Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Your donations to Peter's Pence

- Candy Crush Saga

I was reading an article by Jesuit Thomas Reese about the recent VatiLeaks trial ... 'VatiLeaks': A foolish and embarrassing case ... and it made me wonder what the guys at the Vatican have actually been doing with all the money they collect from those in the pews for Peter's Pence, that money sent to the Vatican to be used to help people in need. Here's what the Vatican states about Peter's Pence ...

“‘Peter’s Pence’ is the most characteristic expression of the participation of all the faithful in the Bishop of Rome’s charitable initiatives in favour of the universal Church. The gesture has not only a practical value, but also a strong symbolic one, as a sign of communion with the Pope and attention to the needs of one’s brothers; and therefore your service possesses a refined ecclesial character”. (Address to the Members of the St Peter Circle, 25 February 2006).

The ecclesial value of this gesture becomes evident when one considers how charitable initiatives are connatural to the Church, as the Pope stated in his first Encyclical Deus caritas est (25 December 2005):

“The Church can never be exempted from practising charity as an organized activity of believers and, on the other hand, there will never be a situation where the charity of each individual Christian is unnecessary, because in addition to justice man needs, and will always need, love” (No. 29) ...

Well, the truth of what Peter's Pence is really being used for is somewhat less noble ....

[...] “Holy Father…there is a complete absence of transparency in the bookkeeping both of the Holy See and the Governorate,” five auditors wrote Francis in 2013, according to Nuzzi’s book. “Costs are out of control and it is quite difficult to meet with anyone, due to the fact that many in the Vatican are often too busy playing Candy Crush.”

It goes on to mention that Vatican officials had spent all of 2014’s Peter’s Pence money in just over two months on Clash of Clans gem upgrades.

“Every day I walk the streets of Rome and see the homeless and other citizens of this city,” one anonymous Vatican official told EOTT. “Not on purpose…I mean I’m not trying to see them. I’d rather not see them, but since the homeless and other Romans are there walking, I am often forced to look up so I do not trip, but when I look up, I begin to lose in Clash of Clans. When I lose, I need to spend more money on the app. Since it is typically the fault of a drunk homeless man bumping into me on my way to work, then it should be the homeless man that pays for the in-app purchase. But they have no money, so I simply take it from Peter’s Pence. And like that, we are even. It all makes sense now?”

I was so curious that I had took up the games mentioned - Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans. Actually, I never did get to Clash of Clans because I found a place online to play Candy Crush and I've been standing at the computer, playing like a brain dead zombie ever since.

I'm making light of this, but really, if I still attended church I would be horrified by the misuse of my donations. I don't know how people manage to ignore all the Vatican's badness.


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