Pope Francis: The Advice of Judas

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4Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: 5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. 7Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial. 8For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always.

John 12: 4-8

New York Daily News columnist Gersh Kuntzman, no, I did not make up that name, has a simple solution to poverty:


The artwork is truly incredible — incredible in the true meaning of that word: It’s simply not credible that all of those priceless works are just sitting there so people can take selfies with them. So it’s time for the self-proclaimed advocate for the poor to put a price on the whole lot and unload it.

I’m certainly not the first person to call for a Vatican fire sale, but my latest trip made me even more aware of the need for immediate action (after all, it’s hard not to notice that every time you step into an art-filled Roman church, you step over a poor person on the way out).

No one has ever been able to put a dollar figure on all the artwork owned by the Vatican and its many dioceses, but it is likely in the hundreds of billions, given the way the art market works. In 2012, a minor Raphael drawing sold for nearly $50 million and even a really crappy Michelangelo painting is said to be worth hundreds of millions.

Go here to read the rest.  Kuntzman, who has previously appeared in posts on this blog here and here, has the usual leftist urge to plunder the transitory earthly wealth of the Church.  Would that he hungered for the true treasures of the Church.

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  1. . The NY Daily News has only one good use…to see the latest sensational crimes in the NY harbor area and to pray for the humans involved. I do that once a week. It is more anti Trump than CNN and more pro ghetto than rap and not one of its writers would raise the possibility that a ghetto family will be poor if the woman has four children by four different men without high school degrees and with criminal records. No….slavery is why she is poor apparently…..not spitting on God’s sexual law every month of her life. The rag is a joke.
    Pleasure is the reason the ghetto has stayed poor for 50 years too long…..pleasure of sex,tv,drink,parties, crack,sex,tv,rap music with no singing, sex, non work. PLEASURE not slavery is why the ghetto remains poor and you are out the door the minute you say that at any newspaper as a writer….but especially there at that paper.
    Let’s sell the statue of David and send the money to street corner sloths in Newark and see what they spend it on….college credits or new Nike’s and drink.
    I’m being hyperbolic. There are worthy poor. Women working three fast food jobs and living still in shelters with their children. But selling David simply means some other institution will have David and some writer there will ask that institution to sell it and give to the poor which means a third party will have David which statue will erode with each move…the NYTimes reported that its ankles are a big vulnerability.

  2. It used to be a decent tabloid and a joke. Now, total banal BS. I wouldn’t read it with Hillary’s lying eyes.
    Advice for Catholic hierarchy: ignore your enemies’ “advice,” They do not have your best interest at heart.
    News Flashes for Kuntzman (apt name): No other non-tax financed organization has done more for the poor around the globe. And, for about 100 years social-democrat European governments have confiscated trillions of (whatever currency) and given it to the “poor.” A few billion more from sales of Vatican art works would be a drop in the bucket. The horror! The horror! Such rank nonsense is palatable to anti-Catholic bigots, idiot liberals (I repeat myself again) and cowardly cardinals.
    Advice (years ago from Ann Coulter) on, if you must (BARF), how to respond to idiot liberals. One, ask for supporting data, facts, proof; two, ask “Compared to what?”; three, “How much will it costs/who pays?”

  3. Bill: It this fact or fiction? Tabloid/Daily News headline: “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar?”
    When I was a kid in the Bronx, there were still eight or ten NYC newspapers (Journal American, Herald Tribune, etc). All of them (except the NYT) were better than the Daily News.
    Now, two free dailies are passed out in the streets. They are better than the NYT and Daily News, which is demining with feint praise.

  4. Okay, the Vatican sells off its property, gives it to the poor, then what? Does that keep all the poor in the world fed for all-time? Have we cured poverty? Have the underlying conditions that caused the poverty been addressed? No. Now the Vatican has been reduced to nothing, and we’re back to square one with poverty.

    And thus the fundamental failing of leftists – the complete inability to think through the surface-level solurions.

  5. I’ve said here before that I’d love to see the Church circulate more of its relics. The same is true of its great art. Everyone should live within a 4-hour drive of a shrine. Of course, the easiest way for us to do that is to live lives that make us all canonized saints. But for now let’s pick a dozen cathedrals in the US and give them a bone of a martyr and a da Vinci. I think we can increase the number of viewers of some of the great works of religious art.

    I’d also like to see museums circulate their items more often, for a similar reason. If a museum in Florence is packed to the gills, and a museum in Fresno has the facilities to properly display and care for a couple of priceless works, send them over.

  6. Another thing. What do you think the price of a Giotto would be when 200 of them go on the market at the same time? I could afford a couple.

  7. I don’t think Mr. Kuntzman has actually thought through his absurd
    proposition because I don’t think Mr. Kuntzman particularly cares
    whether or not it’s a bad idea. The point of his column was to display
    his vaguely anti-Catholic, vaguely pro-poor people sentiments in an
    entirely cost-free example of virtue-signaling. Now that he’s impressed
    his fellow-travelers on the left with his smug disdain for the Church and his
    ‘concern’ for the poor (all done at no cost to himself) he can call it a
    day and go home– likely stepping over a poor person on his way there.

  8. The man’s 51 years old and does not understand the distinction between assets and income or the relationship between production and income. I see writing for NYC newspapers atop a stint in the humanities departments at the latrine of the Ivy League is a great education.

  9. Pinky.

    I like your ideas.
    Four American museums we’re chosen to display treasures from the Vatican just after the passing of St. JPII. We were privileged to visit the showing in Milwaukee. Extraordinary exhibit. The gifts of love that has been given to Holy Church throughout the centuries is amazing.

    I like your idea of sharing these gifts throughout the world, on display and explanation provided as to WHY the givers were so generous with their gifts. Grace.

    They received grace. They prayed. They suffered. They ended up receiving so beautiful a gift that gold, precious stones nor any conceivable man made art could never repay the graciousness of one prayer being answered.
    These treasures are tokens of Love.

    One of our favourites was the wall of chalices displayed. Rubies, diamonds, gold….but the most significant chalice? A small badly scratched glass, cheap and out of place with all of the other chalices. This small poor glass cup was used in Auschwitz with smuggled wine and smuggled bread to be consecrated into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Service….He Came to Serve…and he was served to the poorest of the Poor in Poland in 1941….in a broken down scratched glass. Thanks be to God it made it to the display case. The Most honorable chalice present.

    I’ll never forget the tears I shed at that moment, at that museum in Milwaukee.

    Thanks St. Pope JPII for setting this up before your death.

    Thanks Pinky for your great idea.

  10. HHS questionnaire?

    I haven’t come across this until now.
    Cut off September 20th?

    I am gullible I admit, but if this is real please pass it along. They need to hear from you and a few million more in just a week and a half.

    The Government will not define my religion regardless on how hard they will try to just that. Please let them know.

  11. Paul,
    Might just as well talk about selling off the entirety of the nation’s public lands, national parks included, to pay down the national debt.
    For comparative purposes, of course.

  12. Might just as well talk about selling off the entirety of the nation’s public lands, national parks included, to pay down the national debt.

    That’s selling an asset to retire debt. Assets for liabilities. That’s perfectly sensible. About 1/4 of the land area of the United States is owned by the federal government and the bulk of it is commercial timber and grazing land. You’d need two pieces of preparatory work ‘ere you put it on the auction bloc: a constitutional amendment debarring the assessment of property taxes on woodland and marsh and an indemnity granted to current holders of grazing permits.

  13. Thought that comes to mind.
    –Once the art was gone from St. Peter’s, etc. so would most of the visitors.
    –The time of the great artwork was a time of great corruption in the Church which was followed by the Protestant Reformation.

    The Church must become a poor Church for the poor in spirit to carry out Jesus’ message. The Catholic Church has largely become a church of the Pharisees. The message is rarely lived and preached. It has largely turned into a NGO subservient to public and government wishes.

  14. Bill Bannon wrote in a comment above:.
    “Pleasure is the reason the ghetto has stayed poor for 50 years too long…..pleasure of sex, tv,drink,parties, crack,sex, tv, rap music with no singing, sex, non work. PLEASURE not slavery is why the ghetto remains poor …”
    Romans 6:16 and 20 says:
    “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? …….When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.”
    These people are still enslaved albeit by their own concupiscence, by their own passions, by their own desires, and that is real slavery.

  15. Mr. Kuntzman should sell his own assets and give the proceeds to the poor since he thinks it is such a great idea. He will not because it is not,

  16. America, Italy and the World suffer a form poverty far worse than the financial and physical penury. The most harmful, and most neglected, is moral bankruptcy.

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