Pope At It Again – ‘unjust’ unemployment can lead to sin, suicide

We all know Pope Francis doesn’t like capitalism and free markets: in the past few months, he has written that capitalism creates an impoverished society and believes the solutions to our global problems are more socialistic policies. Of course, the Pope is economically ignorant and Jesuits adhere to communism.

In a message for Lent, the solemn time frame leading up to Holy Week and Easter, the Pope argued that “unjust social conditions,” unemployment being an example, can lead to sin, suicide and financial ruin. The reason why these would occur is because people would not be given the dignity to work and unable to access healthcare and education.

The Pope listed three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. According to Pope Francis, moral destitution “consists of slavery to vice and sin,” which would include alcohol, drugs, gambling and pornography.

“In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide,” stated Pope Francis.

At this time, according to the Pope, Lent would be the perfect opportunity for “self-denial” and is urging his worshipers to give up something “in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty.”

His entire message can be read below:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of Saint Paul: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). The Apostle was writing to the Christians of Corinth to encourage them to be generous in helping the faithful in Jerusalem who were in need. What do these words of Saint Paul mean for us Christians today? What does this invitation to poverty, a life of evangelical poverty, mean to us today?

Christ’s grace

First of all, it shows us how God works. He does not reveal himself cloaked in worldly power and wealth but rather in weakness and poverty: “though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor …”. Christ, the eternal Son of God, one with the Father in power and glory, chose to be poor; he came amongst us and drew near to each of us; he set aside his glory and emptied himself so that he could be like us in all things (cf. Phil 2:7; Heb 4:15). God’s becoming man is a great mystery! But the reason for all this is his love, a love which is grace, generosity, a desire to draw near, a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved. Charity, love, is sharing with the one we love in all things. Love makes us similar, it creates equality, it breaks down walls and eliminates distances. God did this with us. Indeed, Jesus “worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, he truly became one of us, like us in all things except sin.” (Gaudium et Spes, 22).

By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says “that by his poverty you might become rich”. This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different! When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet Saint Paul is well aware of the “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8), that he is “heir of all things” (Heb 1:2).

So what is this poverty by which Christ frees us and enriches us? It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbour, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbour to the man left half dead by the side of the road (cf. Lk 10:25ff). What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love. Christ’s poverty which enriches us is his taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us. Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant. Jesus’ wealth lies in his being the Son; his unique relationship with the Father is the sovereign prerogative of this Messiah who is poor. When Jesus asks us to take up his “yoke which is easy”, he asks us to be enriched by his “poverty which is rich” and his “richness which is poor”, to share his filial and fraternal Spirit, to become sons and daughters in the Son, brothers and sisters in the firstborn brother (cf. Rom 8:29).

It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.

Our witness

We might think that this “way” of poverty was Jesus’ way, whereas we who come after him can save the world with the right kind of human resources. This is not the case. In every time and place God continues to save mankind and the world through the poverty of Christ, who makes himself poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his Church, which is a people of the poor. God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ.

In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope. There are three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds which disfigure the face of humanity. In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.

No less a concern is moral destitution, which consists in slavery to vice and sin. How much pain is caused in families because one of their members – often a young person – is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography! How many people no longer see meaning in life or prospects for the future, how many have lost hope! And how many are plunged into this destitution by unjust social conditions, by unemployment, which takes away their dignity as breadwinners, and by lack of equal access to education and health care. In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide. This type of destitution, which also causes financial ruin, is invariably linked to the spiritual destitution which we experience when we turn away from God and reject his love. If we think we don’t need God who reaches out to us though Christ, because we believe we can make do on our own, we are headed for a fall. God alone can truly save and free us.

The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep. In union with Jesus, we can courageously open up new paths of evangelization and human promotion.

Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can so this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.

May the Holy Spirit, through whom we are “as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor 6:10), sustain us in our resolutions and increase our concern and responsibility for human destitution, so that we can become merciful and act with mercy. In expressing this hope, I likewise pray that each individual member of the faithful and every Church community will undertake a fruitful Lenten journey. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you safe.

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  1. Jethro Grayle says:

    This Pope is so dreary with his tired old 1980s backwater liberation theology “kumbayuh” nonsense. I knew after hearing a couple of his trite, platitudinous speeches that he was an intellectual lightweight — an empty cassock, if you will. He even looks stupid — like the dwarf that couldn’t talk in Snow White. Too bad this old dwarf blabbers on as much as he does. His windmill-tilting against American capitalism only confirms his abject buffoonery. All the whining innuendo against American culture is an attempt to distract people from the festering, rancid corruption of Rome. Must be nice for him to know that Argentina (along with the rest of South America) possesses such a fair and “just” political system. Heaven forbid he whine about them. Simpleton. What a man of dull vision and hypocrisy! He has never served as a pastor at the parish level, and has been ensconced in the protective Ivory Tower of clericalism all his life. Who does he think he is fooling? Please. The man is the Argentinian equivalent of a limousine liberal. Start selling-off some of that treasure the Vatican has plundered from the rich for its own hoard over the centuries, Frankie! No? Didn’t think so. Heaven knows the Roman Church has fleeced its own modern members of BILLIONS to pay-off those people molested by the systematic misfits attracted to the warped Priesthood this derelict church continues to glorify. What a moron. The American Catholic Church is the only truly healthy and prosperous and vibrant wing remaining in Francis’s moribund flock across the globe. So he attacks it. Ignoramus. An “Obama Pope” of staggering proportions. The world’s Infallibly Useful Idiot. I’d love to see the American church break away in another schism, but Catholics have no gumption. I reject this pope and everything he stands for, and I hope the Roman Catholic Church, which has always been the world’s most complicit fornicator –the first prostitute to jump into bed with any corrupt government the moment it whistles– continues to be humiliated by its own arrogance, vice, ridiculous dogma and duplicity. What a ludicrous institution, to say nothing of the hapless imbecile who leads it. At least John Paul II was a capable pastor and sensible man. This one is a laugh-a-minute.

    • It isn’t the pope, It’s the IMFthat is taking us to socialism. The 1944 meeting in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, at which the world’s most prominent socialists established the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as mechanisms for eliminating gold from world finance; the hidden agenda behind the IMF/World Bank revealed as the building of world socialism; the role of the Federal Reserve in bringing that about.
      As we have seen, the game called Bailout has been played over and over again in the rescue of large corporations, domestic banks, and savings-and-loan institutions. The pretense has been that these measures were necessary to protect the public. The result, however, has been just the opposite. The public has been exploited as billions of dollars have been expropriated through taxes and inflation. The money has been used to make up losses that should have been paid by the failing banks and corporations as the penalty for mismanagement and fraud.
      While this was happening in our home-town stadium, the same game was being played in the international arena. There are two primary differences. One is that the amount of money at stake in the international game is much larger. Through a complex tangle of bank loans, subsidies, and grants, the Federal Reserve is becoming the “lender of last resort” for virtually the entire planet. The other difference is that, instead of claiming to be Protectors of the Public, the players have emblazoned across the backs of their uniforms: Saviors of the World.
      The game began at an international meeting of financiers, politicians, and theoreticians held in July of 1944 at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Officially, it

      was called the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, but is generally referred to today as simply the Bretton Woods Conference. Two international agencies were created at that meeting: the International Monetary Fund and its sister organization, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development— commonly called the World Bank.
      The announced purposes of these organizations were admirable. The World Bank was to make loans to war-tom and underdeveloped nations so they could build stronger economies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was to promote monetary cooperation between nations by maintaining fixed exchange rates between their currencies. But the method by which these goals were to be achieved was less admirable. It was to terminate the use of gold as the basis of international currency exchange and replace it with a politically manipulated paper standard. In other words, it was to allow governments to escape the discipline of gold so they could create money out of nothing without paying the penalty of having their currencies drop in value on world markets.
      Prior to this conference, currencies were exchanged in terms of their gold value, and the arrangement was called the “gold-exchange standard.” This is not the same as a “gold-standard” in which a currency is backed by gold. It was merely that the exchange ratios of the various currencies—most of which were not backed by gold—were determined by how much gold they could buy in the open market. Their values, therefore, were set by supply and demand. Politicians and bankers hated the arrangement, because it was beyond their ability to manipulate. In the past, it had served as a remarkably efficient mechanism but it was a strict disciplinarian. As John Kenneth Galbraith observed:
      The Bretton Woods arrangements sought to recapture the advantages of the gold standard—currencies that were exchangeable at stable and predictable rates into gold and thus at stable and predictable rates into each other. And this it sought to accomplish while minimizing the pain imposed by the gold standard on countries that were buying too much, selling too little and thus losing gold.
      The method by which this was to be accomplished was exactly the method devised on Jekyll Island to allow American banks to

      create money out of nothing without paying the penalty of having their currencies devalued by other banks. It was the establishment of a world central bank which would create a common fiat money for all nations and then require them to inflate together at the same rate. There was to be a kind of international insurance fund which
      would rush that fiat money to any nation that temporarily needed
      it to face down a “run” on its currency. It wasn’t born with all these features fully developed, just as the Federal Reserve wasn’t fully developed when it was born. That, nevertheless, was the plan, and it was launched with all the structures in place.
      The theoreticians who drafted this plan were the well-known Fabian Socialist from England, John Maynard Keynes, 1 and the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Harry Dexter White

  2. http://stormcloudsgathering.com/us-stock-market-takes-a-dive-is-the-bubble-beginning-to-pop

    U.S. Stock Market Takes a Dive – Is The Bubble Beginning to Pop?
    Posted by S.C.G. January 24, 2014
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    Share U.S. Stock Market Takes a Dive – Is The Bubble Beginning to Pop?

    The U.S. stock market has had a very rough week. The worst week in 19 months to be precise. Is this the beginning of the end of the bubble?

    In regard to the U.S. stock market bubble it’s not a question of if it will pop, but rather of when (and what excuse the so called experts that denied that it was coming will use to distract from the real cause). They’ll tell you it was due to slow downs in emerging markets, some disappointing jobs report or lower than expected corporate earnings, but this is like blaming a blade of grass that a soap bubble lands on for its demise. Bubbles pop because they are bubbles. Once they are inflated the result is inevitable. The wind may carry it a bit farther than expected (QE3) but sooner or later the laws of nature always prevail.
    The Fed finally announced that it would begin to taper this year. Some mainstream pundits are are already proposing that perhaps this was too soon, that perhaps they should have waited a few more months. No one seems willing to acknowledge the 4 ton elephant in the living room, that of course being the simple fact that there was no recovery; QE3 merely gave the market an artificial boost. If pumping 85 billions dollars of funny money into the system every month for 3 years is a sustainable solution to the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008 then why don’t we just add crystal meth to Gatorade and sell it as a sports supplement?
    It’s always dangerous to attempt to predict when a major financial event is going to unfold. Doing so puts one’s credibility on the line, and in the realm of media credibility is everything, but the signs that the party is headed for an abrupt end were so blatant that we made the call back in October of last year that we would likely see some big moves in the first quarter of 2014, and then Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller came out saying that the stock market looks like it is in a bubble.
    Obviously there is no way to know for certain what will happen. The Fed may very well back down from its promise to taper, or even speed up the printing presses. One thing is for sure though: this isn’t going to end well.

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