The Love of Money


newDon_Nunzio_Scarano_2http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jun/28/vatican-bank-inquiry-nunzio-scarano

Maybe this Roman Catholic Cleric should have heeded the words of Paul?

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” 1Timothy 10, 11.

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Categories: Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Faith, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “The Love of Money

  1. Thanks, and thank you again for your charitable attitude. 🙂 I know you’re not a “Catholic basher” — I have definitely encountered many of them. You just, like many Protestants, have some misunderstandings about Catholicism, as I did growing up. By the way, “RC” is a cola drink (that goes well with Moon Pies). I prefer the adjective Catholic, or even “Roman” or “Roman Catholic” if you must. The problem I have with “Roman Catholic” is that we’re not just Roman. The Catholic Church — really meaning “universal” — is worldwide, some 5,000 bishops, in every country on earth. They just happen to be in communion with (agreeing in doctrine and acknowledging the authority of) the bishop of Rome. There are many Catholics who aren’t even Roman in form: for example, the Eastern Catholics, who look a lot more like Orthodox Christians in their liturgy and practice, but are in communion with Rome.

    It’s easy to take comments like the one you refer to from the pope to be “pluralist” or “universalist.” But that’s not what the Church teaches. The Catechism says:

    “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery” [i.e. the grace of the Cross] (quoting Gaudium et spes, the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World). Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can [not “will”] be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity. (CCC 1260)

    We don’t teach that salvation is possible apart from Christ. We believe that God is a merciful God and offers His grace to everyone. Sometimes He is beckoning to people, calling them to salvation through Christ, even in other cultures, who don’t even know Him yet, who have never heard of Christ — and people seeking the truth earnestly can follow that call and seek that grace. There are so many conversion stories — take C.S. Lewis’s, for example — who felt a call to salvation through Christ without even realizing what it was that was beckoning them, until they arrived at the Gospel. This doesn’t say that people can be saved just by “doing right” or “doing good works” — not even that “good people” will be saved: Just that God’s ways are mysterious — that we believe He in His mercy won’t let someone who seeks Him earnestly be damned; that through some mystery, He offers all men the chance to be saved through Christ, who died for them.

    Some of the other Vatican II documents expand on it a bit more. The full quote from Gaudium et spes (“Joy and Hope”):

    All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men (cf. Rom 8:32) and since the ultimate vocation [calling] of man is in fact one, and divine [the call to be saved], we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery. (Gaudium et spes 22)

    Lumen gentium (“The Light of the Nations”), the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, says:

    Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh (cf. Rom. 9:4–5). On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues (cf. Rom. 11:28–29).

    But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things (cf. Acts 17:25–28), and as Saviour wills that all men be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4).

    Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.

    But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator (cf. Rom. 1:21, 25). Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15), the Church fosters the missions with care and attention. (Lumen gentium 16)

    It all begins and ends with missions. No one is saved apart from Christ; but we could never limit God by saying that He is unable to save someone, through Christ and His Cross, who earnestly seeks His grace.

    Finally, Ad gentes (“To the nations”), the Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church. It makes explicit that we believe salvation is on in and through Christ:

    This missionary activity derives its reason from the will of God, “who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, Himself a man, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:4–5), “neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself “by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door. Therefore those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.” Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6), yet a necessity lies upon the Church (1 Cor. 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel. And hence missionary activity today as always retains its power and necessity. (Ad gentes 7)

    I hope this sheds some light. Peace be with you.

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  2. Wow, I admire your passion for the RC Church as it shows by your responses. Look, I’m not against Catholics, I’m not a catholic basher, there are just some things that I don’t agree with, just as I don’t agree with most if not all other denominational churches. As I said many of the churches have become lukewarm as Jesus told John in the book of Revelation. I don’t know if you read one of my more recent articles on “religious pluralism” but that is the direction many churches incl. the RC church are taken. The new Pope even stated that there are many ways to God, which contradicts Jesus, Who said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Not a way, the way. People as in the past want to reach God on their terms, which is a fig leaf religion, just as Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin with fig leafs, which was not accepted by God. Blood was required. It is the precious blood of Christ that takes away our sins. Nothing else or any other way will do. That’s evident because Jesus ask the Father if it is possible, let this cup pass, meaning the cross. Jesus went to the cross as our Passover lamb and without His blood there is no reconciliation between man and God. I don’t care what anybody else teaches, only Jesus is the way. By religious, I meant outwardly, many people look and act very religiously, but inwardly i.e the heart, they are far from God. The Pharisees acted and looked holy, but were not, just as Jesus told them: “you wash the outside of the copper pots, but the inside is filthy. God does not look at the outward appearance, He looks at the heart.

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  3. Hi Freddy. Yes, “catholic” means “universal” (as I pointed out in my post). What makes you say that the “Roman Catholic Church did not come into existence until the fourth century”? What event do you think distinguishes the “Roman” Catholic Church from the “Catholic” Church St. Ignatius exhorted? When do you suppose the “Catholic” Church of the first centuries ceased to be the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” affirmed by the Nicene Creed — and how do you think that’s consistent with what Jesus promised, that “the gates of Hades would not prevail” against His Church (Matthew 16:18)?
    I do not believe for example that Peter was the first Pope or that the Popes are successors of Peter.
    I think you would be surprised by how early and how consistent the Church has been in this belief, and by all the evidence in favor of it.
    The Roman Catholic Church kept the people in darkness until the Reformation.
    Darkness of what kind?
    Pre-reformers like Hus, Wycliffe and others believed that the Bible is the Word of God.
    So does the Catholic Church, and so has it always.

    Sacred Scripture is the Word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. (Second Vatican Council [1965], Dei Verbum [Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation] 9)
    Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation. Therefore “all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind” (2 Tim. 3:16–17, Greek text). (Second Vatican Council [1965], Dei Verbum [Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation] 11).

    [The synod] following the examples of the orthodox fathers, receives and venerates with equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament, seeing that one God is the author of both. (Council of Trent, Fourth Session [1546], Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures)

    Most strongly [the Roman Church] believes, professes, and declares that the one true God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, is the creator of all things visible and invisible …. It professes one and the same God as the author of the Old and New Testament, that is, of the Law and the Prophets and the Gospel, since the saints of both Testaments have spoken with the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, whose books, which are contained under the following titles it accepts and venerates. (Council of Constance [1441]) [For what it’s worth, the Council of Constance is the same one that condemned Jan Hus for heresy.]

    And so forth. I can cite a lot more references.
    Reformers like Luther, Tyndale, Zwingli believed the same and that the Bible should be read and studied by the common people. Something that the RC church was strongly against, teaching that only the Priest could understand the Bible which was written at that time in Latin. Thanks to Gutenberg and the invention of the printing press, the Bible was made available to the commoners in their respective language and they could read for themselves what the Bible really teaches.
    This is largely Protestant myth and misconception. The Catholic Church has never been in favor of withholding the Word of God from people, but has taken seriously its charge to “preach the Gospel to all nations.” Several points:
    First, at the time St. Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate, Latin was the common language, the one understood by more people in Europe than any other. The Latin Vulgate was in itself an effort to make the Scriptures more accessible, and probably has reached more people throughout its history than all other translations combined.
    Second: The whole history of the Catholic Church is filled with many similar efforts, such as that of Saints Cyril and Methodius, who translated the Scriptures into the language of the Slavs and resulted in what is today the Cyrillic alphabet. In the first centuries of the Church, the Scriptures were translated into Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopian, Gothic, Armenian — all under the auspices of the Church.
    Third: Even with the rise of vernacular languages the Church made every effort to give the people the Scriptures in their own language. You point out Gutenberg, whose printing press made wide dissemination of Scripture possible and feasible. He, for what it’s worth, was quite Catholic, and the Bibles he printed were all in Latin. Luther, Tyndale, and the other Reformers were not the first to translate or publish the Scriptures in the vernacular. The first printed translation of the Bible into vernacular Italian appeared in 1472; in Spanish, in 1478; in German, in the 1450s, a good seventy years before Luther’s — in all three cases by Dominican priests, all under the consent and sanction of the Catholic Church. The history of the Bible in English is a bit more troublesome — the translation of the Scriptures was embroiled in the thick of Reformation politics — but even Tyndale was not persecuted merely for his translation of the Bible, but for his defiance of authority and the errors of his teachings. Rather than keeping the English Bible out of people’s hands, it was the labors of English Catholic priests, themselves under heavy persecution on the Continent, who labored to translate and print the Rheims New Testament in 1582 and the Douay Old Testament in 1609, still years before the King James Version.
    The Church does believe she was charged by Christ with the mission and the duty to teach and interpret Scripture with authority; which does not mean that “priests are the only ones who can interpret Scripture,” but that it is the Church’s duty to resolve questions of interpretation and doctrine. Christ imparted authority to His Apostles (Matthew 10:1, 5-8, 40; 16:17-19; 18:18; John 20:21–23, etc.) — to “bind and loose” is a Jewish rabbinical concept that means the authority to make authoritative doctrinal pronouncements. Scripture tells us that the Church is the “pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Tim 3:14-15), and Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church into all truth (John 16:13), and prayed that we would we one as He and the Father are One (John 17:21). Given that Protestant churches, since the Reformation, have splintered into something like 40,000 separate denominations, and many like yourself consider themselves independent of any denomination, it appears that Protestants have not exactly been “led into all truth” or followed Christ’s exhortation to unity. Cleaving to the authority of the Church that Christ established seems like a pretty good idea to me.
    Luther, who was a good Catholic, finally was free from condemnation when he understood the gospel of Grace. We are saved by Grace through faith and not of works.
    The Catholic Church has always taught the grace of God and has never taught “salvation by works.” Front and center:

    CANON I. If any one shall say, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the strength of human nature, or through the teaching of the law, without the divine grace through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Third Session [1547], Decree concerning Justification).

    The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” and through Baptism (Rom 3:22; cf. 6:3–4). (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1987 [hereafter CCC])
    Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. (cf. Jn 1:12–18; 17:3; Rom 8:14–17; 2 Pet 1:3–4) (CCC 1996).

    The Catholic Church has always taught that justification is by grace, through faith, as Scripture itself makes clear (e.g. Eph 2:8). What Luther taught that was new was a different manner of justification, this imputation of the righteousness of Christ as something external to us, which had never been taught by anyone in the history of the Church before, and which Scripture does not support. So no, the Catholic Church does not believe that specifically, but there has never been any dispute that salvation was by grace alone through faith.
    It is the righteousness of Christ that is imputed onto all those who believe by faith, just as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. The Roman Catholic Church still does not teach or believe that.
    I don’t want to get into a long biblical discussion here — though I can — but in that particular verse (Galatians 3:6, Romans 4:3, quoted from Genesis 15:6) — “Abraham believed the Lord, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” not because he was given some external righteousness when he himself had none, as Protestants believe, but because by believing and having faith in God and being willing to follow Him, he was actually righteous. In fact, St. James took the same verse (James 2:22-24) and applied to Abraham’s actions — through his faith, the gift of God, he became righteous.
    It is still a work based religion…
    No, it’s not. There’s no truth at all to that. There is nothing in Catholic theology that teaches that we have to “work” to “earn” our salvation — because we can’t. Through Christ’s grace we are saved, and He washes away our sins, and we receive the Holy Spirit — and that’s only by faith in Him. Then His grace working in us makes us able to work (Phil 2:12-13). We are not justified by faith alone (James 2:24), but by faith working in love (Gal 5:6). Everything we do, everything we are — our lives, our faith, our salvation, even the good deeds we do — are gifts of God’s grace (Eph 2:10).
    …compared to a true relationship with Jesus.
    I have a true relationship with Jesus, and so does every Catholic I know. Protestants do not have a monopoly on “relationship.” In fact, we know Him better, through the full revelation that He taught to His Apostles, not having through away so many babies with the bathwater as Protestants have.
    Who btw hated religion and religious people i.e the Pharisees.
    Okay, now that guy in the video was ridiculous. Jesus didn’t “hate religion” or “religious people”; he loved the many people who faithfully followed the Word of God and awaited the Messiah. What He hated was hypocrisy. Many other people have made fuller and better replies to that statement, that “Jesus hates religion”; here’s a good one.
    May the peace of Christ be with you.

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  4. The word “Catholic” means universal i.e the universal Church, which is different from the Roman Catholic Church. I do not believe for example that Peter was the first Pope or that the Popes are successors of Peter. The Roman Catholic Church did not come into existence until the 4th century. I studied church history, but would have to refresh my memory a bit to get into deeper details. The Roman Catholic Church kept the people in darkness until the Reformation. Pre-reformers like Hus, Wycliffe and others believed that the Bible is the Word of God. Reformers like Luther, Tyndale, Zwingli believed the same and that the Bible should be read and studied by the common people. Something that the RC church was strongly against, teaching that only the Priest could understand the Bible which was written at that time in Latin. Thanks to Gutenberg and the invention of the printing press, the Bible was made available to the commoners in their respective language and they could read for themselves what the Bible really teaches. No purgatory, no indulgences etc. Luther, who was a good Catholic, finally was free from condemnation when he understood the gospel of Grace. We are saved by Grace through faith and not of works. It is the righteousness of Christ that is imputed onto all those who believe by faith, just as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. The Roman Catholic Church still does not teach or believe that. It is still a work based religion, compared to a true relationship with Jesus, Who btw hated religion and religious people i.e the Pharisees. Sorry, but my eyes are getting real heavy while I’m writing this. If you look through some of my articles that address Grace, imputed righteousness and the finished work of Christ on Calvary, our propitiation. It’s almost 3am in SoCal, gotta get some sleep. Blessings, Freddy.

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  5. Thanks for the kind words. I think, again, you would be surprised by how early the Church became “Catholic” (the term was first applied by St. Ignatius of Antioch in ca. A.D. 107) and by how biblical and historical nearly all of the beliefs and practices of the Church actually are. If you’d ever like to discuss any of them in particular, I’m always excited to explain. I personally believe, in this time of so much wandering and compromise in the rest of the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church has stood the test of time and offers stability, steadfastness, orthodoxy and authority where it is otherwise lacking. May the peace of Christ be with you.

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  6. I agree with you on some points. There have been scandals in the Protestant churches as well. No church is perfect. We are all sinners, saved by His Grace. Humanity is flout and the churches are no exceptions. I know that there are a lot of denominational churches have departed from the true faith and gospel. I’m not part of any denomination, I’m a follower of Christ. I do not follow either what the church, a priest or pastor tells me. I follow what the Bible teaches, comparing scripture with scripture and not just picking certain verses that fit the creed of some. The early church was not Catholic, neither was it Protestant. They were called “The Way” it was the unbelievers that gave followers of Christ the name Christians, meaning Christ like. I don’t see too many people in today’s churches being Christ like. The church overall has grown into a monstrosity and most of the actions and activities do not come from the Holy Spirit, but mere man. I study the Bible and unfortunately I don’t see too many churches adhere to biblical teachings anymore. It’s sad, but it is just as Paul wrote the last days will be. Jesus in writing to the seven churches also addresses many of the things we have seen throughout history and today. The question is which church do we belong to? Are we holding on to his word? Many of these liberal denominational churches now embrace same sex marriage or have gay and lesbian pastors. There is a lot of grey in the church. Jesus was black and white, no shade in between. Many believers have compromised with the world as have many of the churches, including the Roman Catholic Church. I pray that you and I keep strong in the faith, run the race and finish it. Jesus said that the gate is narrow. If people wanna call me narrow minded, that’s fine. I don’t care what people think, I care what Jesus thinks. I wanna hear Him say to me, “well done my faithful servant.” We have to make a choice, either to follow man or Jesus. I choose the latter. In closing, I don’t dislike Catholic people, I just don’t like the institution of the Roman Catholic church and its unbiblical teachings. With that said, I’m also not very happy with many of the lukewarm churches out there. I hope that you find the time some day to look at some of my other articles and read them. I will do the same with your blog. I have done some “soul searching” and I’m done with organized “religion” and political correctness that has also crept into the church. Many blessings to you, stay in touch, Freddy.

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  7. There are *gasp* sinners in the Church! 😉 I pray the same isn’t true for your church!

    I think you would be surprised how little the pedophilia thing amounts to also, compared to the combined weight of all the Protestant pastors charged with sex offenses nearly every day. I don’t try to minimize for a second the horror of what has happened — certainly it’s unconscionable that men charged with being shepherds of Christ’s flock should abuse the very sheep they’re supposed to guide and protect — but the truth is that there are sinners everywhere, even in the Body of Christ. The scandal looks much bigger for the Catholic Church because it’s a single, worldwide entity. Every time a Catholic priest sins, it makes a scandal for the whole Church. Whereas with Protestant churches and groups, an offending pastor is seen as a local or isolated incident.

    Catholic priests no guiltier of sex abuse than other clergy
    Protestant Sex Abuse Equals Or Exceeds Catholic Sex Abuse In The United States (etc.)

    But with regard to the budget: It’s generally dioceses that handle sex abuse cases and settlements anyway. The Vatican doesn’t have a large budget because it doesn’t need a large budget. The dioceses and dicasteries handle the work on the ground of evangelism and relief and the day-to-day life of the Church. My real point is: The pope isn’t just sitting on a pile of money as many Protestants seem to think.

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  8. That might be, but I wasn’t really talking about the Vatican. Just some of the clerics within the Roman Catholic Church. Maybe the Vatican hasn’t as much money anymore because of all the lawsuits and settlements in their pedophilia cases.

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  9. You would probably be surprised how little money the Vatican actually has.

    Harvard [University]’s Budget Ten Times that of Vatican [May 2013]
    Vatican posts record-high budget deficit: $19M [July 2012]

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  10. Thank you Clarissa, nice to hear from you. Many blessings to you.

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  11. Clarissa Nation

    Excellent comment. Greed defiles in ways far greater than one would imagine. Thank you for your continued exhortations.

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