Skip to comments.Should We Sell the Art in the Vatican and Give the Money to the Poor?
Posted on 04/30/2013 10:51:14 AM PDT by marshmallow
Is this the Franciscan message? On the final Monday of Lent, Mass at Thomas More College was celebrated by one of the monks from St Benedicts Abbey in Still River. It is always a pleasure to have them here because they celebrate Mass and chant the Latin so beautifully. Beyond this, their homilies are always interesting and stimulating.
The gospel passage on this occasion was about Martha and Mary: Martha tended to the guests and Mary washed Jesus feet with expensive nard, a fragrant ointment. Unusually, (in my experience at any rate), the homily spoke not so much to the contrast between Martha and Mary, but between Mary and Judas. It was the latter who suggested that the money spent on nard would have been better given to the poor. Here was a lesson about allocation of resources. Mary made the right choice, we were told, in choosing Christ even before giving to the poor. Then an even more interesting point was made. There is an equivalent choice facing us today every time we have to decide about having beautiful churches and art, intricate vestments, ornate jewel-studded chalices and so on. Is it right to direct money to these things when there is poverty? The answer is yes when these things, through the liturgy, elevate the souls of the faithful to Christ and this is greater than giving to the poor.
However, in order to understand how this can be so, some additional points must be made. First is that there is a point beyond which spending money on ornamentation of churches would constitute extravagance. But provided that point has not been reached then spending money on that nobler end, it is not asking the poor to make a sacrifice either. The first point is that all of us.....
(Excerpt) Read more at thewayofbeauty.org ...
Put it on eBay........
I have no opinion about the most desirable or appropriate fate of the art but if it’s sold, don’t distribute the money, create an ongoing fund.
Better would be to charge a fee for the tours, and give that to the poor.
The poor will always be with us.
The poor you will always have with you, Mat 26:11
If selling this stuff would cure poverty, then it would be a worthwhile goal. But to sell it merely to give to this generation of poor would be idiocy.
You give a poor man a million dollars and invariably he will be poor again in a very short time. You give a poor man the opportunity to work hard for a decent living and you give him a ticket out of poverty.
Perhaps they should put the poor to work restoring old churches rather than stripping them to the bone and selling off the vestiges to satisfy some temporal misplaced spiritual empathy.
There are rumors that JP II wanted to do this early in his Papacy and he faced what has been variously described as an uprising, a mutiny and a revolt.
Who’s “we”? I have no intention of telling a private organization what to do with its own property.
Mexico is a good example.
I say to look to the Cure”of Ars.Every dime that came in went to his little orphanage for the girls and to the church.Art inspires us and for some souls it is needed.
No. make it available for everyone to see for free. All that art is kind of irreplaceable, and if it is sold into private collections, the poor of the world, and everybody else, will never see it again.
Better plan: Christians who are good at making money from sources that are not one-shot, one-of-a-kind, should support the poor on an ongoing basis.
Once you’ve sold the art, it’s gone. But an ongoing community of believers who create wealth and share it voluntarily can help the poor until Kingdom come, if they want to. And the community needs the spiritual discipline of a lifetime of giving, just as the poor need the help to overcome their difficulties.
And many American “poor” are overweight, ride SUV’s, live in air-conditioned apartments watching sitcoms of flat screen TVs, have food stamps and are single mothers.
The Vatican has about $1.6 Billion in total assets. US government spends $10.6. The Vatican’s money wouldn’t last two hours if spent on the poor.
As it is, the poor can enjoy priceless art, tons of it, either in person at the Vatican or other cathedrals around the world. Sell it off, first it would lose value, but would end up where? At museums, private owners? Most museums charge steep entrance fees, and most private owners don’t let the riff raff into their homes, so it all goes off the grid. Not really a solution.
Not to mention, the USA alone has spent how many TRILLION of DOLLARS to eradicate poverty (War on Poverty) to what avail?
Frankly, I get more than a little tired with these do-gooders who think tossing more $ after causes will eradicate anything much less poverty.
“The poor will always be with us.”
My mother told me once, the poor are poor because of a state of mind. We don’t have money, but the money we do have goes to food and clothing. We’re not poor and we’ll never be poor. Somebody who is really poor will spend their last dime on wine and let their kids starve. There’s nothing you can do to help somebody who is really poor. You could cover them with money and it would all be spent in a month and they’d be back on the street.
I don’t care, but the money would be better spent by investing it in ways that will create jobs for the poor. The thing about charity in general is that it comes and goes, and the recipients, though fed and clothed, are likely to end up just as destitute further down the road. Jobs and economic health offer a future.
Why did you post that to me, it had nothing to do with my post.
I can’t even finish reading something so blasphemous. Christ said: the poor we will have with us always....
This art IS Western Civilization. We might as well blow up the entire world as let the art go - and at least blowing up the world solves the poverty problem.
No, even if it would end poverty forever and cure all diseases, it could not be other than a destructive, heretical goal.
Think how many obamapones for the no-information voters. They probably could get a four-year porn subscription and free condoms too.
To whom would you sell it? Anyone who bought it should have given that same money to the poor.
Most of the art was given to the Church for the specific purpose of drawing minds to the divine reality, not to sit in a vault collecting dust. That art is literally “priceless”, in that it cannot have a price and do that for which it was made.
Also, one-time sales could never cure poverty. Only assets that continually produce income can do that... like businesses that provide jobs. (Hint to Obama, who would just be confused.)
This is why we can never have nice things...
It’s on my bucket list. :-)
Its really something to experience. Art is everywhere.
Floors, walls and ceilings.
This attitude is so prevalent from a ruling elite who “load people with burdens that are hard to carry, yet [you] don’t even lift a finger to ease those burdens.” On the contrary, they consider this as ‘charity’ but still attack Big ____ for not “giving back”...
We don't own any art in the Vatican.
If you happen to be a dues paying member of that private organization, then I would think you might be able to have a legitimate opinion on the disposition of the property.
No, but lease it for periods of time, in rotation.
Even better plan:
should we sell the art in the louve and feed the poor??
should we sell the art in the london historical museum and feed the poor???
should we sell art ANYWHERE and feed the poor???
all these questions are interlinked..
answer one, and you have answered them all....
That suggestion is in very poor taste.
so to speak.
As for the OP, the money will run out at some point. Every time I hear this as a “cure” for the poor, I think, “what a dumb idea”.
But it’s usually a suggestion made by anti-Catholics.
In other words, finding alternatives to or complaining about getting rid of all one’s wealth could be a dodge by those who really don't want to hear the scripture. On the other hand, the scripture really could be focused on those who are worshiping their wealth and not on those who would willingly and generously use wealth in a way that provides extended help rather than mere temporary help.
Where does God truly come down on this? Should Christians give away everything if there is real evidence that doing so eventually results in everyone being impoverished instead of just a few?
I see it as similar to Paul's argument about not marrying. He made that statement in light of the dangerous times for those who would attempt to have families and risk their being orphaned. For better times, or for the sake of morality, he encouraged marriage.
Is there a situation in which poverty would be so great that we'd have to drop everything and deal only with that? I'm sure there are examples of that to be found.
The general rule, though, in normal times would be: “If a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat.” Paul worked as a tent maker so he could acquire wealth so he would not be a burden on others.
And, as brother Marlowe has pointed out, we will always have the poor with us. The suggestion is that someone better be working and producing, or no one will be helped.
Don’t sell it. Lease it to a lot of museums. Ensure that it doesn’t end up in a private collection, use it as an opportunity to spread the word of Christ and generate an ongoing stream of income for charitable activities and outreach.
We cannot dismiss the effectiveness and benefits of evangelization through beauty. It is a 2000 year old tradition with the Church. All that is True, all that is Good and all that is Beautiful is from God and God holds within Himself all Truth, all Goodness and all Beauty. Before we can impress anyone with the Truth or show them the Good we can touch them with Beauty.
Peace be with you
the art treasures in the vatican belong to the world....it is, in effect, a museum where treasures are stored for all time so that future generations can see and appreciate them. To dispose of them and give the money to the poor would only result in the same people being poor a little later. Take all the money you have and give it to the less furtunate in your community.....tomorrow there will be the same number of them as today.
Last time I checked the Catholic Church is not a democracy. While individual parishes have Boards that make local financial decisions, they have no say in what the Vatican does. The Vatican is a self-governing entity. The only say that a Church member has is to withhold personal contributions something that many Catholics have already chosen to do.
well said and we also need glorious art to enrich ourselves