Pope Francis: Walking Past Lazarus on the Way to Hell

“Financiers, economists and politicians consider God as manageable, even dangerous because God calls man to his full realization and independence from any kind of slavery.” Pope Francis


When money is your god, you are well on your way to creating a hell on earth.

We have gone so far down the road of making money our god in this society that we basically exempt any public policies that have to do with business or finance from moral scrutiny. Some of the most ardent Christians are the ones who enforce this heretical nonsense. 

The same people who go into a froth over abortion do not raise an eyebrow when it comes to limiting prenatal care or refusing to require businesses to provide safe work environments for their employees. There is no piece of legislation that limits access to care for the poor that these folks won’t support. They are the enemies of the welfare state … except when it comes to corporations. No deal is too special, no government hand-out too abusive to deserve a second look when it comes to business.

It’s as if Jesus never said a single word about “the least of these” except as it applies to abortion. You would think that it was a moral imperative to drain the public coffers dry and hand the money over to a few corporations and wealthy campaign donors who sit at the top of the social pile. These Christians never consider whose money it is in the first place when they take it from the many and give it to the few.

According to them, people are poor because they are lazy, stupid and deserve what they get. On the other hand the wealthy are rich because they are industrious, productive and deserve all they can get.

Government has become a wholly owned subsidiarity of the rich and shameless. In the hands of these moral Christian politicians, government is a method for funneling the wealth of generations into a few hands and impoverishing the rest of our society.

This particular form of sinfulness is committed by those who are usually the most vociferous in claiming their loyalty to Christ. They are “pro life” and they usually support “traditional marriage,” so in their little minds that means that everything else they do is, by definition, righteous and holy. You would think that we are saved, not by the cross, but by checking off the right boxes on candidate surveys by a couple of political support groups.

When money becomes your god, you are well on your way to creating a hell on earth. I would guess that you are also well on you way to going to the actual hell one day, as well.

Money is a human invention. Wealth and poverty are symptoms of our fallen nature. There is nothing divine or holy about either one of them. That is not to say that they are necessarily evil. They are, simply, tools and reality. Money is a tool. Disparity of wealth is a reality.

But greed, graft and government corruption are sins. When we carry them to the point that they impoverish millions while enriching a few beyond the dreams of avarice, they are deadly sins, both in this world and the next.

It’s a simple equation, really. Do not walk past Lazarus; not if you want to go to heaven one day.

Pope Francis spoke about this concept of money as a means rather than an end today when he addressed the new ambassadors to the Holy See from Kyrgyzstan, Antigua and Barbuda, Luxembourg and Botswana.

“Money has to serve, not rule” he told them … wanting power and possession has become limitless … the sprawling of corruption and tax evasion has gone global.

“The Pope urges a return to the unselfish solidarity and ethics in favor of man in financial and economic reality,” he said. “The Pope loves everyone rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. This would take a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders … I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations.

The excerpts of his discussion below are from CNA:

“The joy of living is decreasing, indecency and violence are the the rise and poverty is becoming more evident,” said Pope Frncis.

“You must fight to live and often to live in a non-decent way … We have created new idols, the ancient worship of the golden calf has found a new and ruthless image in fetishism of the dictatorship of the economy without purpose nor a truly human face,” he said.

“It reduces man to one of its demands, consumption and even worse, the human being is today considered himself as a commodity that you can use and then throw away … Financiers, economists and politicians consider God as manageable, even dangerous because God calls man to his full realization and independence from any kind of slavery …” (Read the rest here.)

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  • Jack

    Youtube, The Monarchs of Money, 20 minutes
    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation*, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)”
    *quantitative easing
    Sorry Tom. This year they’re celebrating their first centennial.

  • Bill S

    The threat of hell has got to be removed from the conversation. It is just not real and just about everyone but the truly religious knows it. All you need to say is “do the right thing”. People get a chuckle out of the theme of Lazarus and the Rich Man. As well intentioned as it is, it only scares children. If those children grow up believing it, all the better for all of us. The New Testament might be an excellent guide to modern living, but those who see its fictional nature need to be encouraged to embrace goodness for its own sake and not because of scare tactics. That’s why I live a good life. It should be why you do too.

    • Jack

      How about we remove jails as well?

      “All you need to say is “do the right thing”.” Speaking of fictions.

      • Bill S

        Do you think the threat of hell is a deterrent if it isn’t real. Jail is real. Hell is not.

        • Jack

          In Bill’s reality there are no wars and nobody’s in jail

      • Bill S

        Jails are a deterrent to everyone. Hell is only a deterrent to those who believe it is real. I don’t but I still try to do the right thing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fabio-Paolo-Barbieri/1326821465 Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      You don’t want to hear about Hell? Let’s talk about Cain. Because it’s very simple: when Cain sarcastically asks God whether he is supposed to be his brother’s keeper, we already know that he is his murderer. Simple: if you are not your brother’s guardian, you are your brother’s murderer. There is no third choice. At that point, if you choose to be a murderer, then you are in Hell whether you want to hear about it or not.

      • Bill S

        There was no mention of Cain going to hell because no one had made it up yet. I admit that it has been a very effective tactic to tell people they will go to hell if they are bad. But it just isn’t true. What can I do about it?

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Please, Bill, stop reading stupid atheist tracts based on misunderstood and outdated historical theories. Believe it or not, Hell was not “invented”, and especially not in the way the idiots you follow mean – as a late development of Jewish doctrine, probably under Zoroastrian influence. First, of course, the very fact that the Zoroastrian faith had a well-developed notion of Hell as punishment after death disproves the notion that Hell was “invented” when your imbecile sources think it was – Zoroastrianism was centuries old when its Persian followers conquered Babylon and became known to the local Jews. Second, Zoroastrianism did not invent it – it only developed a notion of the destiny of souls that can certainly be found in Vedic documents; and Hell itself is elaborately and horrifyingly described in even more ancient Sumerian documents, where it is a place so bad that even the mighty goddess Inanna (= Ishtar) pays dearly for daring to visit it. We have come to the beginnings of written evidence, and one of the first things we find is a well developed idea of Hell. The same might be said about Egyptian beliefs. This is TWO THOUSAND YEARS before the first written Jewish documents appear. I think in fact it is rather more likely that a fad for disbelieving in eternal life and/or reincarnation swept the Eastern Mediterranean in the first half of the first millennium BC, when we find it in such documents as the Odyssey, the book of Ecclesiastes, some Psalms, and several Assyrian and Babylonian documents including Gilgamesh; it is much harder to find before. In fact, one thing that cannot be doubted is that the whole Egyptian civilization was based on a firm belief in the eternity of the soul.

          Finally, and even more fundamentally, that kind of stupid idea (“Hell was invented by post-exilic Jewish thinkers”) relies on complete lack of attention to one fundamental fact: that the extremely large majority of human history is not only unknown, but unknowable. We can trace such things as highly elaborate art and complicated craftsmanship, indicative of a fully human mind, at least forty thousand years; but the first written documents are no more than six thousand years old, and they concern a TINY part of mankind even as it was then. To say that any concept, – God, Hell, even evolution – was “invented” at some point you claim to identify is to make a claim you cannot prove and that, given the enormity of human prehistory, is certain to be wrong.

          It took me so long to answer this because, quite frankly, it is embarrassing to have to teach an adult that water is wet and that two and two make four.

          • Bill S


            I never said nor is it important when the concept of Hell began. You have not told me that water is wet or that two and two equals four. You have told me that Hell is imaginary and comes from ancient legends. It doesn’t matter how many cultures have believed in superstitions. It does not make them true. I’m embarrassed for you that you actually believe these old wives tales.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Along with Dante, Beethoven, Einstein and so on. You, on the other hand, have Karl Marx, Richard Dawkins and Gene Roddenberry. I’ll take my old wives over yours any day.

              And you never said WHAT? “The writer of that story had no concept of hell. Jesus is the one who fostered that idea…
              There was no mention of Cain going to hell because no one had made it up yet.” Do you mean to say that this does not mean that the concept of Hell “was invented” (your words) AFTER the story of Cain was written, and “fostered” (your words again) by Jesus? In your world this means that you never said when the concept of Hell began? Or have you got to the point where you forget what you asserted two weeks ago? And you have the nerve to criticize the intellect of others?

              • Bill S

                “You, on the other hand, have Karl Marx, Richard Dawkins and Gene Roddenberry. I’ll take my old wives over yours any day.”

                I was never sure if it was the wives or the tales that were old. Maybe both. You are correct. I did say that Hell had not been invented when Genesis was written. Don’t go by Dante. That was just fiction. He didn’t really walk through Hell with Virgil.

      • Bill S


        Why do you bring up Cain. The writer of that story had no concept of hell. Jesus is the one who fostered that idea. It obviously worked judging by the number of people who genuinely fear it.

  • Jack

    This guy is somewhat alright.
    The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
    The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future
    Oh well, for some people things haven’t changed.
    “We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more US T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese.”