As a Christian and hopefully a Catholic I have been watching the Red Hats do their thing in Rome. I hate that they wear red. I hate that people kiss their rings. I hate that so many have gone so far astray.
I have told you before my faith is strong but my religion is teetering on collapse. You say it is just a passing thing but I think not. Christ was a simple man. He shunned politics. He had no visible wealth. He would talk to people in a conversational way. For all His heavenly power he was a very down to earth man.
He turned the reins over to Peter and Paul. They were very strong but of disparate views. Peter wanted this whole thing to be centered in Rome and Paul had bigger ideas. He traveled far and wide talking at Ephesus(Ephesians) and Philippo(Philippians) and Gallations(I guess that’s Gaul). You get my point.
They went along at a good clip until the 600’s when the Emperor Constantine saw a good thing and wanted to capitalize on it. He made Catholicism the religion of the empire and the road went downhill. This intertwining of men’s souls and their pocketbooks could not be good.
The church with its new found importance started having material things heaped upon it. This wasn’t necessity but the love of the finer things in life. Concurrent with this was the gradual evolution(maybe a poor choice of a word) of the coronations of kings and queens but only after the approval of the pope. So if you want to curry favor send a little gold Rome’s way.
This collection of wealth became more profound in the 900’s but the boys in red saw a chink in the armor. You see to that period in time priests were allowed to be married. The major drawback was not celibacy but the fact when they died their estate went to family and not the Holy Mother Church. Ergo they decided priests could no longer get married. They needed the dough.
They progressed along until the beginning of the Renaissance. You see the Golden Age was not exactly an explosion of creativity as it was once again the power of money. The royalty and doges of every sort discovered that the one with the most lauded artist had the power. Let’s cover the ballroom, boudoirs and sitting rooms with the most ornate and splendiferous art we can find. Do you think the Sistine Chapel was an accident?
The Sforzas, Medicis and Borghesis not only filled the halls with goodies but realized what a power center the Pope was. By figuring who was going to rule empires the Pope really had the last say. As it turned out the “families” raised sons to be pope. The “princes” aka the boys in red shared in that power. Good stuff was showered on all.
The power of the cardinals, bishops and priests really hit high gear.Indulgences.Orgies. Good times. No one could figure out why Luther wanted a reformation. Heathen! Non believer! He hit the nail on the head and no one liked it. The clergy reverted back to “if you don’t listen to me you are going to die in hell.” Strong stuff before Google and Facebook. Do you believe? Yes, I believe.
Now you believers and non believers alike are saying why is TTG teaching history or even worse theology? Because my friends, history has a way of repeating itself. Please bear with me.
Let’s go back a couple of hundred years when the founding fathers had an idea. It was simple and the pomp and circumstance was kept to a minimum. The assemblies were in Washington, Williamsburg and Philadelphia but I don’t know that anyone played Hail to the Chief at that time.
As time went on they kept the message simple and intrusion was minimal. But then again one day they realized they had power. And because they had power people were more than happy to shower wealth to curry favor. The message however simple was lost and it soon became all about them.
Shielded and separated from reality Washington became kind of like the Vatican. Shrouded in secrecy, the bastion of old men(and women), they told the people they didn’t understand. And yes if you don’t listen to them damnation or in this case recession or depression will be your comeuppance.
If you are like me you do not question the original premise but rather how it is being translated. You cannot stand the vestiges of power. You are incensed by the lack of common sense. You abhor that money has taken over a thing you hold so dear.
I am hoping the sequestered group in Rome will find some sort of Divine Guidance that says get your act together. Let’s find a guy who can stand up and face the music. Someone who worries about the common good rather than the vault. A leader who says let’s get back to basics and take all the bickering and pushing and shoving and stow it. Someone who says where we are at right now is plain wrong. Sound familiar? If they find him maybe they can tell DC how they did it.
Ted The Great
The Borghese Gallery in Rome sits on acres of land and is home to millions if not billions in art collected by Cardinal(Red Hat) Borghese.
The Vatican Museum of statuaries, tapestries and other works of art can take several days to visit properly. All of the wealth entailed is the property of the Catholic Church.
The average net worth of congress is $1 million. The members of the Senate have seen their net worth increase by some 70% since 2004. The House has increased by 17%. Harry Reid is worth over $5 million and some say as high as $10 million although he has been in public service for 40 years.
In the church we use the title of reverend, most reverend, his Holiness etc. In government we say Mr. President, Mr Speaker, Governor, Mayor etc long after they have gone on their way. Maybe we should just call everyone by their first names.
Money corrupts if you have the wrong people in the wrong spot. I had my own ephiphany today. We are putting an addition on our house and have had a parade of inspectors in for the past two months. Today they are inspecting the new chimney which is 30% complete. My thought this morning was – who are these people coming in to tell me and the people I hired whether MY chimney is built correctly or not. It’s my house and if it burns down from a badly constructed chimney that’s my problem. Once again government, this time at a very local level – we only have 1800 households in our town, is tellling me they know better then I do and they are there to “protect” me. What’s even worse is that the permit fees are based on the overall cost of the project not on the size. How does that work? Are we ever going to get back to a time where Government doesn’t feel they have to protect us from ourselves?
Factoid – Just heard this on the radio this morning – 71% of the children born in the Bronx are born to single Mothers – and Mayor Bloomberg spends his time limiting the size of soda you can buy in a restaurant? Houston I think we have a problem!
Good stuff Ted. Like to share with some of my Irish catholic brothers back in Chicago, with your permission. Beers in order soon. Happy Irish History Month!!