Monday, January 23, 2012

We need more Tory bishops

According to The Sunday Times (£), the bishops of the Church of England are (again) ‘at war’ with the Government (which, let us remember, is not some extreme, right-wing, arch-Thatcherite group, but a mild and moderate coalition of ‘progressive’ Tories collaborating with ultra-enlightened Liberal Democrats). This time the conflagration is apparently over government plans to cap household benefits at £500 per week (that’s £26,000 per annum). The cap will apply to the combined income from the main out-of-work benefits – Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, and Employment Support Allowance – and other benefits such as Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit, and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Perhaps the ‘war’ ought to come as no surprise, since the vast majority (if not all) of CofE bishops are paid up (or very sympathetic ex-) members of the Christian Socialist Movement who pore over The Guardian every morning with their mint tea and muesli and intercede fervently for the amelioration of the fortunes of Ed Miliband. “O God, let justice flow like a river,” they pray, hoping desperately for the water to turn red. On that count, they might as well pray to win the lottery: His Grace is firmly persuaded that the Lord wants Ed Miliband to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom about as much as He wants Johann Hari to write the Third Testament.

The former Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Rev’d Stephen Lowe, is of the opinion that capping housing benefit could make children suffer. He said: "We have got some families, quite a large number of families I am sad to say, where neither parent is working. They perhaps are not particularly capable of working. They have large families... The fact that child benefit, which is meant to be attached to the number of children, is being discounted in relation to this particular £26,000 is actually going to damage those children's welfare and put potentially another 100,000 children into poverty."

The Rt Rev’d John Packer, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, says: “There is a very real risk that these reforms will cause suffering to the most vulnerable in society. What we’re hoping to do is to lessen that suffering for children in families where parents are unemployed.”

And this, apparently, amounts to ‘war’.

His Grace feels he’s going round in circles on this one, principally because some bishops can’t think beyond their religio-political predisposition, firmly convinced that Jesus, were he to walk our green and pleasant land, would vote Labour.

His Grace would very much like a three-bedroom pad in Kensington, preferably near Harvey Nick’s. And failing that, a nice pied-à-terre in Kensington Palace Gardens would suffice. The reality, of course, is that his abode is commensurate with and proportionate to his meagre stipend: he has no expectation that the taxpayer should subsidise his desire to dwell in a house or an in area he cannot afford.

£2000 a month represents the average weekly wage for working households. Adopting the mean income would appear to be a manifestly fair way of apportioning welfare, the bill for which presently runs at £192bn a year. But the bishops are concerned that the reforms risk pushing thousands of children into poverty and homelessness. How in the name of St Gemma could an income of £2000 a month be considered poverty? Certainly, it won't be enough to pay a rent in Kensington or any major city. So move.

When it comes to protecting the poorest and most vulnerable in society, the Government's measure of poverty is woefully inadequate, and the bishops need to reflect on the teachings of Jesus (just occasionally). His Grace has said this before, but he will say it again for the economically obtuse. If poverty continues to be defined in relative terms, then Jesus was right to insist that the poor will always be with us. For when the average household income reaches £35,000, there will still be children being brought up in households where the income is a meagre £21,000, and thereby damned to be brought up in ‘Dickensian levels of poverty’.

The proportion of UK households defined as living in poverty has been around the 20 per cent through many decades of both Conservative and Labour administrations.

If the Conservative Party were intent on eradicating child poverty, or any other kind of poverty, they would first need to confront UN/EU/UK/CofE definition of the term and reassess how it is measured, for the social(-ist) scientists have being very busy moving the goalposts.

The bishops are right to highlight that subject of poverty, for it was foundational to the ministry of Jesus: he preached more about money than he did about eternal salvation. But when examining what he said about the poor, consideration has to be given to context and audience, and the nuances of Greek vocabulary also need examining.

What does Luke mean by ‘the poor’ (6:20)? The peasants who possessed little material wealth were not called ‘poor’ (‘ptochos’) if they possessed what was sufficient (ie subsistence) - they were termed ‘penes’. Jesus was (and is) concerned with the literal, physical needs of men (ie not just the spiritual [cf Acts 10:38]). When Luke was addressing the ‘poor’, he meant those who had no money - the oppressed, miserable, dependent, humiliated - and this is translated by ‘ptochos’, indicating ‘poverty-stricken…to cower down or hide oneself for fear’ - the need to beg. The ‘penes’ has to work, but the ‘ptochos’ has to beg. Those addressed by Jesus are the destitute beggars, not ‘penes’ or the general peasant audience of few possessions.

This is an important distinction upon which the bishops might like to reflect. They might also like to reflect on the teaching of St Paul:
We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.
(2 Thess3:8-12 NIV – so the bishops can understand it).
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has grasped this. But it’s a sorry state of affairs when a lay Roman Catholic has to instruct bishops of the Established Church in God’s justice: we must think of those who pay taxes while some unemployed people live in large houses at public expense. The principle ought very fairly to be that those on benefits cannot ‘earn’ more than those who work.

Mr Duncan Smith said: "The question I'd ask these bishops is, over all these years, why have they sat back and watched people being placed in houses they cannot afford? It's not a kindness. I would like to see their concerns about ordinary people, who are working hard, paying their tax and commuting long hours, who don't have as much money as they would otherwise because they're paying tax for all of this."

Quite.

His Grace is fed up of the moral hazard in this argument: children have become a vehicle for guaranteed income and a sense of entitlement. While society must always protect the vulnerable, adults must take responsibility for their choices, including the bad ones.

Perhaps, instead of obsessing about which bishops are gay, one or two might have the courage of their convictions and come out as Tory and support this manifestly sensible reform.

52 Comments:

Blogger AncientBriton said...

An Archbishop's stipend in excess of £60,000 is hardly meagre Your Grace!

23 January 2012 at 08:57  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Now let me see. This couldn't have anything to do with Thatcher's destruction of council housing, could it? Let them live in tents!

23 January 2012 at 09:32  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

YG is spot on and if your flock cannot see the injustice and the corrosive effect of excessive benefit levels, then I am afraid that they have been blinded by stupidity, otherwise known as Liberal/Leftism.

23 January 2012 at 10:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Capping benefits at £26k is the equivalent of a pretax wage of £35k - what world are the defenders of these parasitic drones living in.

What need do we have of imported Bulgarian Big Issue sellers, Albanian busker-bands Romanian metal thieves, child pick-pockets and beggars - yet here they are and we pay them for raping the hard won British benefits system and health service, built on years of contributions from legitimate tax payers. Why are we not sending the bill for their welfare to their own Counties?

This laughable 'cap' is far too high to redress the unacceptable imbalance between the responsibility of working to support and house your family than simply knocking out a brood into the care of the rest of Society.
The entire system, starting with the teenage 'career mothers' and the feckless fathers, is crying out for root and branch reform and this 'cap' is just tinkering round the edges and an insult to those working for the minimum wage.

Beveridge must be spinning faster than a Rolls Royce turbine.

23 January 2012 at 10:44  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

How much of their own money do these bishops hand over each year?
And, where do they think the money comes from to be able to pay these welfare-dependents; from my pocket for one, and I'm sick of being made to pay for them. I know families where the income is substantially lower than £26k a year and they manage to raise children without expecting money from me.

23 January 2012 at 10:49  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace;
How many more times will you have to state what is obvious to any Spirit filled Christian, that it helps no one to pander to the lazy. You reported that the Rt Rev’d Stephen Lowe said that many have large families. OK, mistakes happen but don’t tell me they don’t know what causes children. Any self respecting couple will limit their family size to their expected income. Many of those families that the Bishop speaks of, assess their income according to the number of children they can have. No one should expect what they can’t afford.
Forty five years ago when I was a new Christian I helped out with a local charity effort to help old people improve their homes. The leader of the group, who went on in a career in social work, told me that to be a Christian you had to vote Labor. So I can understand the myth that prevails in many of the churches and amongst the hierarchy. The Synod does not know what day of the week it is and will still be arguing when Jesus returns.
To be fair, I do think that many Christians are very disappointed with the current Tory administration. With the Liberals standing on their toes, they do not have the balls to follow through with all the benefit reforms that are needed.
Very good of you to tell those lazy Whatsitt Bishops to get off their backsides and do some work. It is my experience that when a person becomes a Christian, they are not only spiritually renewed but their outlook on life changes and they are no longer a burden on society.
So Bishops, get out there and hold a few missions and help your flock to be less dependent.

23 January 2012 at 11:17  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I have only two words to say to the bishops and the bearded tit that leads them. One of those words is off.

23 January 2012 at 11:26  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

One has to assume there is some logic to what they say. I can't see many people actually getting £26k in benefits. So who actually is? Do they need it?

The only possible reason for needing such income so desperately is if one is in a position where one both is required to spend more money to live than others, and is unable to work. The severely disabled who need to employ carers fit this bill. Given an exemption for the above case and I see no objection to the Government plan.

I personally would rather see a return to the time when National Insurance was insurance rather than a tax. Not too long ago, the Government was stopped by the EU from withholding benefits from anyone inside the EU as it was deemed discriminatory (cue the rolling of many pairs of eyes); if we had simply reinstated the notion that you had to pay the insurance for three years before you could claim on it (it being an unemployment insurance) then there would have been no ability to claim discrimination.

Furthermore, by forcing people to work before they can claim unemployment benefit, we can end the cycle of families in which no one has ever worked. Muslim fanatics who deliberately try to bleed the system dry? Three years of humiliating tax to the infidels before you can even start. Worries about people starving because they can't find work? The job market is so fluid that it's hard not to find a work minded person without three years of national insurance payments.

23 January 2012 at 12:42  
Blogger Plainly Speaking said...

Your Grace, our Lords spiritual have no excuse for not acquiring a rudimentary grasp of these issues. May I remind them of the insights of an old Whig, Richard, Archbishop of Dublin

On the whole, then, there seems every reason to believe, that, as a general rule, that advancement in National Prosperity which mankind are, by the Governor of the universe, adapted, and impelled, to promote, must be favourable to moral improvement. Still more does it appear evident, that such a conclusion must be acceptable to a pious and philanthropic mind: If it is not probable, still less is it desirable, that the Deity should have fitted and destined Society to make a continual progress, impeded only by slothful and negligent habits, by war, rapine, and oppression, (in short, by violations of divine commands,) which progress inevitably tends towards a greater and greater moral corruption.

23 January 2012 at 13:16  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dreadnaught @10:44: Bravo!

Mind you, it is nice to know that there are no longer any indigenous British 'homeless' ... there aren't, are there? I've only seen one, in the last five years or so, selling the ''Big Issue'' and he was around for only a day or two ... thinks ... he can't have been 'moved-on' by Roma gangsters, for 'queerng their pitch', surely?

What double-dyed cretin thought it a good idea to let these peoples into Britain?!?!?!?

23 January 2012 at 13:27  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

I'm not sure about "Tory" bishops. I'd just like a few more who knew the difference between right and wrong, who understood the sacraments of the credal Church and who didn't rifle the wastepaper bin for old envelopes on which to write new doctrines.

23 January 2012 at 14:29  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 January 2012 at 15:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Thank you Mr.O

It also strikes me as incredible that anyone living on 26K tax free handout could be classified as potentially living at or below the poverty line. I have seen people in many places of this world, living in real poverty - but still capable of maintaining their dignity through working for whatever meager reward they can gain - this particular line of bleeding heart altruism is an insult to the world's poorest.

23 January 2012 at 15:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

What you have here is a hidden assertion that people are entitled to a minimum standard of living relative to the economy. The principle being asserted is that the threat of poverty is not an allowable club by which people may be forced to work. In other words, people have a right to be secured from poverty.

Two unavoidable consequences proceed from this idea.

1. The minimum stipend set by the state becomes the floor of acceptable wages. In fact, the floor is higher because men will attach value to their leisure time. To induce them to leave the dole and go to work, you would have to pay them more than the combination of the stipend plus the cash-value they assign to their ability to do as they please with their time.

2. Many people become priced out of the ability to perform useful work. The laws of economics cannot be repealed by a legislature. A man must produce more value then he consumes to be employable. People who cannot produce enough to justify their employment will never be employed. The stipend sets how much value the employee must produce. If John can't produce $25,000 worth of annual value to his employer then he isn't going to receive that salary. Employers are not going to accept a loss just to move people into the workforce.

This kind of idea is an insidious trap. It creates an entitled subclass that cannot enter the workforce and has no motivation to do so. It dramatically increases the cost of labor, and makes the economy less competitive relative to its competitors. It thus kills the poor golden-egg laying goose by demanding of it too many eggs too fast. There are no easy solutions. It is not possible to escape the reality that need and fear and want are necessary motivators in this fallen world.

Not for nothing is it said "If a man will not work, neither shall he eat."

carl

23 January 2012 at 16:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. The Inspector has most gratifying news for the bleeding hearts who are wringing their hands in despair. All that’s going to happen to the career benefit sponges and their families is that down sizing will merely involve the loss of the spare bedroom or perhaps the third reception room. However, in a few cases, some children will have to share a room with one other child ! Beastly way to treat our beloved ladies and gentlemen of leisure and their children, but it’s only until the next Labour government arrives. Then they will be restored to their traditional position of the top of the heap, sharing prime position with LGBTQ and other pampered groups, like Gypsies and prisoners.

Of more concern to the Inspector is the effect this is going to have on would be asylum seekers who leave their impoverished homelands to worm themselves into the UK, then send for their usually large family. This is going to make a few of them think twice. £ 26000 doesn’t go far when there are 6, 7 or 8 mouths to feed you know ! If some of them decide not to come over, we will only have ourselves to blame.

23 January 2012 at 18:08  
Blogger martin sewell said...

It is worth remembering that the global median income is $1700: £ 26k ( net of tax) places one firmly in the " top 1 % so despised by the "Occupy" movement.

23 January 2012 at 18:34  
Blogger DP111 said...

John Cheshire wrote: I know families where the income is substantially lower than £26k a year and they manage to raise children without expecting money from me.

But But John, these Welfare dependents have large families. Surely the children must not be penalised just because their parents do not behave responsibly.

23 January 2012 at 19:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DP111. That’s Bolshie talk, and you know it...

23 January 2012 at 19:51  
Blogger David Vance said...

I will be debating the Bishop tomorrow morning on the BBC!

23 January 2012 at 20:14  
Blogger Roy said...

With all due respect Your Grace is quite wrong to suggest that we need more Tory Bishops. What we need is more bishops with common sense. You should hear some of the comments I've heard from workers caring for the elderly who are paid less than other people get on benefits. It is not the nasty Tories who are most critical of spongers but the real working class.

The bishops, being middle class Guardian reading types, seem to think that the no-intention-of-working scrounging class is the working class. They should get off their backsides, get out of the House of Lords more often and actually meet and talk to normal people in vital but relatively badly paid jobs and try to explain to them why they should be taxed to support parasites.

Alternatively the bishops could actually listen to relatively poor but hard working people and then tell the slothful, irresponsible and feckless to repent and change their ways.

23 January 2012 at 20:35  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'Surely the children must not be penalised'...

S'pose you're right - not much fun all being huddled round the only remaining flat screen TV and X-Box for warmth.

23 January 2012 at 20:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Although the Inspector has no proof to hand, he suspects this. The last generation of single mothers have been copied by their daughters. That is, they too get knocked up with no further interest in their baby’s father to cruise on the benefit system which provided so well for her mother. It’s enough to make a decent man rant. Let similar children know a bit of hardship, and break the cycle. You know it makes sense, we can’t have a race of scroungers developing....

23 January 2012 at 20:50  
Blogger King Athelstan said...

Might I be the first to say that parishioners might show their displeasure this Sunday by leaving collection plates empty.

23 January 2012 at 21:16  
Blogger Berserker said...

It is a deadly irony that large immigrant families who can't speak English and the forlorn multi generational drug taking housing estate layabout Brits, have never ever contributed one bean to the exchequer should get the most dosh.

And their are plenty of jobs out there. How is it that hard working Poles and Hungarians always find full time jobs when they come to this country? Around my neck of the woods getting paper boys is impossible. The only people willing to push the papers through the door are hip replacement pensioners! Understandably they don't last long.

23 January 2012 at 22:35  
Blogger uk Fred said...

Perhaps the bishops need to understand the difference between hurt and harm.

24 January 2012 at 07:23  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

The poles and the hungarians always find jobs,because they cut the throat of the English working man on price,as they do not have his overheads.and forget this "hard working pole" nonsense,i was once employed exclusively to chase these feckless,lazy,ignorant,chancers,around building sites otherwise they would all congregate in some remote corner phoning all thier mates,and generally idling the day away.We are stuck with our own scum ,why import some-one elses?

24 January 2012 at 07:26  
Blogger Johnny said...

And the BBC last night interviews at length that typical benefit family - yes, the single mum with SIX children who works err 1.5 hrs a day.

Oh the self-pity in that woman was nauseating.

24 January 2012 at 08:00  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I wonder if the Bishops are planning to use this 'poverty' benchmark as a lever for a pay rise on their 'meagre' stipends?

24 January 2012 at 11:32  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dreadnaught @ 20:40 :

Surely that should read 'giant' ''flat screen TV...''?

Or even: 'giant flat-screen, Full HD, LED back-lit; resolution 1920x1080 pixels'? I could go on, but I don't understand what any of it means; but I'm afraid I do know a work-shy 'chav' who has one!

Ok, I admit I had to check-out Curries web-site for the details...

24 January 2012 at 13:56  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

well written, I am an Anglican (for now) Christian who gives regularly to the DESERVING poor via charities like TEAR fund and to a range of causes including the UNDESERVING poor by my taxes.

These trendy bishops do not represent me, nor I believe do they represent a Biblical view of the work ethic or our duty to widows and orphans. Their leftist actions will fuel demands for disestablishment. How many of them are not merely soft headed liberals but atheist moles?

24 January 2012 at 14:29  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Rambling Steve,
Your comments about atheist moles is probably not far off the truth. I have read articles claiming that Freemasonry and communism both decided to infiltrate the Catholic Church a long time ago. I think there is good reason to suppose they succeeded in some cases. I'm sure they did in the case of Teilhard de Chardin of evolutionary infamy..

24 January 2012 at 16:40  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

Johnny

Have some compassion. The poor woman only gets £28k per year and has to suffer in the expensive commuter belt of Surrey. From her accent, she seemed a well educated woman and one suspects has a wealthy family background. What are her family doing to support her?

Should a benefit claim not take into account the wealth of one's extended family? I'm always dipping into my pocket for my kids and would sooner do this during the hard times they face rather than see them become caught up in the benefit system. Isn't this part of what families are for?

If everyone's wages drop by 10% and the mean wage falls in line with this, would 'poverty' be eliminated from the UK? On the other hand, if benefits remain as they are would those in work then dip below the relative poverty measure?

24 January 2012 at 17:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. On the subject of non working able bodied claimants, the Inspector considers the large amount of leisure time these types enjoy could be put to better use than merely watching day time television. For their most generous benefits, how about a bit of unpaid work from them. Litter picking, cleaning up dog mess, dragging bicycles out of brooks. Shopping and gardening for the old. There’s a vast amount these feckless idlers could be doing to show some gratitude for their kept lives. Even just a few hours a week. God forbid, it might even encourage them to find employment.

24 January 2012 at 18:12  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace said,
His Grace would very much like a three-bedroom pad in Kensington, preferably near Harvey Nick’s. And failing that, a nice pied-à-terre in Kensington Palace Gardens would suffice.
How about a nice Georgian town house close to Horse Guards with gated entrance and Police guard?

24 January 2012 at 20:22  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Shacklefree, if the church has not been deeply penetrated by her enemies, then New Testament prophecy by both our Lord and the apostles is mistaken, as this was explicitly predicted.

The phrase 'wolves in sheep's clothing' derives from the prediction that false teachers would creep into the church in order to cause damage from within.

Long live former archbishop Carey who has spoken out today against this Fabian madness posing as Christianity.

25 January 2012 at 09:18  
Blogger Albert said...

Rambling Steve the Appleseed,

The penny's just dropped: this blog is written by George Carey!

25 January 2012 at 09:33  
Blogger David B said...

Liberal though I am, with both an upper and lower case L, I agree with both HG and Carey on this issue.

David B

25 January 2012 at 10:18  
Blogger Urban Unitarians post words of inspiration said...

"Are there no prisons. Are there no workhouses..."
Honestly- you guys!

27 January 2012 at 10:21  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Ranbling Steve, You are right but remember Our Lords disciples contained a traitor. The question is whether this invalidates the Church he established. If so, why did he bother, and why should we trust to the New Testament prophesies approved by people who may very well have been wolves in sheep's clothing. If we are to follow your line of reasoning we would arrive back at each person deciding what their own canon of scripture i.

27 January 2012 at 11:28  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Perhaps "we" need more Tory bishops like Wallace Bennett, who has just apologised for endorsing a booklet arguing for the legalisation of rape within marriage?

27 January 2012 at 19:35  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Sorry. BENN not Bennett. Bloody phone.

27 January 2012 at 19:36  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Whether they are right or whether they are wrong doesn't matter.
Reform the Upper House.No need for bishops-they don't belong in Parliament in this day and age.
They don't speak for me or millions of others for that matter.

28 January 2012 at 06:58  
Blogger len said...

What we need are more Bishops in touch with reality!.

Perhaps that does mean Conservative?.

28 January 2012 at 08:39  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...

len

But Bishops are, by definition, "religious". What are you saying?

Surely you're not suggesting Christians should be politically active and attempt to shape society according to Gospel principles? Suggesting the Church should offer some sort of leadership and try to influence human destiny?

28 January 2012 at 12:32  
Blogger len said...

Not 'the leadership' you have in mind Dodo.

28 January 2012 at 16:58  
Blogger len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 January 2012 at 17:32  
Blogger len said...

The Catholic Church has a hierarchical system( much like a pyramid )with the Pope sitting at the top.In the worship of the early church the leaders are never seen as dominating. Instead, a pattern of multiple participation by the congregation seems to have been the mark of all apostolic churches ( Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 14:26; Eph 4:11-16; 5:19; Col 3:16; Heb 10:24-25; 1 Pet 4:10-11), regardless of their geographical location ( 1 Cor 4:16-17; 11:16; 14:33). The New Testament teaches that the congregational meeting is to be a place where all Christians exercise their spiritual gifts and stimulate one another to love and good deeds. There is no division into two classes of people: clergy and laity. In addition, the leaders in the congregation did not take upon themselves honorific titles that might set them apart from the rest of the 'saints.'

28 January 2012 at 17:35  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...

len

So now are you coming back to accepting some form of Church structure? The different forms and their history at different times is another matter. In your scriptural references you seem to have overlooked the Jerusalem Council and one or two other passages in Acts about the formation of the Church. And, of course, the Petrine commission.

And the leadership I was referring to was actually spiritul leadership, not temporal. You do know the Catholic Church has moved on in its thinking about the "two swords", don't you? You really are stuck in the past.

28 January 2012 at 22:30  
Blogger len said...

The Catholic Church is as much a political as a spiritual organisation.Also dabbles in banking I believe?.

29 January 2012 at 19:35  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...

len

Now you will have to clarify that comment. Was Jesus being 'political' whan he threw the money lenders out of the Temple of 'spiritual'? Was John the Baptist's attacks on Herod 'political' or 'spritual'?

And asfor banking, why yes, it is a wealthy organisation. Why shouldn't it be? Its hardly an international player on the financialmarkets!

29 January 2012 at 23:42  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, 'Its hardly an international player on the financial markets!'

Bankers' best guesses about the Vatican's wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate.

(Hardly 'pocket money')

3 February 2012 at 22:06  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...

Yes, but some football club owners are richer! And your point is?

4 February 2012 at 01:16  

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