual, giving anything tangible to the poor.
I have said that this pope, if he really means what he says, should have a yard sale in St. Peter’s Square. The biggest yard sale in the history of man. A real bonfire of the vanities. Some Catholics took exception, but they can’t articulate why? I will, if given a chance, discuss this with the pope directly.
OK. Some of you are going to get mad. But, I am noted for my straight talk even if it is to do with popes. This is a good pope. I like him. But, I do not think he is the smartest pope by a long chalk or one who is savvy. John Paul II (#265) was incredibly savvy. He was street smart. Don’t let anyone kid you. John XXIII (#262) was very, very smart. He knew exactly what he was doing. Benedict XVI (#266) was intellectual in an academic kind of way but was not street smart — and furthermore did not care about being street smart. He, like popes from yore, did not see a need to related to the plebs on Earth. This pope is very genuine. He is sincere but seems rather naive and simple. Not bad traits, but traits nonetheless.
So that is where we are. Yes, I would rather have this pope than the prior one. I just wish this pope would match his words, especially when it comes to looking after the poor, with actions.