Back to Index

RELIGION and poverty

Elias Castillo of Mexico strongly agrees with Bienvenido Macario:

"Better that the millions that the Catholic Church spends on glittering and opulent displays of wealth, such as cathedrals, be spent on schools and clinics for the poor. That would really be doing God's work. Latin America's poor nations are poor because their governments, hand in hand with the Catholic Church, have delved into corruption and an attitude of me-first and the hell wih the Indians and the other poor. The Catholic Church also does nothing about the over-population of these nations which is a major cause of their poverty. Additionally, the church encourages a fatalistic attitude among its poorest disciples--Suffer in this world and you will eventually get your reward in heaven. It is the cruelest way to exploit the poor and keep them under control, something it has, tragically, done for centuries".

My response: I agree with much of this, and I wish Catholic countries had the Protestant work ethic, which is not unCatholic: "Orare et laborare". The Church in the Middle Ages promoted many inventions and backed the crafts.

As for charges of corruption, that may be true in many cases, but charges of corruption are very common and must be proven. None of this negates my statement about palaces and military expenses.

Among other countries, Chile celebrated Quasimodo, or Pascuas de Resurección (Passion Sunday) on the first Sunday after Easter. The faithful spend the week visiting the sick. Priests are always talking in favor of the poor and suffering. How many of them are hypocrites? Even many Catholics agree with the the criticism of the church policy on birth control. Is the priests' celibacy hypocrisy?

Ronald Hilton - 4/25/01