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The Catholic Church…Just Doin’ Bidness

catholic need money

In the background I hear Pink Floyd’s “Money” playing softly.  The Washington Post reports:

Business As Usual For Vatican Enterprises, Inc.

‘It is business as usual,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury at the press conference announcing the Vatican’s latest attempt to poach disaffected Anglicans. And how right he was. The Roman Catholic Church is a giant multinational corporation, differing from its business equivalents only in that they pay their taxes.

The Lord works in financially prejudicial ways.

Like any corporate business, the Vatican’s focus is all on the bottom line: profits rather than prophets; financial rather than spiritual growth. Everything else is just a means to an end. And in order to achieve this end, it deploys all the tactics that have served the corporate world so well: dodgy marketing techniques, products that are not fit for purpose, the refusal (or inability, in the church’s case) to honor guarantees and warranties, advertising based on unproven claims, corrupt trading practices, and obscene rewards for its Chief Executive whilst workers on the shop-floor struggle to make ends meet on poverty wages: these are the daily business of the multinational corporation that is the Roman Catholic Church.

Ah…that’s the Catholic Church we have grown to know and loathe.

Given this sort of track record, why should we expect it to scruple to poach its competitors’ workforce and customers?

Ummmm…because they are God’s chosen little lambs?

The Roman Catholic Church is facing a huge drop in revenue thanks to a dramatic decline in its customer base in the wake of years of sexual abuse scandals, shameful cover-ups and costly legal settlements. Its stock has never been lower. It urgently needs to acquire more customers, and to do that, it also needs more salesmen (the gender-specific term is, of course, intentional). How else can it hope to acquire and maintain its vast assets, its palaces, its lands, its gold, its hoards of jewelry and fabulously expensive robes, its chalices, its fleets of cars, the Vatican’s private army, its vast wine cellars and its tax-free fortune stashed away in secret bank accounts? The Roman Catholic Church is the wealthiest institution on Earth, wealthier than the five wealthiest corporate giants in the U.S.; its wealth in gold ingots alone has been put at many billions of dollars. But, as with any profit-driven corporation, excess is never enough: year-on-year growth, soaring share values and increasing profit-margins forever and ever, amen: this is the Good News the Church authorities yearn to hear, the power and the glory at the heart of their mission.

Tell it sister, tell it.

And so the Vatican’s acquisitive gaze has fallen on a competitor which is facing an even more dramatic decline, a church riven by internal conflict that threatens to tear it in two. The Anglican Church no longer has a clear sense of its corporate mission: it has a desperately disillusioned customer base, struggling to maintain a sense of identity whilst doing battle with deep divisions on two issues about which the Roman Catholic Church is unshakably united: the ordination of women, and the ordination of practicing homosexuals. Whilst Anglicans desperately try to find a bridge over this unbridgeable gap, the Roman Catholic Church has spotted the perfect business opportunity. What corporate baron would not leap at the chance to further weaken an ailing competitor by poaching its staff and customers? The response of Vatican Enterprises, Inc. was only to be expected.

 

So…the Vatican has allowed the transfer of the Anglican Church and its members to bring their portflolio into the fold.  Partly because of declining memberships and partly because of the “disaffection” of members for allowing gays and women to become priests.  Surely Jesus would not want those two equally icky groups preaching love and compassion to the flock.  Yes, the Catholic Church will now give those bigots refuge and at the same time make a few bucks.

Can I get a hallelujah?

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