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2.7 Isn’t it unchristian for the Church to be so rich?

The Church today

Much of the “wealth” of the Church cannot be sold: the greatest wealth is the message of the Gospel! The works of art and old manuscripts are also unsalable, but they do need to be managed properly. The lands owned by the Church worldwide are used for Catholic schools, hospitals, institutions, churches and so on. The land therefore does not generate revenue, although the buildings are expensive to maintain.

The annual budget of Vatican City is used to pay employees and for the maintenance and restoration of works of art in the Vatican. Money is also used to finance the activities of the Holy See and to provide emergency aid and development assistance all over the world.

> Read more in the book

The budget of the Holy See and the Vatican is smaller than that of many other states. Worldwide the Church gives a lot of money to charity.

The Wisdom of the Church

What is the content of the social doctrine of the Church?

The social doctrine of the Church is an organic development of the truth of the Gospel about the dignity of the human person and his social dimension offering principles for reflection, criteria for judgment, and norms and guidelines for action. [CCCC 509]

Why does the Catholic Church have her own social teaching?

Because all men, as children of God, possess a unique dignity, the Church with her social teaching is committed to defending and promoting this human dignity for all men in the social sphere. She is not trying to preempt the legitimate freedom of politics or of the economy. when human dignity is violated in politics or economic practices,  owever, the Church must intervene.

“The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well” (second Vatican Council, GS). In her social teaching, the Church makes this statement specific. And she asks: How can we take responsibility for the well-being and the just treatment of all, even of non-Christians? What is a just organization of human society, of political, economic, and social institutions supposed to look like? In her commitment to justice, the Church is guided by a love that emulates Christ’s love for mankind. [Youcat 438]

This is what the Popes say

[Why does the Church not sell its richness?] This is an easy question. They are not the treasures of the Church, [but] the treasures of humanity... For example, if tomorrow I say that Michelangelo's Pieta is going to be auctioned, it can't be done, because it's not the property of the Church. It's inside a Church, but it belongs to humanity... [This is true] for all the treasures of the Church. [Pope Francis, Interview in Straatkrant, 6 Nov. 2015]