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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Home Depot Founder Says Pope Francis Should Be Nicer to the Wealthy

Posted by on Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Why is that bully Francis picking on rich people?

In an interview on CNBC on Monday, Home Depot founder and devout Catholic Ken Langone said that the Pope’s statements about capitalism have left many potential “capitalist benefactors” wary of donating to the Church or its fundraising projects.

According to Langone, an anonymous, “potential seven-figure donor” for the Church’s restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is concerned that the Pope’s criticism of capitalism are “exclusionary," especially his statements about the “culture of prosperity” leading to the wealthy being “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”

Langone advised Cardinal Timothy Dolan that Francis should "be careful about generalities" because "Rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country." Presumably, Langone is suggesting that American rich people are different than rich people in the rest of the world. Given that Langone himself supplied one example of a wealthy [presumably] American who was considering withholding funds from the church because of something the Pope said, his theory that wealthy Americans are selfless do-gooders seems to be based on shaky ground.

(Via Reading Is For Snobs.)


Comments (25) RSS

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rob! 1
Anybody think to ask Langone about that whole camel/eye-of-a-needle thing? Maybe he should ask Timothy Dolan to pass his concern along...
Posted by rob! on December 31, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
Seriously, we need to go all Paris Mob 1789 on the wealthy in this country and THEN they can complain about people being mean to them.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on December 31, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 3
If he thinks the pope had harsh things to say about the wealthy, he should take a look at what the pope's boss, Jesus, said about the wealthy.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 31, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
Clash of the Roman aristocracy. One can only hope they finally and at long last destroy themselves.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 31, 2013 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
Last time I checked, Jesus agreed with the Pope, and threw the moneylenders out of the Temple
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 31, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Love it. The American Catholic rich threaten the Pope. They feel "disrespected." Know what I mean?
Posted by cracked on December 31, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Posted by cracked on December 31, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
disintegrator 8
Thinly veiled threat...
Posted by disintegrator on December 31, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
"I'm not going to lift a finger to help the poor until you stop saying mean things about me," says man accused of being a heartless monster.
Posted by Ruke on December 31, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Dougsf 10
Now what sort of devout Catholic doesn't understand the tenet of Papal infallibility?
Posted by Dougsf on December 31, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
@9: And in this instance doing something for the poor means a 9 figure restoration of a chapel whose main purpose is to impress NYC tourists.
Posted by MRM on December 31, 2013 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 12
#3 What did Jesus say about the wealthy? I'll save you time. He never condemned wealth or the wealthy as such. Jesus did say on the other hand, "The poor will be with us always". Jesus did encourage giving to the needy. That is clear. But he never condemned those with money.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 13
Mark 10
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Posted by Gurldoggie on December 31, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
#10 - I would venture to guess that most Catholics don't understand the doctrine of papal infallibility, and it's clear from your post that you don't either. The Pope is considered infallible only on those rare occasions when he speaks "ex cathedra", i.e. as the "voice of the Church". Nothing the current pope, Ratzinger, or John Paul II ever said or did is/was considered infallible by the church. And little sound bites in interviews sure as hell don't even come close.
Posted by Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps on December 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
treacle 15
This underscores the basic difficulty the Catholic Church has as regards it's global flock: The more progressive, yet less-numerous rich Western Catholics don't like to hear horrid stuff that the Church is compelled to say so that it can keep and grow the far, far larger population of less-wealthy Catholics in Central & South America, Africa, and Asia.
Posted by treacle on December 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
@13: Nicely played.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on December 31, 2013 at 3:33 PM · Report this
fletc3her 17
Anyone who believes you can buy your way into heaven is probably Catholic.
Posted by fletc3her on December 31, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
I suggest that you reread the gospel of Mark for starters.
True, he never "condemns" wealthy people, as in, "that's evil", he just says that they won't go to heaven, will have a hard time understanding his message, and basically that wealth is meaningless to him and your soul, but can affect your mind and prevent you from being with him,
Posted by JonCracolici on December 31, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Its one of my favorite passages. In the bible I had growing up, the man comes to him and basically says that he wants to be close to God, and that he follows all NINE commandments(he omits the one about coveting your nieghbor's house, meaning love of wealth). Then Jesus tells him to give his stuff away, and man, he doesn't like that. The bible is pretty clear that you can love God OR wealth, not both.
Posted by JonCracolici on December 31, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 20
#18 Just like I said, he never condemns wealth nor the wealthy. The current Pope does not need too either. So I don't know why Ms Forka said what she did. What does she mean? Ms FORKA! What did you mean? And Jesus NEVER said wealthy people won't get into heaven. You missed the point of what Jesus said. He said to the wealthy man also to give up his possessions. it's NOT wealth per se (the having of savings or what ever) that keeps people from following Jesus, but THE LOVE of money or their possessions prevents them. Should all Christians have no possessions? As was said later in the new Testament; i.e. "The LOVE of money is the root..." In fact many wealthy people donated to keep the early Christians going. Donations of land being made and the like.

So my little sweet dumpling, in the New Year remember Money is not evil nor those that have it, but the love of money over all else is. Poverty is terrible, giving up all your possessions is not practical (Jesus was making a point about what one loves) nor does it really help anyone. I prefer, like, who said it, I can't remember, "money is like shit, it should be spread around to help tender young things grow." Spread your shit. Happy Nude Year.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
This has nothing to do with Jesus. The Catholics don't talk about Jesus. And @5, the moneylenders weren't moneylenders; they were moneychangers because Jerusalem was a big trading town and the outer Temple was a neighborhood center, not a religious sanctuary. And they sure as hell weren't wealthy.
Posted by sarah70 on December 31, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
I think you are conveniently forgetting the same commandment. It is extremely convenient to, I admit to doing it as well, hell, society practically demands it. I sin all the time in that way.
BUT!!!! Jesus DID NOT tell people to be practical. He never told people parables, and then said, "you know...unless its tough on you..."
AND I would say that you can't be a rich man without loving money. There are so many homeless people asking for it all the time! If you don't care about it, why wont you share what you've got?
AND Jesus spoke at the temple about the widow giving alms. Many theologians believe this was to underline the holiness of mercy, and the non-holiness of mere charity. It you only give it because you don't need it, and not because the other person needs it, that's charity.
AND happy nude year to you too! :)
Posted by JonCracolici on December 31, 2013 at 8:04 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 23
Wealthy people can be nice and well meaning (see Bill Gates or Warren Buffett), or they can be complete assholes (see the Koch brothers or any of the Walton family), just like anyone else. They just have more money to throw around to try to influence people to do what they want. Langone's implication that wealthy people are selfless is ridiculous on its face.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on December 31, 2013 at 8:52 PM · Report this
Amen, Brother Cracolici!
Posted by floater on December 31, 2013 at 10:52 PM · Report this
Dougsf 25
@14 I appreciate the correction. The Wikipedia page I sought afterward was more informative than the however many years in Catholic school I made it through.

Also, whether you intend to or not, you come across as an asshole.
Posted by Dougsf on January 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM · Report this

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