50 – Hopefully we’ll have to sell off churches in order to give food to the poor

If there’s a place in the world where anyone, rich or poor, can feel welcomed without restrictions, it’s in a Catholic church. There, where material splendor is at the service of the glory of God and at everyone’s reach, one may calmly enjoy the splendor of the church better than anyone could at palaces or museums. In it, the Father’s arms reach out toward all, so that through artistic beauty and the magnificence of the liturgy, all might have the opportunity to elevate their hearts toward Him, with the holy liberty of the children of God. This is true alms for the poor, for, more important than anything else, they receive the words of eternal life without suffering discrimination. Obviously, as a loving mother, the Holy Church is also available to help in their material necessities. One dimension is inseparable from the other, and segregating either dimension would deform its deepest pastoral significance, as has been demonstrated in the history of the Church during the last two thousand years.

It is therefore beneficial to remember what the Magisterium teaches, so that we don’t allow ourselves to be deceived by persuasive affirmations that may appear poetic and even well-intentioned, but which in the end prove to be nothing more than cheap demagogy.


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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study


I –Love of Christ is the Cause of Love for the Poor
II – Works of Charity according to the Church
III- Ecclesiastical Goods are Administered for the Glory of God

I – Love of Christ is the Cause of Love for the Poor

Sacred Scripture

That which is offered to Christ is never a waste
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me

Benedict XVI

Gestures of authentic devotion to Christ benefit the entire Church

John Paul II

Christ values the honor paid to him

Benedict XVI

A pretext of the aid for the poor may hide evil intentions
To be preserved from perversion of heart it is necessary to assume Jesus’ point of view

II – Works of Charity according to the Church


Supernatural spirit: distinguishing characteristic of the Church’s works of charity

Benedict XVI

In the Church, charity is not a kind of social assistance
Charity involves spiritual actions accomplished in the light of the Holy Spirit

John Paul II

The essential significance of almsgiving: its value for conversion

Saint John Chrysostom

The soul is a nobler thing than the body: there is no use of money, while the soul is poor; neither harm from poverty, when the soul is rich

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Caution with ideological positions: the illusion that it is possible to entirely eliminate the problem of poverty

III- Ecclesiastical Goods are Administered for the Glory of God

Saint Francis of Assisi

All that pertains to the Sacrifice must be precious
How poor the chalices and linens where the Lord is sacrificed! – Our Lord’s Body is left in wretched places
The Eucharist must be put in a precious place, and not improperly reserved

John Paul II

The Church never feared ‘extravagance’ while celebrating the Eucharist in a setting worthy of so great a mystery
Poverty is not a rejection of material goods, but submission of all goods to God and his plan

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Ecclesiastical goods must not be applied only for the poor

Lateran Council I (Ecumenical IX)

God contemplates the bishop in the administration of the goods of the Church

Urban V

Papal condemnation of Dionisio Foullechat: errors regarding the state of perfection and poverty

John Paul II

Possession and administration of temporal goods is a right of the Church for a threefold purpose

Related studies

  • 159 – Diversity is a beautiful thing when it can constantly enter into a process of reconciliation and seal a sort of cultural covenant resulting in a ‘reconciled diversity’

  • 155 – “Any Church community, if it thinks it can comfortably go its own way without helping the poor will risk breaking down”

  • 154 – “The Church has never been better. This is a wonderful moment for the Church”

  • 153 – “The Church can sometimes fall into a needless hallowing of our own culture, and thus show more fanaticism than true evangelizing zeal”

  • 141 – “This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige”


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