A friend just shared an objection his atheist friend had to the Catholic Church. It went like this: “My atheist friend told me one of the things she disliked about the church was that they had all these great big fancy churches in poor countries but still asked for money from the poor and why they didn’t sell all the fancy stuff and help the needy.”
Here was my answer, maybe a bit more animated than necessary, but . . .
“Your friend has it back-asswards. I have been to the poorest areas of the Philippines and seen their beautiful churches. Who owns those churches? The Vatican? No! They are owned by the poor people who scratched every dime together to build a house for God worthy of him. The Church, funded by these poor and wealthier donors have also built the hospitals, schools, and feed the poor.
Why does your friend have a better house and nicer car than she needs? Why not quit being a hypocrite and sell her possession and distribute them to the poor? Let her put her money where her big mouth is? Let her learn the real truth before she criticizes and condemns?
In the Philippines on the island of Cebu (as everywhere else) they have Mass every hour on the hour 12-14 hours a day in churches that are only separated by a few miles. The Masses are every hour on the hour starting at 5 AM there is standing room only at every Mass. Who would DARE to take those churches and sell them? The poor people would rally around their churches and kill anyone who would dare touch them.
Your atheist friend is a fool, or at least misguided by following all the tired old lies of her age. I love Chesterton who said, “The Catholic Church is the only thing that can protect you from becoming a slave of your age.”
I get a bit mouthy about things like this, but I get sick of the hypocrisy, stupidity, and the same old, same old.