10 November 2014

85 people are richer than 3.5 billion people

A recent report indicates that the world's 85 richest people have more combined wealth than the 3,500,000,000 poorest people in the world.

While, this news is, though not especially surprising, quite scandalous, I am not one to advocate for a simple redistribution of wealth. I am, however, in favor of using wealth wisely and of inviting and urging the wealthy to use their money well or the benefit of others, especially those most in need. Indeed, the salvation of the wealthy depends on their prudent generosity.

I share this news today simply to make a point. We very often hear the claim that "the Vatican" should sell the treasures of the Church (never mind the fact that many of these are simply priceless and are not always owned - according to the modern understanding - by the Church but are in her keeping for the good of humanity) and the proceeds of the sale should be used to help the poor.

Curiously, though, these same people are never heard suggesting the same about the wealth of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or any other number of wealthy people throughout the world. Why? Because, sad to say, they are not so much concerned with helping the poor, but with attacking the Catholic Church.

As a simple point: the annual operating budget of Harvard University is greater than the annual operating budget of the Holy See, but no one calls on Harvard to give its money directly to the poor. Think about it.

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