There is a Price to Pay for Greed


Jesus, the one whom the Christian community claims to follow, apparently never asked for any money or offerings whenever he spoke to and served the crowds of his day. It seems paradoxical that the Christian Church thrives on money. The Catholic church did not become the single richest institution in the world by accident.

The recent debacle, with the allegations of pedophilia, in the Catholic Church seems to be a natural occurrence if you look at the church and it's history. First, in Jesus day, one Jewish sect, the Essenes, viewed celibacy as the best way to the clean, pure, godly life. The Essenes taught that if you had sex, you should take a bath immediately before and after. In that day and time, it was the intelligent thing to do. The Jews were convinced that cleanliness was best. Consider their Kosher laws regarding pork and crustaceans as unclean. In that era to see these items as unclean was very observant and appropriate. There is a school of thought that Jesus was influenced, directly or indirectly by the Essenes. Remember where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found? It appears the idea of celibacy slipped into the early Catholic Church and some monks and priests were celibate personally or followed a form of de facto celibacy from their order or the unofficial desires of the papacy.

Around the turn of the last millenium the papacy issued an edict saying that no priest that was married could administer mass. Why would they do such? The reader should always keep in mind "follow the money." It seems the church was jealous over all the money that these married priests were leaving to their wives and children. Not long thereafter, in 1129, Pope Honorius II officially sanctified celibacy of all clergy via an official synod. Thus, these priest's could no longer leave any heirs any money because they were married to the church, so now the church became their legal and natural heir. Thus, it was the church and its greed that institutionalized celibacy of the clergy. It is obvious that the Catholic Church wanted the money that came into the church to stay within the church.

The Catholic Church was perfectly willing to provide a very gracious life style for those priests in the trenches on the front lines. In fact, we have an excellant example of this in The Legend of Robin Hood. Do you remember which one of this merry band of men in Sherwood Forrest was the best fed and had access to the best liquor? If you answered Friar Tuck, you were right. Is there not a considerable irony here. If Robin Hood took from the rich who thrived off taking from the poor, did not Friar Tuck do the same. Did they not take from the rich the ill gotten gains others had callously taken from the poor. What Friar Tuck took from the excess of the church could hardly effect its wealth one iota.

Considering the legend cited above, it is delightfull to know that even in that era there were people who could see that "money corrupts and absolute wealth corrupts absolutely." It is no stretch to see that money and power are synonymous. Furthermore, I would suggest that the papacy redefine its interpretation of I Timothy 6:10. "The love of money is the root of all evil." Money is neither good nor bad. It is certainly existential. It is corrupted by "love" when it becomes one supreme value. Could this possibly be the ultimate hypocrasy of taking from the poor while becoming the single richest institution in the world?

One last point should be made about what the churches "love for money" has led to. Throughout the middle ages the church was at the pinnacle of its power and once again I ask the reader to remember "absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely" and follow the money. Alas, the name that historians gave to this era that the church was in absolute power is the DARK AGES.
For many centuries the Pope's primary job was General of the Papal armies. It is good to remember that great lesson of the middle ages whenever the "not so sacred" church was also the government in power. It was a theocracy and the sacred and secular powers were one and the same.

The U S Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Establishment clause could all be in jeopardy if the religious right was to have its way. The terrorism that the, would be, Christian Church perpetrated in the middle ages was horriffic. Consider the Crusades as one example and the Inquisition as another. The Salem Witch Trials in early Colonial America were the death pangs of the Inquisition and its insane notions, reminiscent of the Dark Ages.

In considering the value of separation of Church and State, it may be good to remember that this great U S experiment is still fragile. The founding forefathers were wise to remember the religious persecutions they were coming from in Europe. We must always remember the insanities of such absolute power as a theocracy. The bottom line is, separation of church and state is a precious step forward for both church and state.

Religion has trivialized this life by promising another. Look at the terrorists that strap bombs to their chests. Do you think they have respect for this life? So what if they kill innocent civilians, pregnant women, babies, children.... The church would do well to have as much reverence for life as Jesus did. Personally, to focus on wrestling with the moral questions of our day from the standpoint of my greatest hero, Jesus, would serve the church well. I would like to see the Catholic Church drop its pagan rituals centered around the sacrifice of Jesus and dwell on the grandeur of his heart. Even though it seems obvious that I have a secular world view, I much prefer to believe a man as good as Jesus apparently was once among us. Personally, I don't think very many psychiatrists or psychologists would say any religion built around fear and human sacrifice would be conducive to good mental health.

Is it only reasonable to conclude that it was greed that institutionalized celibacy of the clergy. Thus, considering the modus operandi of the church, is not the pedophilia problem a logical consequence.

Charles Darwin indentified the most powerful force in all life is survival. Since the "life" of all species is defined by its generation, in the animal kingdom, sex is required to produce the next generation so that life can continue. It seems obvious that sex is the second most powerful force in the animal Kingdom. Thus, I ask, is it good, wise or proper for any organization to institute celibacy? Those who claim celibacy will have their sexuality expressed somewhere in their life, as all this flak over the pedophilia scandals establish. I ask, if sexually frustrated priests' had some need for fullfillment , would not children be the easiest to control? This predatory victimization of children is worse than reprehensible. Personally, from my vantage point the destruction of a child's age of innocense is possibly the worst psychological crime of all.

Yes, it appears that the troubles the papacy is having over pedophilia can be directly traced to greed. The Hebrew scriptures say we shall always have wars and rumors of wars. I would like to paraphrase this and "we shall always have greed and rumors of greed." The Catholic Church is now paying a price for its greed. Since sex is the second most powerful force in an adults life, the Catholic Church should not and must not feed any pedophilia perversion with celibacy.

A quote in conclusion may be in order. "One could crucify Jesus anew, ravage the virgin Mary but what he would be forgiven by the Pope for a proper sum of money." Martin Luther.

I once wrote a critical expose of the life insurance industry and one reviewer told me "don't sit by the window." Once again I am aware that I have tweaked a very large nose. I have no desire to die but I can only hope that the "holy see" puts gold in the back seat and elevates reverence for life. I hope I have elevated the average person (like Voltaire did) and put people first (as Jesus did).

Please duplicate and disseminate world wide. Do not edit. Bring forth the debate which sets truth as being of ultimate importance. If we can question those once unquestionable ideas, perhaps then we can find the bottom line of truth, reverence for life.

Mobile, Al.


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