Monday, December 12, 2005

The Pope and materialism: hypocrisy?

Good Morning, America (which has, in recent weeks, become increasingly hard to tolerate) has a story today about B XVI's recent statement that Christmas has become too commercialized and that we're forcusing too much on the gifts, instead of the, ahem, "reason for the season." He suggested every home have a Nativity scene (I've never seen one that doesn't around Christmas, but whatever) in order to teach children and others the true meaning of the holiday and help kids see that there's more to it than just the gifts under the big tree on the morning of the 25th.

The hypocrisy part comes in when the reporter started talking about his red Prada slippers, his Gucci sunglasses, the Merceedes "popemobile". Uh, I think I r4ead somewhere (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) that most popes before JP II wore the red slippers that were fashioned by Prada or another Italian designer house--that's the way it was, it was what they wore. The Gucci sunglasses and the Merceedes were gifts, according to a Vatican source, so why do we have a problem with that? I mean, come on. The pope gets more gifts than probably anyone in the world, and he's bound to use some of them. That's not stated as wrong anywhere in the papal by-laws, is it? Unless he's part on a religious order that's sworn of material possessions, he can have them. He doesn't have many--I'm inclined to let him have his Gucci sunglasses. Besides, he lived in Rome a long time before he was Pope and I'm sure he did some "shopping" on his own, or had people give him gifts before he was pope. What's he supposed to do, stop using them because he has a new title? That seems a little odd, or even wasteful, if the items are still in good shape. I'm sorry, but I don't think the fact that the pope wears Prada shoes or is driven around in a Merceedes creates credibility problems for the Vatican.


RichelleKZ said...

I completely agree. This may sound crazy, but Prada is like the Gap over in Italy. Everyone wears it. Rich or poor. The fact that the Pope is wearing something by Prada is more of a reflection on the Vatican being located in Italy than anything else. I challenge him to actually receive a gift that isn't by an Italian designer! Materialistic? Ha! Try practical.

Fidei Defensor said...

Good observations, people who attack the Church for this stuff are usually also the same people who complain about all the art and stuff in the Vatican museums saying they should "be sold of" to "help the poor," (though for these same people their idea of helping the poor is usually giving them birth control). They don't seem to realize the Vatican is merely stepping up to the plate to be the custodian for great works of art that are properity of humanity for all generations, it would be most tragic if such great art ended up adorning the homes of Bill Gates and Paris Hilton.