Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ironies: showers for homeless in St. Peter's Square, but 500 Vatican employees "cast into poverty"

Pope Francis' initiative on behalf of the homeless in St. Peter's Square has been much in the news of late: "Pope Francis to build showers for homeless in St. Peter’s Square" (Washington Post, November 13, 2014).

The Holy Father's initiative is consistent with his pattern of placing the marginalized at the center of his concerns, his identification and "solidarity" with the poor. We remember the celebrated stories at the beginning of his pontificate about how he cooked his own meals, rode the bus rather than the limo, eschewed pomp, and abandoned the luxurious papal apartments for more modest accommodations elsewhere.

Such initiatives, however, are sometimes accompanied by unforeseen consequences of other decisions that suggest a contravening message. On January 1, 2015, some five hundred workers in the employee of the Vatican Office of Papal Charities will be dismissed. These are calligraphists, painters, and printers who have been in the employee of the Vatican producing decorated parchments for Papal Blessings "for specific persons" ordered and sold in bookshops and stores licenced by the Vatican whose proceeds have gone for the benefit of the Office of Papal Charities for their donations to charitable causes.

Starting next year, the Office of Papal Charities will reportedly arrange of its own initiative with other calligraphists, for the production and selling of the parchments, either directly from the Internet, or through the nunciatures throughout the world. What was the reason for this decision? Cost-cutting measures? Excessive extravagance? No one has said. (Papal Almoner) Archbishop Konrad Krajewski gave notice to these nearly 500 men and women of the imminent termination of their contract in a circular letter dated April 12, 2014.

On June 29 of this year, the five hundred workers reportedly sent a letter to the Pope in which the begged him to not "cast hundreds of families into economic poverty and precarious situations," concluding:
“We are placing our future in Your holy hands, and our plea to revoke this decision, which will have the effect of diminishing the charitable work done by the Office of Papal Charities in the course of years and still being done today, also by means of work offered by so many devoted people.”
Apparently no response to this appeal to the Holy Father has been received thus far.


8 comments:








Mighty Joe Young

said...

Now, had The Holy See consulted with those who have experience working with the homeless, it could have done far better than to construct showers for the homeless for they will be as a salt lick to many potential dangerous animals -such as drunks, druggies, criminals, terrorists and liberal democrats whose presence in Saint Peter's Square will increase the danger to the Pope and unnecessarily complicate even further the duties of those charged with providing safety to the Pope.

Now the Holy See could have arranged for one of their outside-of-Saint -Peter's-Square buildings to be used as a center to address the many challenges and problems presented by the Homeless.

For instance, they could have modeled such an effort of The Lewis Center in W.P.B.

http://www.homelesscoalitionpbc.org/get-help/information-about-the-lewis-center/

After all,this is supposed to the the age of the Laity whose professional expertise is such that the problem of the homeless wheel does not have to continually be reinvented.

No, what the Poe did vis a vis showers for the homeless is neither compassionate nor helpful to what it is they truly require to have their dignity restored; and what they need is a LOT of professional help, not some freebie sammiches and showers.

Let the Pope protect, defend, and teach the deposit of Faith - as Vatican 1 teaches -and maybe even consider converting the multitudes, and let the layman handle the homeless for that is a bailiwick they are familiar with.





BenYachov

said...

So the Pope is Obama for putting showers in for the homeless & in Christopher Hitchens like fashion he is criticized for letting his right hand know what his left is doing?

But then Pope or some unknown subordinate streamlines the Office of Papal Charities most likely to cut cost and now all of a sudden Pope Francis is implicitly condemned as a Mitt Romney wannabe?

Which is it? Make up your mind's people.

Why don't you guys just admit it's Heads you win and Tails the Pope looses?

Anti-Catholic fundamentalists used to argue this way with me. Point out only 3,000 people where put to death by the Inquisition over 200 years(Texas kills more people per year) and somebody brings up the Massacre at Béziers and the infamous "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt emus".

Point out Pius XII saved Jews during the Holocaust & the anti-Catholic bring up Pius IX and the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.

So many goal posts to move when you are slinging the mud.

Such respect & love for Pope Francis from his loyal opposition. I am underwhelmed.

I followed the links in this post and it seems there is a bigger picture than the simplistic & implicit cheap shots at Pope Francis.

http://www.mondayvatican.com/vatican/vatican-the-time-for-reform-what-is-the-popes-position

http://www.mondayvatican.com/vatican/pope-francis-starts-reforms-but-perhaps-he-will-need-to-relyon-st-peters-pence

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/economy-secretariat-advances-financial-transparency-at-the-vatican-73412/

Franics is trying to reform the Curia (something Benedict wanted to do but failed) & reform the finances of the Vatican to make it more efficient to help the Poor and make them more accountable and transparent.

It is not going to be neat and clean.

After all all the major Vatican Bank scandals took place under Pope Benedict XVI and St John Paul II watch.

Just saying..........;-)*

*No I don't don't really fault them I merely wish to school the rest of you in what a cheap shot at the Pope looks like.





Charles

said...

Ben,

I think you're misreading PP here. I don't see him taking any "cheap shots" at the Pope. His language is carefully worded to avoid any suggestion of impugning the Holy Father's motives. What the post points out quite diplomatically is that good intentions sometimes result in decisions with unexpected and unfortunate consequences. Moreover, it highlights effects of administrative decisions that the Holy Father may wish to rethink if he wishes to maintain a consistent preferential option for the poor. How is there anything resembling a "cheap shot" in that?

I'm sorry to say, I'm afraid you may be reading into PP's post your own pugnacity, Ben. It's hard to avoid the impression that the only adversarial attitude and cheap shots here are yours.

Although you avoid accusing PP directly by means of the passive voice in declaring that "in Christopher Hitchens like fashion [the Pope] is criticized for letting his right hand know what his left is doing," what you are really doing is impugning PP. Is the Pope an "Obama" or a "Romney," you ask, rhetorically. "Which is it? Make up your mind's people."

But isn't that the question you should be asking the Pope and the very point of the post?

"I merely wish to school the rest of you in what a cheap shot at the Pope looks like."

Oh really? But where is the cheap shot here, after all? What part of your last statement isn't exactly that?

If you can't stop behaving like a salivating Pavlovian pit bull at every comment made here and seeing virtually everything through your reactionary "here-a-trad, there-a-trad, everywhere-a-trad-trad" grid, maybe you should stop coming around and go cool your heels somewhere else. A word to the wise, PP.





BenYachov

said...

@Charles

My last post in this thread is merely a continuation of some jousting I was doing over at this other thread.

http://pblosser.blogspot.com/2014/11/pope-francis-commissions-showers-for.html

Context is everything. Which you clearly don't get.

So I am simultaneously going at it with three or four people.


> It's hard to avoid the impression that the only adversarial attitude and cheap shots here are yours.

If you want to make it five I'll meet you over at the other thread.







BenYachov

said...


>If you can't stop behaving like a salivating Pavlovian pit bull at every comment made here and seeing virtually everything through your reactionary "here-a-trad, there-a-trad, everywhere-a-trad-trad" grid, maybe you should stop coming around and go cool your heels somewhere else. A word to the wise, PP

Physician heal thyself Charles. I responded to reactionary attacks on the Pope to persons in the other comments thread.

Context is something you really need to work on.

Just saying.





Mighty Joe Young

said...

Perhaps the Bishop of Rome worries about a shortage of those on the peripheries and he is engaging in some supply side ecclesiastical economics.

Sure, the poor folks who have been fired will be sad, depressed, and feel put upon, but that just increases their opportunities to carry their Cross like Christ did.

No, this all makes sense and M.J. doesn't care what any extreme conservative right-wing reactionary rad trad lunatic meanie says for the Bishop of Rome loves the poor with such intensity that he is growing their numbers as firings are a rising tide that lifts all homeless flotillas headed for Lampedusa.

O, and his non response to the repeated pleas of those he has sacked even though he is known to call his old shoemaker back home, his old friends back home, recent divorcees, etc?

It prolly is just an example of the Bishop of Rome's tough love; he is prolly preparing them for life on the street as the unemployed - perhaps even as the homeless.

But, on Oct 11, 2013, didn't the Bishop of Rome say that youth unemployment and loneliness among the eldery are the most serious evils in the world?

AH-Hah. Goctha.

The persons being sacked are not youth but they are married and, thus, no loneliness can be claimed.





BenYachov

said...

So in short MJY he is Romney for now and when it becomes convienent for you he will be Obama.

Otherwise known as Tails the Pope looses.





Anonymous

said...

If true, this is disturbing. It smacks of econimic ignorance coupled with grandstanding.

IF.