Easter Mass in the Vatican

Last night I was watching CNN. I often just leave the video section on while I practice guitar or do other things. There was a segment about the shadow of abuse scandals, in which the Pope himself may have been culpable in a cover-up, that is hanging over the Vatican as it goes through Easter Mass. Some spoke out in defense of the Pope, and in defense of the Catholic faithful.

But I as I was watching it, the only thing I could think of is how ridiculous the whole spectacle was. Everyone's wearing these ornate robes, marching in orderly fashion through this incredibly lavish palace where eventually the Pope sits on a literal throne – something that looks like it belongs in the 14th century. And really, when you think about it, the Pope's chair isn't the only thing stuck in the dark ages.

I thought of Bill Maher's movie Religulous, when Maher interviews Reginald Foster – a senior Vatican scholar – who laughs at the sheer ridiculousness of the Catholic church's penchant for extravagance. I have to applaud Foster for his candidness in expressing his disapproval at this, but it certainly begs some questions about an organization which does, to its credit, help the poor and disenfranchised. What is the value in such lavish living? They're not exalting any god with such extravagance – only themselves.

American churches are not much better. Our country is filled with extravagant megachurches headed by wealthy pastors who have taken to living the good life at the expense of those who fork over their savings in the naive belief that their charity will be rewarded with good fortune. In truth, they'd do much more good for the world if they simply donated to a reputable charity.

When I see the lavishness of modern churches, from the many admittedly remarkable churches here in Tulsa all the way to the palaces of Rome, I'm reminded that modern Christianity is a bastion of hypocrisy. Jesus said* that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" [Mark 10:24]. Though religious organizations do help those in need, such charity always seems to play second fiddle to the self-aggrandizing charade of the clergy – postured, it seems to me, as a means to justify it. 

p.s. - I wanted to embed this video, but literally every one on Youtube had embedding disabled. Talk about aggravating! Here's Maher's interview with Reginald Foster:

* As much as I consider a fictional character to have "said" anything


  1. Didn't Sarah Silverman say, "Sell the Vatican, feed the world"?

  2. Truer words were never spoken.

  3. Not to mention the bogus "Bible Colleges"

  4. Oh man, Rhema is the worst. And I'm amazed people actually attend ORU. It's not even accredited.


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