Pope Benedict XVI is coming in a few hours to Lebanon in a visit that has been hyped up for months and which wasn’t even certain at a certain point as the situation in Syria escalated. And yet the Pope still decided to come here, as he should, in order to check up on his congregation or at least the part of it that cared.
Of course, the BDS can’t really complain and start campaigning against the Pope’s visit just because he visited Israel a few years back so at least we’re safe on that front. But in typical Lebanese fashion, you have people complaining. Complaining about what? About the Pope coming here in his expensive papamobile, wearing his expensive garments, holding his expensive Golden cross and preaching from expensive-looking churches.
Money, money, money… and none of it is for the poor. How Christian is the head of Christianity? Let’s go protest!
People seem to be forgetting that the need for an expensive papamobile only arose when assassination attempts targeted previous popes. But, you know, the pope doesn’t have the right for self security like everyone else. In Lebanon, the politicians that the people complaining about the papamobile follow have these massive 20 car convoys just to ensure their safety. When they give their speeches, they do so behind bulletproof glass. Why don’t we complain about them spending money? Yeah, because it’s much easier to target a pope who’s not allowed, supposedly, to spend money.
And the list goes on and on. What people seem to fail to realize is that the Catholic Church specifically has so many charities spread all around the world to help. And help they do. What people seem to fail to realize is that the Catholic Church gives money away but it doesn’t advertize it like the charities these people are madly in love with. Why? Because that’s not something the Catholic Church boasts about.
What these people fail to realize is that even in Lebanon, the role of the Catholic Church is more far reaching than they can think of. Do you know how many children have gotten discounts in Catholic schools just because their parents were passing through economic difficulties? But it’s very easy to criticize. “These catholic schools charge so much” is one of the things you keep on hearing. Yeah, because the teachers and employees working at those schools are doing so out of charity, right?
If any of the people complaining had been teachers at those schools, they would have forever held their peace. But it’s always easier to preach.
Did you also know that the Pope’s Cross isn’t made out of gold? It used to be. But now it only has a golden crust. Why? To symbolize the ongoing current in the Vatican to lessen the materialistic aspect of the Catholic Church while still keeping a grandeur to the position held by the pope. And if you have a problem with that grandeur then your insecurity is not really the problem of the Church. If you also have a problem with the grandeur of the Churches in Rome, then I advise psychological help.
When it comes to the people criticizing, I have to ask: before you preach about donating, how about you donate? What are YOU doing to the children of Africa lately? Is your brand new phone or laptop or car helping the children of Somalia eat?
When it comes to the people criticizing, I have to ask: why is it so easy for you to use the presence of Christians in the East in your political debates to either support or refute certain revolutions and then frown upon the visit of the head of the Church who’s coming here first and foremost to let these worried Christians know that they are not forgotten?
As far as I’m concerned, the Pope visiting Lebanon is such a welcome change from all the political uselessness we’re being bombarded with lately. At least now you’ll know that all the roads which will be taken by the Pope will be newly paved and for these three days Lebanon will be the most secure country on the planet and the Christians will lessen their nagging and the Lebanon he’ll see is the utopia of coexistence we dream about. And that is the miracle of Pope Benedict.