The Church Of “Che”
Cardinal Maradiaga is one of the members of the “Gang of Eight” and, if he is representative of the average quality of the members, it is fair to say nothing good will ever come from this strange new organ, the latest tribute to “collegiality”.
Maradiaga is a populist of the worst sort, which seems to be pretty much a speciality of South American Cardinals. The media report his exploits in the linked article and elsewhere.
There is in Maradiaga – and in those like him – an all too obvious tendency to put earth before heaven, and instrumentalise the Church to make it match with his upside down vision.
A Cardinal that thinks that “economic inequalities among world citizens” (“world citizen”: what an idiotic and oxymoronic expression, by the way) are a problem in itself is a Cardinal who has a huge problem, because he is only a socialist in a red robe, one to whom Christianity has become – an ideology.
The poor will always be with us. Some people will – unless you follow the socialist ideology, or manage to create a Communist dictatorship – always be vastly richer than others. The complex fabric of this earth is made in such a way that poverty can spiritually help the poor, and riches can not only alleviate the need of the poor, but promote the spiritual advancement not only of the rich, but of the poor themselves. Never has Christianity had a problem with the fact that some are born rich, or very rich, and many other poor, or very poor. Inheritance tax is not a Christian concept, it is a socialist one. Jesus never even advocated income tax; he advocated works of mercy, and compassion for those in need. The modern concept of “wealth redistribution” is just not in the Gospel. If anything, the existence of economic inequality is a very good way to teach us to put our hopes in the next world rather than in this one, and to invest our time in preparing for what is really important – our eternal destiny – rather than what is far less relevant in the great scheme of things – differences in material prosperity -.
Jesus taught us to perform works of mercy. He never criticised Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea for the fact that they were rich. Note that both are canonised saint, and clearly Zacchaeus remained, for all his restitutions, a very rich man. If Cardinal Maradiaga thinks that in Jesus’ times social inequalities were any littler than today he hasn’t been paying attention at school, and should stay nearer to the Gospels rather than abusing them for his socialist slogans.
Socialism has no part in Christianity. None whatsoever. Rich and poor will always be with us, and the difference in material possession between the very rich and the very poor will always be staggering. They will also have their own challenges, so that we can’t say how we would have fared spiritually if we had been born, or had later become, rich.
Still: one is born the son of the Duke of Westminster, another is born the son of an unemployed alcoholic. Do not question the wisdom of all this, unless you want to blaspheme.
The rich must help the poor. But make no mistake, they will still be rich. Whenever one comes to the conclusion – as the Cardinal clearly does: he is South American after all – that inequality is a problem, and equality therefore the aim, he has abandoned Christianity and transformed it into an earth-centred ideology – note this word: ideology – that has completely lost sight not only of the real aim of Christianity, but also of the fundamental wisdom and providential order of this world.
Has the Cardinal no eyes to see? Does he not see inequality going through the very fabric of Creation? If we observe reality with open eyes we see utter inequality not only in wealth and material possession, but also in intelligence, strength, health, ability or talent, beauty, wit, spirituality, & Co.
We are all equals in our human dignity, but boy, we are so astonishingly different in everything else! If it is unjust that one be born rich and one poor, why should it be just that one is born intelligent and strong, and another weak and stupid? Should we disfigure the beautiful girls in order to decrease “inequality” with the ugly ones, or amputate the strong man to make him more like the cripple? We don’t do it, nor do we demand that such “inequalities” be fought against. We thank God for the unmerited graces He gave us in His mercy, and have compassion for those not graced in the same way (though certainly graced in others we might not be able to see). We help alleviate poverty we see around us (a very relative concept in the West, anyway) and thank God for the financial security he may have given us, or petition Him to give it to us if we lack it. In every aspect of life, inequalities and brutal differences in the human condition help us to march toward Salvation, if we only see them properly.
In the end, life is not fair, nor it is supposed to be. The Church of “Che” distracts the faithful from the real issue – salvation – and directs them towards earthly ones: as if the world had been made the wrong way, and the omnipresent inequalities themselves were not Providence at work. The Church of “Che” does not see Providence: she sees the injustice, because to her the inequality itself is injustice. Pure earthly thinking, and a very populist one at that: aiming at the easy applause, and the popularity that comes from pandering to people’s envy; which latter is a cardinal sin, by the way.
This world is utterly and completely dominated by inequalities of all sorts. The answer to all these apparent “injustices” is not stupid populism, but Jesus Christ.
If you long for fairness and justice, don’t look at Cardinal Maradiaga.
Look towards heaven instead.